If you asked me ten years ago what I thought about supporting local agriculture and business, I probably wouldn’t have much to say. Ironically, ten years ago I lived in a region of the country that was populated by avid farmers and thrived on the success of small businesses. It was not until much later, after moving back to my home town, having a child and starting a small business of my own that the importance of consuming and eating local became an important factor in our daily lives.
Now, accompanied by a young foodie and her love of all things dirt, gardening and animals, I have learned to value the benefits of locally grown and produced foods. Greeners Partners, along with their Longview Center for Agriculture, is kicking off The Locavore Challenge this month. “A Loca-what??”, you ask. A Locavore:
A Locavore is someone who is committed to supporting local agriculture and businesses by only eating food grown or produced in their community or region.
In this era of fast food, speed-everything, hectic schedules and harried days, we rely on methods of convenience to satisfy our nutritional needs. Big box stores, lowest price comparisons and the 5-minute stop to grab milk, eggs and something frozen for dinner. I do this – all of the time. But I also have made a much more concentrated effort over the past couple of years to break away from eating conveniently to eating thoughtfully.
Eating thoughtfully, for me, includes eating locally grown food. I can’t tell you how nice it is to be able to take my daughter to a local farm to pick our own veggies and not feel nervous about her sampling a few bites right from the vine. She gets a quality of experience that cannot be found within the big box grocery store – she has met the farmers, sees the evolution from seed to table and gets exposure to fruits and vegetables that have not been treated with excess chemicals and transported in a dark truck for days.
Do we do this perfectly? Absolutely not. But we are working to be more consistent with our choices. I will be participating in The Locavore Challenge during the month of February and hope to share with you our successes as well as the obstacles we encounter to becoming a Locavore.
Today marks the Kick-Off to the Greener Partners Locavore Challenge. If you are interested in learning more, visit their Longview Center for Agriculture today at 3pm to meet the team and tour the farm!
Enjoy your day!