Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Attention Niagara Residents: Buy Local!

This isn't a blog about "organic"...that'll come at a later date with my thoughts on the issue... this is about buying local!

It's that time of the year where fruit and veggie stands are filling up with produce and patrons all over the region!

I've started taking a look at the food I buy in terms of where it comes from. To be honest, the idea is relatively new to me. But as I've read more and more information and blogs about local produce, I've become more a of proponent for buying local. Have you ever taken a look at the labels at a grocery store? Why are our local chains buying strawberries and cherries during the middle of the Niagara season from the USA or other countries? No offense to our southern friends, but we have farmers, some of which are our neighbours, that are having a hard time staying afloat let alone turning a profit.

I've decided it's time I stopped turning a blind eye to the map of my produce. Yes, this means saying "no" to the shiny big strawberries from a greenhouse in California and favouring the smaller local and likely more expensive ones. Why? Because I value our farmlands.

Have you ever driven through Niagara on the Lake during blossom time? How can you not appreciate the beauty! What a sweet opportunity it is to go down the street and get fresh picked corn, peaches and produce that haven't ever seen the inside of a freezer truck in order to ripen!

I read a blog about chains not selling local produce for an appropriate amount here and it really made me think. What value do I put on local produce?

So here's the challenge: Drop by your local farmer's market on a Saturday morning before going to the grocery store. See what you can find there FIRST! It takes more time, but your efforts will not be in vain... you are helping your neighbours, your city, and yourself!

Farmers feed families.

For more info check out the following blogs:

Eating Niagara - A website devoted to local eating and agriculture in the Niagara Region
Creekshore Farms (where I get my Organic CSA from!)
Tree & Twig Heirloom Vegetable Farm

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