Local Farms and the Localvore Revolution | Food and Beverage Magazine
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Green Scene
Localvores | Local Farms Continued
The desire for fresher and safer foods is driving localvores to their local farms.
I

n the US, two acres of farm land is lost to urban sprawl every minute, but with farms able to hold their own this process can be reversed.

Cat Cora, Chef Cora, Iron Chef Cat Cora

The local movement has increased farms 6% over the past six years. Groups like Balle, Foodroutes, Local Harvest are launching local chapters to building local sustainable communities. These local initiatives along with CSA’s will help local economies strive well into the future. CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) are individuals, or share-holder who pledge to support a local farm for fresh vegetables in return. This community spirit allows sharing of the risks and rewards on a farm. By providing upfront capital, this allows the farmer to buy seeds, and other capital expenses, and then the share-holders receive better prices on their crops, as opposed to buying from the store.

Some local farmers are teaming up to provide CSA programs, like Rita’s Roots and Thackeray Farms on Wadmalaw Island, located outside of Charleston, SC. These local farms provide fresh picked vegetables packed for a family to be picked up once a week. These programs are designed to help preserve and support local farms through community spirit. Most farms encourage individuals to get involved in the farm, through events, or helping around the farm. Please reach out to one of the 1800 CSA’s listed to get your basket of goodies.

Restaurants Hearing the Call

More and more you see restaurants of all kinds answering the call catering to the growing trend of the localvore! What seems to be the natural progression of the “organic” movement in the 70’s the localvores have started a chefs dream movement where restaurants are now spending more and more time sourcing out local options for their shopping lists.

In every market there is now a suprising number of top chefs focusing on using local products and regional cuisine. These local farm to table restaurants are catching the eye of more and more consumers everyday and the trend is not expected to slow any time soon.

Government Involvement

While the farm bill that shows up every five years in Washington for factory farming added $2.3 billion to specialty crops, like strawberries, greens, and squash to be passed on the small organic farms. Due to the influence of groups and individuals support for local farms, the previous bill only offered $100 million to the same specialty crops. Other benefits passed on the farms are the ability to get reimbursed for up to 75% of their organic certification costs, and some will be able to purchase crop insurance. We will be able to invest in health and nutrition by promoting local farms.

Remember, local food tastes better, better for you, and you help someone in the process. Join a local group or find your local farm-supporting restaurant today.

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