by Anne Biggs, Bucks County Foodshed Alliance
So you’re thinking of committing to eating a diet that is largely made up of fresh, local foods? Great!
“Buying local” means you are accessing fresher fruits and veggies that retain more nutrients and flavor than their much-traveled counterparts on the chain store shelves even if they are organic. “Locally grown” connects you to the smaller family farms that use fewer petroleum-based fertilizers and harmful pesticides and herbicides.
Along with burdening the environment less, they offer you produce, dairy, eggs and meats for your table that carry a much-reduced risk of the food-borne contaminants known to cause major health outbreaks.
Your local buying can contribute to a “cycle of abundance” here in Bucks County. The community’s support of the local farming economy through purchases of products helps farmers make a living wage and remain on their land.
That stems the loss of our farms and leads to more open land – better for the environment – and more economically viable farming businesses – better for the economy as well as the future of growing food.
And don’t forget: more bucks spent at Bucks farms means more bucks staying in Bucks County. What’s spent here helps other businesses thrive, including many that you and your neighbors depend on.
Growers in Bucks County are extending their harvest season, expanding their capacity and adding places to purchase their products. Right now, in what we’ve always considered “the dead of winter,” you have many sources of nutritious and delicious local fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs and dairy products, as well as fine products made from locally grown ingredients.
- Farmers’ markets – Winter “mini-markets” are held around the county from Thanksgiving until the markets reopen in spring.
- Local farm stands or farm markets – These retail operations are run by the farmer to sell the products of the farm and often those of other growers and producers nearby.
- CSAs – “Community-supported agriculture” farms have shares for sale now, so look into how you can invest in your local farmer and receive a “share” of the bounty every week, all season long. Search “CSA Bucks County” online to learn more.
- Groceries devoted to local and organic – Search “Bucks organic foods” for locations near you.