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Advantages of buying local
October 21, 2013
9:53 am
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Peach
Banty
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April 24, 2013
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Good morning CITR readers,

 

I am giving a seminar next about at our local Home and Garden show about the advantages of buying locally grown food. I grow organic vegetables, herbs, flowers, and garlic and sell at a Farmer's Market.  I am looking for viewpoints and anecdotes to include in my talk. If you have a story about a Farmer's market, or reason that you prefer to buy locally grown, please share with me. Also, please tell me what state you live in. Thanks for your help. 

October 22, 2013
11:24 am
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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I know that when I know who's growing my produce and where I'm getting it from, I can always ask WHEN it'll be availableand I am able to plan on what I'll get and when I need to be ready to can and freeze things.  That's important to me because of my busy schedule and my small kitchen area.

Located in N.E. Ohio

October 26, 2013
4:46 pm
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bonita
north east IL
Super Chicken
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I agree with Buckeye girl about the advantages of buying produce at the farmer's market. Here, in Chicago, we have the benefit of four state's worth of fresh produce. Michigan, particularly, has a climate good for growing an amazing variety of fruits.  Of course, there are eggs and flowers at some of the markets as well. I've found, however, another great locally-grown (?) commodity. Both Wisconsin and Illinois have some great hog farms. The forward-looking restaurants in the city have begun to offer locally grown pork on their menus. This means that we can occasionally get pork, bacon, canadian bacon, as well as smoked pork and chicken from a distance of less than 100 miles! real.bacon—no.water.added.

 

Save the Earth. It's the only planet with chocolate.

October 27, 2013
10:44 am
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judydee
Memphis
Mighty Chicken
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There is a local (less than 50 miles) cattle farm that sells its beef at "my" market.  I like knowing that it is antibiotic and hormone free.  The ground beef browns wonderfully without any of that mysterious looking grayish white goo that I've encountered with some supermaket beef.  Mostly though, whenever I hear about a recall of ground beef because of possible contamination I don't have to run for the freezer to check for code numbers.  I know and completely trust these farmers.

October 27, 2013
12:01 pm
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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That's a very good point too judydee!  I get most of my meat at a small butcher shop in the next county.  They buy their beef from 5 different local farms, who while may not be completely organic, at least use only the best practices possible.  Their meat is still inspected, and honestly, even if it weren't, I know that they'd be very careful and extra safe, because they wouldn't want to harm their customers, or their own families since everyone who works there is also a customer!

They do get their chicken from a company just south of here which has tested by several of those groups that evaluates such things as having the least possible residue of any kinds of chemicals or metals in the meat. 

I also buy milk from Hartzler's Dairy, which slow vat pasteurizes their milk which leaves the enzymes still active, unlike anything which is "ultra-pasteurized" which leaves it basically sterile and useless to humans.

None of these companies are actually organic.  Some of them probably 'could' be, but jumping through the hoops to get the official certification is very costly and difficult.  It's better to KNOW who you're buying from, then buy the big-ag products which can afford to buy that certification, but who you don't know from Jack.

Located in N.E. Ohio

October 27, 2013
12:26 pm
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Leah's Mom
Northern Indiana
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Interesting topic as I was just thinking about this yesterday when I was in one of the grocery stores.

I realized that I don't buy much of anything at the grocery store anymore. My main reason for buying local is because I can know how the animal is being fed and the "husbandry methods" being used.  I won't purchase beef from farms that feed gmo in any form.  Grass fed only for the rumenents.  If I purchase chicken or eggs, I look for REAL free-range where they get plenty of meat proteins from bugs, snakes, mice...anything they can catch!  (And certainly not "vegetarian chickens" wink )

I know a family that raises a low line Angus/Hereford cross on all grass.  Whenever they are ready for butcher, they call several families that purchase from them.  They offer sides and quarters at the same rate you'd pay for grain fed which is a fantastic price.  Using the low lines, the sides and quarters are small enough that they don't break the bank so I can afford it.

Sometimes they do the  whole animal in ground beef rather than cuts which I like because we use a lot of ground.  When done that way, they sell it by the lb.  Their price for the grass-fed is less than half of what it would cost at the regular store from a place that uses GREAT husbandry practices.  I just brought home 250 lbs. of ground yesterday.  Several other people will get part of that leaving us with about 150 lbs. for the freezer over winter.

I live in Northern Indiana.  There is a wonderful farmer's market in South Bend that I remember going to with my mom and grandma when I was shorter than a gumball machine!  It is still there with a wonderful array of fresh fruits and veggies, meat, cheeses from somewhat local creameries, crafts, jewelery, potted plants, plant starts, freshly butchered meats, some grass-fed/organic..you name it.  Everything from very conventional (read:  full of pesticides and gmo) to those raising by "organic principles" (meaning they can't afford to be certified but are actually more conscientious and often more honest about how they grow) to certified organic depending on who you purchase from. 

There are also other farmer's markets in the area that offer only organic growers.

So...for me, knowing the source, the animal husbandry methods, etc. is the selling point.  I no longer purchase meat, milk or eggs from the grocery.  I only purchase veggies or fruits from the grocery if they aren't in season in the area then then I usually try to choose a small, family run store to support the folks in the area.

 

And...Hi to everyone!  Been a long time since I commented :D

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