Posted: Tue, Jul. 3, 2012, 7:28 PM
Seasons evoke memories. Summer evokes hot days and a slice of juicy watermelon, slightly warm from being recently picked; juice trickling down your chin from a local peach; mouth blue from blueberries; fresh picked tomatoes waiting for a salad. In addition to the many taste delights of fresh local produce, many are finding plenty of other reasons to put locally grown produce and other items on their tables.
The current economy is pushing people to look for alternatives to the increasingly enormous supermarket chains. In addition, food that is locally produced is not only fresher, but often less expensive because it doesn’t travel great distances to get to market.
People are also growing increasingly aware of the effects of chemicals and pesticides, which also causes people to seek alternative food sources. There is something to be said for being able to check out who is producing the food you put on your table. Ever notice the increasing number of those little “Buy Fresh Buy Local” bumper stickers? The www.buylocalpa.org website is a wonderful way to do some exploring of all the varied local alternatives – it’s also not just produce any more.
If you grow it yourself you can choose to be pesticide free, and many of these farmers and producers at these local markets also strive to pay attention to pesticides and chemicals, and in many cases are truly organic growers. (Organic growers go through a certification process and you can learn more about it and even find farms on www.paorganic.org)
Many have also chosen to start growing their own food in addition to patronizing local farms and markets.
Community gardens and local farm markets are also community builders. These days, we often don’t have time for our neighbors, and farmers’ markets and community gardens are old-fashioned throwbacks to a simpler time. Given the popularity of markets and community gardens, many people seem to like the healthier ways of eating and socializing.
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And of all the super coolness possible with this byline, it is also over on the main news stack under food. My byline right up near Craig LeBan. Who woulda’ thunk it? I love to write, and this is some amazing validation. And I am thrilled to be able to write about things I love!