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Local Food

Dairy Farm with Red Barn in Autumn

Dairy Farm in New York State in the evening in autumn.

 © genekrebs - istockphoto.com

     I recognize that this is a bit random but it does inform my teaching.  

     Today I took some time to process my thoughts about local food in response to a survey.   This book –Sharing the Harvest by Elizabeth Henderson – explains Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).  I am proud to count her among my friends and thankful for all that she and the other farmers – Greg, Ammie, et al. – at Peacework Farm do to supply my family with fresh, local, delicious veggies.  Peacework Farm supplies almost all of the food for the GVOCSA – Genesee Valley Organic Community Supported Agriculture – an organization that does part of the work of bringing fresh, farm produce into my city.  

     Please keep reading.  My answers are in italics.


1. People like to eat food from local sources for many reasons. What are the reasons that motivate you personally?

     The main reason is consumer education – seriously. I am a Chemist who was horrified after I looked into the details of the chemicals used on our food supply so I switched to eating organic food. Another friend started me in the GVOCSA by sharing a share with me for the first year or two (this was over 15 years ago).

     Through being part of the CSA and later the CSA Core Group, I participated in many discussions with the farmers and other members about the myriad of social and economic as well as chemical issues around food. I am now as mindful of the importance of eating local as I am about the importance of clean food. It is important to eat locally produced food because – it is less costly both financially and environmentally to distribute food grown locally,

  • it keeps money and jobs in the community,
  • it provides an opportunity to interact directly with the people who grow vegetables and raise animals for my food [certification isn’t as important to me as asking for information and trusting the farmers],
  • it directly connects people to the health of the soil, air, and water as well as ensuring a more secure food supply.
  • It also connects people to the weather and regional diseases – a burden generally faced only by farmers. This summer was tomato blight and a cold, wet growing season.
  • farmer’s markets provide community meeting places that facilitate connections,
  • CSA also builds community across diverse groups within a regional space.

2. Of the reasons you mentioned, which is the most important to you?

  • it provides an opportunity to interact directly with the people who grow my food.

3. What are your strategies for eating locally? (You could mention things such as where you locate your food, how you cook, etc.)

  • Brighton Farmer’s Market (many more farm and small-scale processor friends there)
  • Hosting meat deliveries in my driveway
  • A large freezer in my basement

4. What are the greatest obstacles to you in trying to eat locally?

  • Temptation in the grocery store (I get better at resisting all the time but local bananas don’t happen)
  • Short regional growing season – adding more high-hoop operations in the area would help this.
  • I can’t seem to work up any enthusiasm for canning.

5. Have you ever made a personal connection (met someone new, talked with someone new) as a result of trying to eat locally? If so, was that meaningful for you?

  •  Over 15 years in CSA, 40-50 like-minded acquaintances and a handful (possibly more than that) of true forever friends.
  • Always meeting new farmers (actually did survey work for NOFA-NY a few summers ago – fantastic!) – this connects me with both the people and the land .

If you’d like to add or comment on anything else with regard to local eating, please do so here:

So much to say, so little time.

Thank you very much for your participation!

I would be interested in seeing results of the survey when you are finished.

Best regards, Kathryn


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