Hello, friend of the planet!
This email introduces you to the Green Team’s NEW communiqué about environmentally-friendly eating. Abundant locally-sourced food is here, CSAs have started up, and farmers markets in our area are flourishing, so we decided this would make a good first topic:
WHY BUY FOOD LOCALLY?
Most of us know that it’s good to support local businesses, and what could be more important than supporting the small-scale farmers providing our food? Here are a few things to consider:
- Buying local means the money you spend stays in your community, boosting the local economy.
- The food is fresher and picked at peak ripeness. Freshly-picked produce lasts longer in your fridge. And there is simply no taste comparison between luscious strawberries picked the day you buy them and that same fruit picked weeks ago in California.
- Buying from local farmers (many of whom farm organically and/or utilize organic growing methods) encourages them to stay in farming, thus preserving farmland and preventing it from being developed. Another environmental boost is realized with the biodiversity of animals, insects, and birds that a sustainable farm can attract and support.
- Small-scale farms are diversified (no monoculture agricultural practices here!) and this diversification has a two-fold benefit: we consumers are offered a wide variety of foods and this diversification promotes the sustainability of the farmer’s land. Here’s a good explanation of sustainable agriculture. https://www.ucsusa.org/food-agriculture/advance-sustainable-agriculture/what-is-sustainable-agriculture
- A very important reason to buy local food products is to reduce our carbon footprint. We can celebrate the deed every time we buy food from a local farmer because NONE of these products has been shipped great distances, by truck, emitting carbon into our atmosphere. How far does our produce travel? Here’s some information on how travel affects our food as well as a fun quiz on “real food.” https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/how-far-does-your-produce-travel/
We in Maryland are fortunate as much of the food that we normally eat can be locally (and seasonally) sourced. However -- to eat locally means to eat “seasonally.” Multifaceted farmer and author Joel Salatin states in his book Folks, This Ain’t Normal (Center Street, 2001) “… you cannot have a viable local food system without a seasonal eating commitment.” Here’s a good seasonal food guide. https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/why-eat-seasonally
Another author who must be introduced into any discussion of local/whole food/environmentally responsible eating is Michael Pollan, renowned journalist, activist, and author of several books on these subjects. We can recommend his In Defense of Food: an Eater’s Manifesto (The Penguin Press, 2008) as a good place to start your investigation of healthier eating.
We are fortunate to have in our area a number of farms providing CSA memberships. CSA is Community-Supported Agriculture, an arrangement between food grower and food consumer, whereby the consumer pays up front for a “share” of the farm’s business and receives, usually weekly, a basket of produce. At least three farmers at our weekly Havre de Grace Farmers Market offer CSA memberships: Third Way, Harman’s, and Flying Plow Farms. Here’s an introduction to CSAs. https://www.localharvest.org/csa/ A CSA membership can be a fun, sometimes adventurous, way to eat healthy & “green.” And this topic will be covered in a future newsletter.
SOME GREEN THOUGHTS
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
– Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food
Treasure the farmer
Nurture the soil
Plant wherever you are
Learn from nature
Cultivate your palate
Make your own
Eat whole foods
Share the harvest
Teach children the art of simple food
- Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food II
THINK GREEN. EAT GREEN.
Our mailing address is:
Havre de Grace Green Team
408 North Union Avenue
Havre de Grace, MD 21078, United States
Feel free to call us at: