A few weekends ago, I took a class sponsored by the ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) on Starting a Market Garden Business. One of the many things I was surprised to learn is that 96% of the food that is grown in our Western North Carolina Region goes away, into the global food supply. That fact just amazed me. Add to that the fact that most of the food in our local stores has come 1000's of miles to get to us. No wonder food costs are soaring and much of the produce at the local grocery looks like it's been to the war and back! What is that all about?
The message is simple and couldn't be more clear—America's farms and ranches provide an unparalleled abundance of fresh, healthy and local food, but they are rapidly disappearing.
Eighty-six percent of America’s fruits and vegetables are grown near metro regions, where they are in the path of development. And every hour we lose 125 acres of farm and ranch land. That's why supporting local food and farms is more important than ever!
No Food No Farms offers 2 ways to get involved...
1. Get the Free Bumper Sticker and display it. Spread the message in your community that you support local food and local farms by displaying a free No Farms No Food bumper sticker from American Farmland Trust. Request yours today!I must say that this excites the local foodie in me! I have ordered my bumper sticker and made the pledge. I invite you to do the same. If you can, make a donation to support the work of the American Farmland Trust.
2. Take the Keep It Local pledge and stand up for local food and farms! As consumers, we make a difference when we support local food and farmer's markets. Make a commitment to local food, farms and ranches and take the Keep It Local pledge now!
After you take the pledge you too will get a letter like I did with some more great resource information.
Thank you for making a commitment to your local farms and ranches by taking American Farmland Trust’s Keep It Local Pledge. We hope you discover a new favorite food, make new connections with local farmers and ranchers and gain a deeper appreciation for what it takes to get a meal from farm to fork.
Here are some resources to get you started:
Find farms and ranches in your area. Map the distance to your home to find those within your pledge distance. Subscribe to their CSA, find them at a farmers' market or go to the farm if they have pick-your-own operations.
Search for restaurants that buy from local farms and ranches. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about where the food is from. A lot of restaurants take pride in providing fresh ingredients and will be glad you asked!
Learn what’s fresh in your area—and how to cook it. When you start eating local, you might come across new varieties of fruits and vegetables that you’ve never seen before. Your taste buds are in for a treat! Experiment and share recipes with other local food enthusiasts.
American Farmland Trust is committed to protecting farm and ranch land and increasing the availability of fresh, local foods. Support our work by donating today. Your gift will go a long way to help in our work with policy makers, communities and producers to save the land that sustains America.
Your friends at American Farmland Trust