5 Reasons to Eat Local


By Beenie                                                                                                            LINK:

The Local Food Coalition continues to gain momentum and support as the second meeting was held on Wednesday, 25 February 2009 in Sierraville.

The Local Food Coalition is building upon local traditions and bringing together the community resources needed to develop a locally-based delicious and nutritious food system, promote and protect our rural economy, agriculture, and ecology, while supporting small family farming.

Discussion so far has been centered around issues of resilience and self-reliance in times of economic hardship, climate change, world-wide water issues, and peak oil: food security, local food production, marketing a "Local Grown" type of brand, retail and barter, farm-to-school, local USDA certified butchering facilities, butchers, and other local food processing infrastructure that could provide an opportunity for new food based local businesses and jobs.

Among many projects that the coalition will be working on, some of the first are "Victory" style home gardens and greenhouses, and community gardening plots with greenhouses and cold frames for folks who do not have garden space at their homes. Workshops on making nutrient rich soil from local resources, composting, designing garden beds for minimal water usage, mulching, natural pest control, and other food gardening related issues are being scheduled. People are also excited about workshops on cooking, canning, drying, freezing, juicing, and otherwise preserving the harvest which used to be an annual tradition that brought people together.

The meetings have consisted of local farmers, ranchers, and residents of the Sierra Valley. The meetings so far have been held in Sierraville but will begin to rotate throughout locations in the region. The coalition will now begin holding meeting once per month, on the last Wednesday of every month, where groups working on projects can report on their progress, ask for resources, and meet up with other people who are interested in joining in on projects. The next meeting will be Wednesday, March 25 at 6 pm at the Sierraville schoolhouse where people will be outlining their plans and timelines, deciding what resources they will need, and preparing to get their hands on organic, heirloom seeds, as well as forming subgroups to work on other local food related goals.

The Local Food Coalition is open to anyone in the area who eats food. Please join us as we encourage more local food production and self-reliance on our own region.

To get more information, or to share information, please contact Beenie at 530.994.3370 or localbean@gmail.com. Notifications of future meeting locations will be sent via email and posted in local newspaper calendar sections.

The Local Food Coalition is a grassroots movement that is part of the larger Local Resilience program being coordinated by the Sierra Valley Resource Conservation District (SVRCD). Workshops will be organized by High Sierra Permaculture.


Five Reasons to Eat Local Food


1. Local produce tastes better and is better for you. In the time between harvest and the dinner table, sugars turn to starches and flavors are lost, along with nutrients. Food grown in your community was probably harvested within the past couple of days and is crisp, loaded with flavor and nutrients.

2. Local food supports local families. Farming is a vanishing lifestyle; fewer than one million Americans are now claiming farming as their primary occupation (less than 1% of the population). And no wonder… the farmer today gets less than 10 cents of each retail food dollar in the U.S. Local farmers who sell directly to their community and neighbors, cut out the middleman which means farm families can afford to stay on the farm.

3. Local food preserves open space, and supports a clean environment. A well managed family farm is a place where the resources of fertile soil and clean water are valued. These stewards prevent erosion, replace nutrients in the soil, and their farms serve as the perfect environment for an abundant diversity of wildlife. Yet this landscape will only survive as long as the farms are financially viable. When you buy locally grown food, you are doing something proactive about preserving the agricultural landscape.

4. Local food protects genetic diversity. In the current big business model of the agricultural system varieties are chosen, and genetically modified, to ripen simultaneously and withstand the brutal machine harvesting and long shipping process; not to mention the long shelf life in the stores. Additionally, these commodities are grown as mono crops. In contrast, local farmers grow a huge number of varieties hand selected for the best flavor. Many varieties are heirloom varieties, which are passed down from generation to generation. And they contain genetic material from hundreds or thousands of years of human selection.

5. Local food is about the future. By supporting farmers today, you can help ensure that there will be farms in our community tomorrow and that generations will have access to nourishing, delicious, and abundant food sources in your neighborhood.

For more info on your regional local food project contact Beenie ~ 994.3370 or localbean@gmail.com Anne Eldred ~ 994.3514 Dianne Brun ~ 994.3757


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