Why buy local, you ask?

April 30, 2008 

Buying local produce has multiple benefits.

The purchase supports local farmers, many of whom are struggling to keep their farms viable; it lessens our carbon footprint because the food travels fewer miles to reach us; and it puts fresher food on our tables.

Also, when we become accustomed to buying food that is grown outside our region, we are less likely to be aware of the sacrifices — erosion, depletion of resources — made where the food is produced.

“For our earth to be sustainable as much as possible, we need to keep things close to home,” explained Austin Jenkins, the natural resources manager for the Sandhill Research and Education Center, which opened its seasonal farmers market Tuesday, April 29.

And don’t forget the taste factor.

Produce that is grown locally can be picked and eaten the same day it is sold.

Think of green beans simmering in the pot that were pulled from the vine that morning or strawberries for dessert that were warming in the fields just hours before supper.

“Flavor — you ask anybody,” Jenkins said. “The stuff I get out of my garden is so much better than the stuff that is three or four days old.”

— Allison Askins

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