Support Small Maine Farms
Buying Local Supports the Maine Economy
Recently, the “Buy Local” movement has taken hold in New England. Maine Farm Markets may be found in every corner of the state. The energy and fuel issues have the price of food rising. Economic issues have consumers and farmers more than a little worried. Also, America’s weight problem has been the topic of much recent debate. Buying local seems to be at least part of the solution in all these areas.Buying local provides healthier produce to consumers. Most store-bought produce is picked unripe four to seven days before it is shipped and then travels an average of 1,500 miles before it reaches a supermarket shelf. Add this to the genetically modified seeds, chemical bug repellents, and growth stimulant, and today’s store-bought food looks less appetizing as well as less healthy. Locally grown produce does not carry the same problems. Most small farmers do not use chemicals on their crops. Produce is ripened on the plant and is often picked the day it is bought. This means that the produce is fresh, fully developed, and contains more nutrients.The price of fuel that powers farm equipment and is used to ship is still on the rise. This production cost will soon be evident in the prices on store shelves. But these price increases will be less evident in the cost of local meat and produce that are farmed on a much smaller scale, with less equipment and no shipping. Ask us about Maine Vacations or share comments. To feature your Maine business, contact us.
Shop Local: Support Maine Farms
The third largest reason that people are buying local is to support the small farmer. Farming is more of a way of life than an occupation. It is also important to the sight, smell and taste of New England culture. Over the last 100 years large-scale, industrial farming has taken over the industry and put many small farmers under. But the “Buy Local” movement has given farmers a reason and the opportunity to stay in business.
Farmer’s Markets have become a common summer event in most Maine communities. Most markets are held once a week at the same time and place. They provide a venue for area farmers and crafters to get together and sell goods. Consumers can buy a wide variety of fresh, seasonal produce and meet the farmers that grow it. These markets lend to the community atmosphere while supporting the “Buy Local” movement.
CSAs, or Community Supported Agriculture, is a new way to “Buy Local”. People buy a membership from one or more farms involved in the CSA. The membership fees guarantee that the farmer has an income and, in return, members receive a weekly delivery of seasonal produce at an affordable price. There are over 100 farms involved in the program in Maine alone.
Maine also has organizations that focus on buying local. Some of these groups include Eat Local Foods Coalition (ELF), and MFN, Maine Foods Network whose motto is “Fresh From Field to Fork”
Restaurants have also caught on to the movement. Chefs have realized that there is nothing more mouth-watering than the thought of a home cooked meal. The way to achieve this homegrown flavor is to use the freshest ingredients possible. So, to do this, they have gone back to the farmer. Restaurants such as the Academe at The Kennebunk Inn serve incredible food using as many local ingredients as possible.
Through direct contact with farms, restaurants and consumers are able to get fresh, healthy, locally raised meat and produce, and they are supporting their local economy in the process.
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