Top Ten Reasons
To Buy Local Food from your Neighbors
- Essex County & Merrimack Valley Farmers
- Freshness & Taste - Locally grown fruits and vegetables are usually harvested within hours of being purchased by the consumer. Whether you buy them at a farm stand, Farmers Market or visit a farm and pick them yourself, you will be getting food with exceptional taste.
- Local farmers raise and sell wonderful unusual varieties of products that you will never find on supermarket shelves. That is because local farmers grow for taste not the ability of the product to be shipped great distances.
- Nutritional value declines, often dramatically, as time passes after harvest. Because locally grown produce is fresher, it can be more nutritionally complete.
- With local produce, you can visit farms or meet the farmer face to face at the market. You get to look them in the eye and ask them anything you would like to know about how they grow the products that you are buying. Farms also offer hayrides and festivals to encourage people to spend a day in the country finding the perfect pumpkin, picking the best apples, or just relaxing while munching on a warm cider donut, sweet apple pie and a cup of ice cold cider.
- Local growers live in your community, spend their dollars in your community, hire local workers and their farms help make communities livable. Regional farmers paid over $9.3 million for labor and $1.3 million in real property taxes in 2002.
- Local food supports a clean environment - A well-managed family farm has been handed down from one generation to the next. These farmers value their land, clean water and fertile soil. It takes 87 calories of fuel to move a single calorie of fruit from CA to NY.
- Farmland benefits wildlife - residents get a thrill when they see wildlife that live in the patchwork of fields, meadows, woods, and ponds that farms provide.
- Buying local food preserves open space - You have probably enjoyed driving out into the country and appreciated the lush fields of crops, the meadows full of wildflowers, and the picturesque barns. That landscape will survive only as long as farms are financially viable. When you buy locally grown food, you are doing something proactive about preserving the agricultural landscape.
- Local food keeps your taxes in check - Numerous studies have shown that farms contribute more in taxes than they require in services, whereas suburban development costs more than it generates in taxes, according to several studies. On average, for every $1 in revenue raised by residential development, governments must spend $1.17 on services, thus requiring higher taxes of all taxpayers. For each dollar of revenue raised by farm, forest, or open space, governments spend 0.34 cents on services.
- Local food is about the future - By supporting local farmers today, you can help ensure that there will be farms in Essex County tomorrow, and that future generations will have access to nourishing, flavorful, and fresh food.