Ag in Southeastern Mass Including Bristol, Barnstable, Plymouth, and Norfolk Counties 2,329 farms stewarding over 105,000 acres of land. Market value of ag products sold = $154 Million Value of direct sales to consumers = $5 Million Mass is #2 in Nation for Direct Sales – Farm to Consumer
When is food available locally? Generally, the season runs from June through October Vegetannual Harvest Calendar
What is Sustainable Agriculture? – Satisfy human food & fiber needs – Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends – Make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources
Sustain the economic viability of farm operations Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole
3BL – Triple Bottom Line – 3 Legs of the Sustainability Stool – PEOPLE: Social Equity & Well Being – PLANET: Environmental Health/Protection/ Conservation – PROFIT: Economic Prosperity & Continuity
Industrial Farming/Agribusiness vs. Smaller Family Owned Farms – Massachusetts Farms… Extensive use of pesticides and fertilizers vs. none, moderate, minimal – access to the grower to ask what is used on the crops, safer for farmers/labor External energy inputs – uses more vs. less energy usage, perhaps more likely to utilize EE/RE Cheap labor vs. Few workers, just family, getting paid more/a living wage
Confined and concentrated systems in terms of livestock vs. Free range, grass fed, few animals, little or no use of antibiotics – access to farmer to ask or see what conditions were kept in Bottom Line vs. Triple Bottom Line
Why Eat Local? – HEALTH – ENVIRONMENT – LOCAL ECONOMY
HEALTH Locally grown produce is fresher, has longer to ripen Just plain tastes better & If it tastes better you will WANT to eat it!!! Spend $ on healthy food to stay healthy now – instead of $ on healthcare because youre not healthy later
Stay in touch with the seasons & get to know your neighbors – a connected person is a happy person, is a healthy person! Access to the farm/farmers/growers – you can get connected to where your food comes from Buying Whole Foods (unprocessed) then you need to cook = family dinners! = healthy, happy, connected families!
ENVIRONMENT Travels less Maintain soil nutrients, crop varieties, rotation, grazing Open space – keep farmers farming Maintain our foodshed
ECONOMY Money spent locally stays local and grows exponentially – Local farmers, growers, producers put the money back into the local economy – And so it grows…
Where? – On-line Farm Guide – www.SEMAPonline.orgwww.SEMAPonline.org – Farmers Markets – Farm Stands – CSA/Fs – Local & Independent Grocery Stores – Restaurants & Bakeries – Schools…working on it… – Caterers & Private Chefs – Your Own Backyard! GROW YOUR OWN!
How? – 10% Challenge – Localize Your Favorite Recipes! – Cook with the Harvest Calendar – Farm tours – Family Dinners - http://casafamilyday.org/familyday/ - A DAY TO EAT DINNER WITH YOUR CHILDREN – Monday, September 26, 2011 http://casafamilyday.org/familyday/