- Local food tastes better! Without a doubt there is no comparison between fresh produce picked within a few hours of eating it and the fruits and vegetables that are shipped in from 100s and 1000s of miles away. No matter how good it looks, produce wrapped in plastic at the supermarket is not fresh. Have you ever had a freshly picked tomato or corn on the cob purchased at a farm stand or a farmers market or your own garden? Then you know this already. If you want full flavor, buy freshly harvested local produce!
- Local food actually has better nutrition! If you are trying to eat better you really should get the maximum amount of vitamins and minerals from your food as possible. One of the reasons local produce has higher nutritional value is because of its freshness. The longer it takes to get the food from the farm to your table, the more nutritional value seeps away.
- Local food is grown by one of your neighbors. You can be aware of the growing practices on that nearby farm and your local farmer really wants to make sure you are pleased with the quality of what he produces. Yamhill Valley Grown visits each Producer and a blog is written about the farm, its products and the growing practices. This lets you know what kind of food you can expect during the growing season and what methods the farmers use for pest and weed control.
- Local farmers respect nature’s diversity. Many offer heirloom varieties for fruits and vegetables and heritage breeds for meat animals. The foods you find in most supermarkets are, in comparison, hybrid varieties that were bred to produce similar results time and time again, with the optimal requirement being the ability to travel to market, not flavor. Expect food purchase from Yamhill Valley Grown producers to have flavors that explode on your tastebuds! Be brave! Explore the varieties that will be available.
- Local farms protect the environment. The farmers here have a very conservative attitude to land conservation, and rightfully so. If they don’t take care of their acreage, it will fail to produce the food they want to grow. We are so very lucky in this area to have so many small family farmers who understand that we are part of nature, not its controller. With careful use of safe methods, they can work with natural pests, predators and weeds to produce food that will be safe without toxic chemicals. They also use careful land preparation methods to avoid soil erosion and help amend the soil naturally to replenish it with nutrients that will pass into your food the next growing season
- Local food purchases help the local economy. When we purchase food through Yamhill Valley Grown the farmers are receiving a fair price for their labor and the costs they experience to bring that food to us. When all those dollars stay right here in our area, the farmers are then in the financial position to also make purchases right here. Compare to a local farmer who might be happy to have a contract providing food to a local grocery store. Chances are their wholesale price to that market may be pennies above their costs with no pay for their time. And if you think their time is not valuable, consider how you would feel if you had to work 365 days a year and long hours most of those days. Helps put it in perspective.
- Local food brings you a connection to the soil. Way back when we all had to grow our own food. As cities grew, jobs became more specific but even as recently as World War II most people knew their farmer, the person who sold them food. Now, many of our children and even many adults have no idea what their food looks like before it appears wrapped in plastic in the supermarket. When presented with fresh peaches, some children had no idea what they were because they were used to eating canned peaches. The local farms invite visitors to come and see their animals, their fields and more. Many hold special open houses. Please call to make an appointment if you want to visit.
- Local food can be purchased in bulk for food preservation. When you can obtain fresh fruits and vegetables in season you know how much better they taste than the off season varieties that are available in the supermarket. Learn to can or freeze or dry fresh produce and you can enjoy the local products even out of season. You also will wisely build up a supply of food in your home in case there is another winter storm or another reason why you can’t get to the supermarket.
- Local food grows on land that pays more in taxes than what it needs in services. If you live in town you pay so much in taxes, but you also are provided services like police and fire, education for the community’s children, a library, parks and so much more. Farmland generally pays a slightly lower tax rate but the residents receive much fewer services than a prorated share would be.
- Local food is an investment in the future of Yamhill Valley. We believe this area will remain one of the verdant abundant growing areas of the country but it takes us, as consumers, to support the farmers who grow for us now. This will encourage young people to take on the time honored role of food producer and continue to feed our children and grandchildren.
To find out how you can get fresh local food delivered to your door, go to Yamhill Valley Grown and begin to eat with gusto!