Here are reasons why I love local fruit:
- It’s delicious! It just makes sense that fresh-picked, sun ripened fruit is going to taste better than fruit that was picked early, packed and shipped thousands of miles. Local farms can also grow more delicate, but flavorful, varieties that may not be able to withstand shipping.
- It’s healthy. We feel good about buying fruit directly from the farmer and being able to ask questions about how it was grown.
- It’s thrifty. Even at full price, sustainably grown local fruits in season are usually less expensive than organic fruit and fruit products at the grocery store. It takes a bit of planning ahead, but purchasing a year’s supply of fruit when it is in season will ultimately save you money over the course of the year.
- It’s a great family activity. Our whole family works together to pick and process our year’s supply of fruits. It’s great experience for the kids, and we enjoy working together.
- It’s “green.” We lower our carbon footprint by consuming foods grown locally using sustainable practices instead of those grown using petroleum and chemical heavy practices and then shipped thousands of miles.
- It’s good for our local economy. According to the Virginia Food System Council, if every household in Virginia spent just $10 a week on local Virginia-grown food, $1.65 billion would be kept in our state to support our farmers, fund our schools, and contribute to a healthy local food system. Think what a difference it would make if more people actually relied on local farmers for the main staples of their diet. Farming would become a more viable occupation, and more great food would become available for our communities.
- It brings security to the food system. By strengthening our own small farm based local food system, we take pressure off the shaky industrial scale food system. For example, why should we in Virginia depend on and further deplete the resources of drought stricken California when we can grow the fruits and vegetables our population needs right here?
Now, don’t you want to go pick some berries?