4 ways to help support local farmers
1. Shop your local farmer's market.
2. Read the labels on the produce you buy at the store. See where it is coming from before you buy— if it's a couple states away, chances are your produce won't be very fresh. And also think about the gas and pollution wasted on getting to you!
4. Stop at a roadside farm stand. Whenever we are on vacation, it seems like there are handfuls of roadside farm stands. This is a great way to get fresh, local produce at a great price! (Not to mention avoid fast food restaurants when on the road.)
Behind the Scenes: New Sprout Organic Farm in Asheville, NC
There aren't many things better than produce straight from the farm. That's why I get excited when the weekend rolls around I can hit the farmer's market for some of my favorite fruits and veggies. Over the years, I have yearned to actually get on a farm and appreciate the work and beauty of produce being plucked from the ground.
In November, my family and I embarked on a 10 day road trip through the Carolinas to do just that— visit some farms and experience the farm to table movement.
New Sprout Organic Farm won my heart quickly when I read about their method of organic farming:
Rather than fighting against Mother Nature, our methods of growing work in harmony with nature to produce nutrient rich and delicious fresh food.
New Sprout Organic Farm was started by Michael Porterfield, who began farming in order to be able to spend more time with his children. What started as a hobby quickly grew into a passion for agriculture. Michael continues to manage all growing and business operations, and still has the opportunity to work with his children on the farm.
Michael and his business partner Allen, gave us a wonderful tour of their offices and packing facility. They helped me understand why buying local produce can cut the carbon footprint dramatically— it's incredible how much gas is wasted driving produce across the country rather than tapping into local farms.
After the tour, my family and I were given free roam of the farm. We hopped in the car and headed down a dirt road, past an old silo and into fields of leafy greens. It was a green smoothie lovers heaven!
I think my excitement was contagious because the kids were squealing and trying to jump out of the car before we even stopped. Once we planted our feet on the ground and began walking through the fields, a sense of peace came over me. It was such a beautiful farm— you could tell these farmer's loved what they did. The rows were beautiful, the produce looked great and the variety was amazing.
It takes a small village to run a farm like New Sprout Organic Farm. They are committed to bringing their customers high quality organic produce. By focusing on local farm partners, they are able to get fresh produce to their destination in a timely fashion. Farming close to where the produce will be delivered saves valuable energy, reduces pollution and provides a fresher, healthier product for customers. It makes so much sense and really opened my eyes.
The picture above is the farmers and partners of New Sprout Organic Farm in Asheville, NC.