OUR FARMS YOUR FOOD
Americans rely on others to produce and supply their food, and are interested in where their food originates and:
- Conditions and locale under which it is produced
- Availability, quality and price
Conscious of local “foodsheds” and agriculture’s role in providing food to the East Coast, the Lancaster County Agriculture Council’s mission is to “strategically cultivate, coordinate and celebrate Lancaster County agriculture and its global impact.” Education is just one aspect of the Ag Council’s efforts. Defined as everything between where a type of food is produced and where it is consumed, a foodshed includes the:
- Land it grows on
- Route it travels
- Markets it is sold in
- Tables it graces.
The term was first used in the early 20th century to describe the global flow of food. Foodshed has recently been revived to discuss local food systems and efforts to create more sustainable ways of producing and consuming food. Workable, sustainable foodshed mappings take into account:
- Time and ease of travel
- Density of population
- Where and how natural water sources travel
- The innate productivity of land.
You can see Lancaster County’s preliminary foodshed map at http://www.ourfarmsyourfood.com/foodshed
A variety of new distribution systems such as community-supported agriculture (CSA) projects and traditional venues such as farmers markets bring consumer and producer closer together.
This term means that the food on the table came directly from a specific farm. Anyone using the phrase “farm-to-table” should be able to name the specific farm(s) from which they are sourcing.
COMMUNITY-SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE (CSA)
A food production and distribution system that directly connecting farmers and consumers.
- Consumers buy “shares” in a farm’s harvest in advance
- Farmers have a guaranteed market for their produce
- Consumers enjoy overall lower food costs, field-fresh produce, and greater access to high-demand fruits and vegetables
- More information at http://www.pasafarming.org/
THE PENNSYLVANIA BUY FRESH BUY LOCAL®
Is a program celebrating regional foods such as heirloom tomatoes, farmstead cheeses, varietal wines, pasture-raised lamb, crisp apples; the abundance and diversity of foods available is truly inspirational.
- Makes it easier for consumers to find, choose, and appreciate great local foods
- Supports local farmers
- Keeps local farmland economically viable
- More information at http://buylocalpa.org/lancaster
Farmers and other agriculture producers want to be good partners in these emerging partnerships.
- The Lancaster County Agriculture Council fully supports the Lancaster Buy Fresh Buy Local movement…
- Best management practices regularly used by Lancaster County farmers support the overall mission of the sustainable agriculture system… promoting profitable farms that produce healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment.
- Local food producers use a variety of non-traditional practices, encouraging animal welfare and sustainable environmental goals.
- Many agricultural operations offer tours and educational opportunities for the general public.
OUR FARMS…YOUR FOOD
The Lancaster County Agriculture Council recently unveiled the “Our Farms…Your Food” campaign offering consumers ways to find out more about the connection between Our Farms and Your Food… http://www.ourfarmsyourfood.com/