Benefits of Supporting Your Local Farmers

Eating local is all over the news lately and this is a good thing. America's farms are dying and it isn't even a slow death. It seems that more and more farmland is being turned into housing or strip malls. The farms that feed most American's are massive operations that grow just one crop and these farms are frequently under the control of huge food companies. That isn't what most people think of when they think of a farm. Supporting your local farmers is a great way to bring back some of how farms used to be, but there are many more benefits as well.

The typical farm that provides fruits and vegetables for their local community is fairly small compared to the farms that feed the nation. Because of this small scale operation these farms are typically not going to be using the large scale pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers and many of them are farming organically. Local farms typically grow many different kinds of crops, frequently providing the rotation needed to benefit the soil and the plant without all the chemicals of the larger monoculture farms.

By supporting your local farms and farmers you are keeping your food dollars in your community. Do you realize that most of the food in the grocery store comes from just a small handful of farms? These few farms that provide the needed ingredients for the processed foods in the grocery store get very little of the money you spend on groceries. The money paid goes to pad the wallets of executives of these corporations - while their farmers struggle to pay their bills and put food on their own tables. By purchasing your fruits, vegetables and many other items from your local farms you are helping those farmers provide for their families.

These huge farms providing the corn, soy and wheat that American's eat so much of typically use genetically modified seeds. These seeds are not good for you, but yet most of our food is being grown from these seeds. A small farm isn't going to be purchasing these GMO seeds. In fact many small farmers use heirloom seeds which will give the consumer a wider range of better tasting foods.

When you purchase foods locally you are also reducing the carbon emissions required to get those foods to your table. This can have a large impact on the environment. Purchasing a food that traveled just five miles from the ground to the table, compared to thousands of miles for those same foods bought in the grocery store is a small step with a huge impact on the planet.

Purchasing foods local to you also means you are getting more nutrients from the foods. Each day after a food is picked from the tree or vine, it loses vitamins and minerals. For a tomato to travel from California to where I am in Ohio it has to be picked while it isn't even ripe yet (meaning it doesn't have as many nutrients to begin with), artificially ripened on a truck while it travels cross-country, and finally after a few days to a week it is placed in my produce department. That tomato isn't going to be nearly as good for me as the one that was picked down the road that very morning.

Locally grown foods taste better than store bought. For the same reasons that they lose nutrients, they lose flavor too. If you don't believe me then try your own taste test. Sometime during the summer, buy a tomato from the farmer's market and then buy a tomato from the grocery store. Do a taste test yourself and see the difference.

In the summer and fall it is easy to find locally grown foods because farmers markets are aplenty in most areas. You can find locally grown and raised foods year round though by looking on the Eat Wild website as well as the Local Harvest website. If you haven't purchased from local farmers before they typically offer much more than fruits and vegetables. We have purchased meats, eggs, cheeses, honey, bread, jams and more from farmers near us. Supporting your local farmers is a wonderful thing to do and I highly encourage it.


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Comments 18 comments

Daddy Paul profile image

Daddy Paul 6 years ago from Michigan

You bet. I like to buy my apples, cider and eggs from the farmers on the way home from work. They taste better. I grow my own veggies. They are the best.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

It just makes so much sense and for so many, many reason as you wrote. I can't imagine buying apples from the supermarket but I will make my way down to the farmer's market on Sat. where all sorts of magnificent - and definitely tastier foods are sold - even yogurt, herbs, and baked goods. Yes, even here in Brooklyn, NYC we are very serious about quality food and supporting all local farmers who come here year round no matter the weather - they deserve our support.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois

I love going to the farmers market in the summer. Also lots of times they have homemade jams and jellies as well.


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 6 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thank you for your hub on benefits of supporting our local farmers, it make sense to me. thank you for sahring. godspeed. creativeone59


Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

We don't have many stands offering "fresh produce" around here from local farms (maybe I haven't been looking???) but where I used to live that's how you bought a large majority of your groceries...especially if you didn't want to insult your neighbors!!! Important subject matter here, Jennifer! Thanks for a great and tasty hub!


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 6 years ago from Alberta, Canada

Great Hub! You are so right...the produce definitely tastes better from the garden than from the store. I am planning on having a market garden this year, and am very hopeful people in my community will buy from me.

I agree with your comment about the big gardens using pesticides and herbicides...and we ingest that every time we buy from the store. I'm sure that plays a big part in why there is more cancer now than ever before.


robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey

I'm a total locavore and patronize farm markets all season long-- I also buy grain fed beef and organic free range chicken from a local farmer-- more expensive and I eat meat less often, but soooooo much better and sooooo worth it. Thanks for getting the word out and for all the good information


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Definitely. we should all buy just from the local farmers. Thank you for your positive hub.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

Excellent hub on something more and more people are beginning to realise. Buy local. It's got to be good.


Cedar Cove Farm 6 years ago

Excellent article, my friend! What you have described is the difference between "agribusiness" and "agriculture". Agribusiness has used the assembly line mentality to their production at the detrement to our families. Good work.


Earthbeat 6 years ago

Your article is great, and very timely. This last week there were news reports about genetically modified corn acting as a poison, and CSI Miami had a show in which people died as a result of genetically modified vegetables.

Apart from the pros and cons of genetically modified foods, more and more people, myself included, appreciate the growing movement to buy from local small farmers who grow organically. It's good for the economy, as well as health.


joyceann0129 profile image

joyceann0129 6 years ago from philippines

great share^^


Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

Totally agree with you! Great article and hope everyone will help support their local farmers and try growing a few of their own fruits and vegetables.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

We have a local farmers market in our community, as most communities do, and I have been making it a habit to get more and more of my produce from them. They are reasonably priced, and even comparably priced, and I know that for the most part, the food is wholesome.

Not that I don't think that there's a place for big business in farming. There are a lot of arguments for that as well. But buying anything local has great benefits. I try to do extend my buying local practice to other businesses as well. The more money you spend locally stays local and gets respent locally helping boost the community even more.

In theory, more of your dollars spent at a local family restaurant will stay in the area than the money you'll spend at a McDonald's restaurant.


proudgrandpa 6 years ago

You have struck a chord, and a good one Jennifer,

We have a locally grown section in our Supermarket here in Charlotte, NC. I buy their stuff every chance I get for all the reasons you gave. The most important take away I got from your hub is that if food lacks taste and nutrients, Why bother?

Thanks. NEIL


2patricias profile image

2patricias 6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

We are really lucky. We have a weekly farmers' market at a neighbouring village, and a fishermans' co-operative shop about 3 miles away.

When we can't buy local we try to buy organic.


GojiJuiceGoodness profile image

GojiJuiceGoodness 6 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

Good tips. thanks for sharing!


LMScott 6 years ago

Good topic, we have exactly the same problems in the U.K. unfortunately our country is over run by greed and sharp practices, some actually U.S. imports.

A present problem is Supermarket prices to farmers, but I fail to see why the country who founded the Cooperative movement does not do it again with their own Wholsale buying and selling, thus taking the Supermarkets out of full control of their products.

Fresh farm food and local market products are far superior to Supermarket food in general, but local shops and markets are losing out all the time, although you can not beat dealing with the people who bred or grew your food and brought it directly to you without additives to keep it from going off at all, goodness knows what they are adding to milk to keep it useable for months.

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