Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Local Cook
Since 1994 a group of Mid-Atlantic small farmers practicing sustainable agriculture have worked together to bring us some of the finest local food products in the Chesapeake Region. Future Harvest-Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture (CASA) is a network in demand these days as fresh, local and safe food issues are in the forefront.
Are you part of the growing interest to find sources of local foods- meat and poultry, dairy products and eggs which are close to home and sustainably raised? The Amazing Grazing directory and website give details of the dairy, meat and poultry as well as places to find the products in the Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia region. The online website is informative and gives resources within each state.
The Future Harvests
Once a year many of us immersed in local sustainably grown food, gather for our reunion and workshops on farm practices within the Future Harvest Conference. This year the meeting landed at the picturesque National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. The meals of the meeting are always eagerly anticipated as it's the time when our local farmers provide their produce, meat, poultry, eggs and cheese even in the depths of winter.
Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture was one of our keynote speakers explaining the new national, "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" Campaign. Kathleen has created this program to help re-connect families to American family farmers as a step to rebuild our food system. This initiative is a new direction for the USDA which historically has put its support behind large industrial farms.
Some of the goals for USDA's new initiative:
- Improved health
- Increased home gardens
- Elevated awareness for our environment
"The more seeds we planted in our garden, the more ideas sparked in other arenas of our lives. As we grew better at the growing side (we now raise over 70% of our own food needs), we became increasingly committed to eating – and living – green."
Lisa Kivirist EAT. DRINK. BETTER. blog