You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Local food efforts growing


Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Montgomery County Food Summit to learn about the local foods effort in our area. It was a great opportunity to network and talk to others about local foods and the benefits to our community.

Eating locally grown food is not totally new. However, in recent years, there has been a greater push and more emphasis on buying locally to support the community; this effort includes foods grown and raised in our communities.

Getting the local foods effort up and running is challenging but rewarding in many ways. There is a lot of communication and partnering that has to take place for the local foods efforts to be successful.

You need a producer who is willing to take the risk and invest in growing or raising the food. For instance, if a farmer wants to grow lettuce year round, it takes a significant investment in a hoop house and the material necessary to grow through the winter.

Then you need a market. If consumers aren’t making the commitment to purchase locally grown produce, then the grower has no market.

The rewards include economic development, food that tastes better and is fresher, you know where your food is being produced and how, and many other positive benefits.

Local foods is also about getting our youth involved in gardening and growing in order for them to understand where their food comes from and to encourage healthy eating habits.

There were speakers from schools who were very successful in farm and food programs sharing their inspiring stories.

The local foods effort is about growing the economy. If a community can create these partnerships and encourage people to buy locally, then the money stays in the community. In addition, as business grows, more jobs are added.

Ohio State University Extension is at the table and helping to lead the local foods effort. As one of our Signature Programs, local foods is about bringing stakeholders together and working through the barriers that prevent people from purchasing local.

One of my favorite stories is about a school district up north. When they met to discuss the barriers to the school buying local produce, it was discovered that a simple change of wording in the contract allowed the school system to purchase locally.

The old contract stated “Idaho” potatoes and “iceberg” lettuce. We don’t grow these in Ohio; therefore, when they changed the contract to reflect the varieties grown in Ohio, the school began to purchase these items from local growers.

At the summit, they challenged all of us to commit to spending at least 10 percent of our grocery bill locally. I took that challenge.

I am pulling together stakeholders in Clark County this month to discuss the potential for a local foods initiative in our area. It’s essential to start like this to discuss barriers and possibilities and how to break those barriers to make it work.

If you are interested in a similar effort in your community, contact your local Extension office to help put you in touch with the people who can get you started.

I could go on and on about the inspiring presenters at the summit. Anyone who has their own garden knows that growing isn’t always easy. I encourage you to help out any local growers and purchase their goods.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

What’s under your feet at the playground?
What’s under your feet at the playground?

The playground: a universal source of fun for children. It’s also a place to burn calories, make new friends and develop skills like how to judge risks and make decisions. A good playground challenges and engages children but is also designed to keep them safe. One of the best ways to lower the chances of serious injuries is to make sure there...
Nurse midwives help women beyond childbirth
Nurse midwives help women beyond childbirth

Stacy Hudepohl hopes to expand the perception that certified nurse midwives simply exist to help women through natural childbirth. “A midwife is very similar to a nurse practitioner in that we care for women throughout their entire lifespan,” said Ms. Hudepohl, a certified nurse midwife, who practices with the Center for Women’s Health...
Biking, blading and boarding? Protect yourself
Biking, blading and boarding? Protect yourself

With spring in full swing, you’re probably heading outside with your friends and family to spend time bicycling, in-line skating or skateboarding. But before you head outside, make sure you take a few safety precautions to avoid common problems that will land you in the ER. “Each year we see injuries associated with biking, in-line skating...
New ‘oldest person in world’ is 117, explains secret to longevity
New ‘oldest person in world’ is 117, explains secret to longevity

Violet Mosse-Brown of Jamaica is officially the oldest living person in the world, at 117 years of age. Mosse-Brown earned the title after the death of Emma Morano of Italy, who died earlier this week at 117 years, 137 days old. Mosse-Brown has a simple secret to her longevity. “Really and truly, when people ask what me eat and drink to live...
Police officer helps boy tie necktie in heartwarming viral photo
Police officer helps boy tie necktie in heartwarming viral photo

A police officer is going viral after teaching a boy how to tie a tie when he was “too embarrassed” to ask for help. X’zavier was at the Indiana Statehouse recently to receive the “Youth of the Year” award from his local Boys and Girls Club, according to Inside Edition. X’zavier was escorted to the ceremony...
More Stories