Future of Maine Agriculture: Benefits of Buying Local Food

Uploaded by TheUniversityofMaine on 08.03.2012

[music] John Jemison: ÊHi, I'm John Jemison. I work
for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. I'm here today to talk to you a little bit
about local foods. Over the past year, I held 15 focus groups
with farmers. One of the things that farmers are the most excited about in Maine is this
increasing interest in local food. Local food can be procured in lots of different
ways. We can have gardens. We can have... We can go to farmers' markets. We can go to
farm stands. There are lots of different ways that one can get local foods.
If you're interested in knowing more about where you can get local food, the Maine Organic
Farmers and Gardeners Association has a great website with a whole section on local foods
where they list all of the farmers' markets by county across the state of Maine and all
of the community supported agriculture opportunities across the state.
You might be wondering what is community supported agriculture? Community supported agriculture
is a way that farmers and consumers share the risk. Consumers will pay up front for
a share of food. And then, there are lots of different ways that they can get that food
in return. You can go and actually pick up the food at the farm, which can be really
fun. You can see how the season's progressing as you do that.
Some farmers will actually allow people to do some labor on the farm for a reduced farm
share. Other times farmers can set up such systems where you pay some money up front
and you'll, instead of going to the farm, you'll go to the farmers' market and just
pick up that food throughout the course of the year.
A third way that one can do CSAs are... There are increasingly retail outlets that are doing
what they call farm drops, where you can go and pick up your food at a venue in town.
That's beneficial for local business as well as for the local farms in Maine.
There are lots of different ways that one can get local food. Whatever you can do buy
more local food is really beneficial. It will help Maine business. That money stays in the
economy. It's a win/win all the way around. [music]