Eating Local is the theme for July and August for Get Your GreenBack Tompkins, a community-based campaign to inspire all 42,000 households and every business in Tompkins County to take at least one step to save energy and money in the areas of Food, Building Heating and Lighting, Transportation, and Waste.
There are many ways to eat local and save. “I pass both Eddydale Farm Market and Earlybird Farm Stand to and from work every day”, says Debbie Teeter from Enfield. “Sometimes I stop at Eddydale in the morning to pick up some fresh, seasonal fruit for breakfast or lunch, and I often stop at one or both on the way home in the evening to get something to add to our dinner table, like tomatoes, summer squash, or sweet corn. Summer is a great time to shop these local markets, because the produce is so fresh and affordable. I’ve gotten to know the owners of both of these businesses and I’m happy knowing the money I spend there helps keep them viable and their land in production.”
Summer offers many ways to eat local and save, including picking your own, shopping at farmers’ markets, learning to preserve food, and even growing your own, as it is the perfect time to start a Fall garden.
These steps can help save money, but eating local brings other benefits as well. Locally grown food is fresh and tastes great. Buying local food supports our farmers and helps retain jobs and create new ones. Currently we spend 10% of our food dollars on local foods. According to Monika Roth, agriculture program leader at Cooperative Extension, “If everyone in Tompkins County bumped their local food spending from 10 to 20% this would generate an additional $20 million in economic value and create hundreds of living wage jobs.”
Learn more and register your step to win local food prizes at GetYourGreenBack.org or call 272-2292.