Being such a productive country, we have a consistent food supply chain. But do you ever wonder how many farmers there actually are? According to the EPA, there are about 960,000 farmers and about 2.1 million farms in the United States. That means that %1 of our population grows enough food to feed us all (apart from the food we import from other countries)! That must require a lot of capital, hard work and dedication.
In 1935, there were over 6.5 million farms. Today’s farmer is much more efficient than farmers in the past. They basically do more with less. So one might assume that they must be making huge sums of money, right? After all, there’s less of them than ever before, and our population keeps growing and growing. Unfortunately, this is not the case. 75% of farms gross less than $50,000 a year. So the institution of farming is on the decline yet we all must eat. So what can we do to ensure we always have fresh local produce available year after year, generation after generation?
During a trip to Hawaii last year, I ate so much local food, and without a doubt they were some of the best meals I’ve ever had. The vegetables were crisp and juicy. The meats were lean. After I ate, I was refreshed and full of energy. I didn’t realize until then just how poor quality most of the food I eat really is. Simply put, I was in food heaven. But you don’t have to go to Hawaii to get the very best. We have it all available right here underneath our feet.
A great way to start discovering the local flavor is to seek out a local farmers market. All it takes is one visit and you will discover a world of super fresh, locally grown produce. The SEMAP Farmers Market Map is a great way to start your search. By purchasing directly from the farmer, your purchase is not only supporting our current farmers and local agricultural economy, but also ensuring their future success. And lets not forget–local foods are fresher and just taste better, than produce imported from large-scale farms in other parts of the county or world!
Second, check out the SEMAP harvest calendar! Now you know exactly what you should expect before every visit.
And third, go! Get out of your rut and discover something new. Discover what the SouthCoast really has to offer! I promise you will be surprised and impressed. And after your done, don’t forget to let your friends and family know about your experience. And while you’re at it, let us know too, in the comments area below.