Making the Farm-to-Table Connection
Activities to help you learn where your food comes fromBy FamilyFeatures
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From the food on your table to the clothes on your back, agriculture provides a variety of things you eat, wear and use daily.
Each American farmer feeds about 165 people, according to the Agriculture Council of America, an organization comprised of leaders in the agriculture, food and fiber communities dedicated to increasing public awareness of agriculture’s role in modern society. Here are several activities to help you support your local farmers and learn more about how the agricultural industry affects your daily life.
1Visit a farmers market The markets that aren’t already open year-round typically kick off this month or May. They provide a perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with the people who grow your food. Prices are usually competitive with grocery stores or better, and food samples are often provided free.
2Make a farm-to-table meal Making a meal together is a tried-and-true way to spend quality time with your family, but you can also turn it into an opportunity to talk about where food comes from by using seasonal produce found at your local farmers market.
3Tour a local farm or dairy Taking a tour of a farm or dairy can provide a better understanding of how food and fiber products are produced. Make it a group outing with friends or family to help more people see the process food goes through from production to sitting on store shelves. Many North Carolina farms open their farms to the public for special events in April and May. Check the calendars of your local newspaper, magazines, and visitor center.
4Support farm and food initiatives The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 created reform for U.S. Department of Agriculture programs through 2023. To get more hands-on, you can contact your legislators to show support for farming initiatives like local FFA and 4-H programs, as well as those that can help improve opportunities for farmland leasing and subsidies.
5Volunteer at a community garden Many cities and neighborhoods, even those in more urban areas, provide plots of land community members can use to grow food for themselves or to donate within the community. Consider setting aside some time each week to give back by cleaning out flower beds, laying mulch or planting flowers and crops.
This month: Piedmont Farm TourYou can visit a slew of operations on the Piedmont Farm Tour, where you can meet farmers, tour their farms, pet baby animals and enjoy delicious produce and meat. The tour, set for April 25–26, connects friends, families, neighbors, and customers to more than 30 local farms across Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Guilford, Orange, Person, and Wake counties. The farms are open 2–6 p.m. You choose the farms you wish to drive to using a map. Car passes are good for both days. To learn more, visit carolinafarmstewards.org or call 919-542-2402.
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