Farmer’s markets have become a more common source of food on the tables of Pennsylvanians in recent decades – especially in major cities where urbanites seek fresh fare for a change in menu. To promote the trend on the Internet, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) has created a Good Food Neighborhood to strengthen direct links between consumers and farmers.
The project seeds an online social network to support and spread the direct purchase of farm foods by individuals and groups of consumers and expand the use of farmers’ markets throughout the state, according to Chris Fullerton, PASA director of consumer outreach. “The Good Food Neighborhood will provide a gathering place on the web for people what they know about good food and buying locally.”
A subscription service, the project will allow farmers to tell consumers where they will be selling their farm products, advertise the availability of seasonal varieties, and arrange for delivery of large quantities of food stuffs. The site will also offer a means for more than one family to share the cost of wholesale purchasing for such items as whole sides of beef. The site will offer promotions, feature activities that connect people to sustainable farming, and draw stores, coops and restaurants into the network of consumers who build diets around the freshness and flavor of locally grown foods.
The campaign is the latest effort of the five-year-old non-profit to promote the economic, environmental, and health advantages of filling Pennsylvania tables with more of the products from the Keystone state’s 58,000 farms. With a membership of 4,600, Fullerton says that his members will be helping consumers understand not only the pluses of food growing close to home but also the contributions they make to jobs and income when consumers adopt purchasing practices that help Pennsylvania’s farmers continue to be active stewards of the land.
Source: Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Chris Fullerton
Writer: Joseph Plummer
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