Did you know food found at the grocery store travels approximately 1,500 miles before it gets to you? Buying local not only cuts down on the travel time of your food, it also tastes great!
Local produce packs a nutritional punch as it is filled with important vitamins and minerals. Purchasing local can also help save you money. When you buy local, there are fewer costs associated with packaging and travel. Therefore, it can be sold at a lower price!
What Do We Do?
Framingham State University Dining Services is committed to sourcing local food. One of the ways we do that is by taking part in the Massachusetts Farm to School Harvest of the Month program. Each month throughout the semester, a different Massachusetts grown crop is promoted and featured in our menu items. The Harvest of the Month program encourages healthy food choices by increasing students’ exposure to seasonal foods while also supporting local farmers.
What Can You Do?
Buying local is easier than you think! Check out these options found right here in Massachusetts:
- Farmer’s Market – At farmer’s markets, local farmers set up stations filled with recently harvested produce and sell their products to the public. These markets are a great place to meet local farmers and learn more about how your food is grown! At farmer’s markets you may also find local products ranging from jams/jellies to honey to baked goods to maple syrup.
- Pick Your Own – At pick your own farms, the public is allowed to enter a farm and pick their own produce for a price. Typical pick your own crops include apples, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and pumpkins. Depending on the farm, you may be able to pick other popular produce such as nectarines, cherries, peas, peaches and squash.
- Community Supported Agriculture Farms (CSA) – CSA farms allow the public to invest in a local farm and in return enjoy fresh, local produce throughout the summer and fall months. Individuals pay a free to a CSA farm and in return, they receive weekly produce that may include vegetables, fruit, flowers, herbs, meat or dairy. Many CSA farms require shareholders to work a small number of hours on the farm in order to help maintain and harvest the crops.
Massachusetts is home to a multitude of crops during the summer months. Take advantage of all that Massachusetts has to offer by buying local and in season. Check out MassGrown Map to find farmer’s markets, pick your own farms and CSA farms near you!