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Supporting the local food process

Asgaard Farm is just one of many local farms providing fresh products. (Provided photo — Diane Chase)

Listen, I like my avocado toast just like the next overprivileged person. I could eat an avocado a day. If there was a reason for me to move to a warmer climate, it would be to have avocado trees and perhaps mangos, but mostly avocados.

Though I do buy local food and grow a few necessities, I am in no way providing for a fraction of what my family consumes. The one thing my family does at least three to thirteen times a day, is to eat. We are mindful of our expenses but we do have our treats when we can (avocados). We can’t always buy what we want when we want it and a pandemic has really driven the lesson home.

I don’t want to forget during times of stress and need I did not seek advice or products from every online store. I sought out local sources whether business, friend or farm. A local source almost always came through or we discovered we were fine to go without. I forged connections that will continue with or without a pandemic.

Recently my daughter and I helped pass out free dairy boxes through the Farm to Families project and I had a chance to speak with some of the local farmers. It was inspiring. The dedication it takes to be a farmer, whether the farm provides dairy, meat, or vegetables isn’t something to be taken lightly. Being able to see their milk handed out and so greatly appreciated by the consumers was met with such pride. I was given a brief working dairy farm tutorial and encouraged by the conversations surrounding the continued need to connect farms on local levels.

Of course, small farms have been connecting our communities for centuries. Locally we have weekly Farmers’ Markets (check out AusableValleyGrangeFarmersMarkets.com) and Adirondack Harvest’s (AdirondackHarvest.com) local food sources. ADKAction.org used local farm products to create over 2,300 Emergency Food Packages through the Hub on the Hill Farmacy. Lake Placid’s Green Goddess Natural Foods, Saranac Lake’s Nori’s Village Market and Tupper Lake’s The ADK Hub are just a few grocers providing local, organic and natural food to local people. Each place provides a different opportunity to connect ourselves through our community and our food.

Similar to my family, people don’t have to be completely local food exclusive. We try to make easy, small changes to our shopping. We continue to replace mass products with local ones. We know we can always do better. I hope others have found through this paring down of needs versus wants, their support for local farmers continues to grow. Thank you to all the farmers for providing food and supporting our communities.

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