By Jaye Sudar
Localvores aren′t some new dangerous animal. They are people who choose to shop locally and eat locally grown produce. Jessica Prentice coined the term at World Environmental Day in 2005. The idea is to eat foods from local sources, often within a hundred mile radius, in order to boost the local economy by supporting local agriculture, and to cut down on long distance shipping and the use of non-renewable resources. Eating apples grown in Fruita or peaches from Grand Mesa, is better for us and our planet than eating fruit coming from Japan or South America. These are some small steps to take towards becoming a localvore:
• Choose what is "local" to you, whether it is 50, 100, 150 miles or the borders of Colorado.
• Work into being a localvore slowly. Try to find at least five local items each time you shop.
• Take time to shop wisely. See where your food comes from and what is available.
• It is relatively easy to find Colorado grown produce in stores. Look for the Colorado Proud label at the grocery store on apples, beans, cabbage, cantaloupe, corn, lettuce, onions, peaches, pears, and potatoes. Other Colorado produced foods may have different labels, such as Rusler brand pinto beans, available at Sporleder Feeds in Walsenburg.
Check out this website for more information: www.ag.state.co.us/FoodAgDirectory/COProudCompanySearchResult.asp.
• Shop at local Farmers Markets. We have at least two every summer. Peachtree on Main Street carries fresh produce as well as jams.
• Grow your own vegetables, and share with friends and family. Contact our CSU Extension Agent at 738-2170 for information on starting a garden.
• Talk to Safeway (738-3301), Charlie’s in La Veta (742-3651), Valley Market in Colorado City (719-676-3348), or Papa Joe′s General Store in Gardner (746-0180) and ask them to support locally grown foods. Mountain Harmony (738-2436) carries produce and would appreciate input on what people would like to see in the store.
• Join a local CSA. A CSA is a Community Supported Agriculture Program that works like a co-op. You buy shares, which provides support for the farmers, and provides you with fresh produce. You can find the nearby CSA farms on www.localharvest.org. Our nearest CSA farms are: Greenhorn Acres in Fowler (719-263-4494) and Country Roots Farm (719-948-2206 ) in Pueblo.
Make your own jams, jellies, or preserves. Grab Grandma or Auntie and get them to tell you how they preserved foods. Learn to can, freeze or dry local produce. Visit the library and check out the 640s section.
Patronize local vendors. Visit the many small shops in Huerfano County that stock locally produced jams, hand lotions and jellies.
Remember too, that shopping locally helps everyone. Spending your paycheck within our county stimulates our economy. A dollar spent here generates $7 for our economy. A dollar spent in Pueblo generates $5 for Pueblo’s economy. There may be more variety out of town, but shopping here helps increase demand for more here. Being a localvore helps everyone. When you find a great source for locally grown foods or if you produce items yourself, share it with the Huerfano Journal. We are actively compiling a list of local vendors and contacts. Help our communities. Share what you know.