Most weeks on Growing Local, we talk to farmers, chefs, and educators who are working to improve the local food system. But there’s another important link in the food chain—the community members who support local food.
We wanted to know what motivates people to eat local, so earlier this fall, we invited people to share their stories at ASAP’s Local Food Experience event. Debbie Resnick was one of the first people to volunteer to be interviewed. She’s lived in Asheville with her family for about three years.
“One of the things I love about this area is all the wonderful local food and the commitment that people seem to have to that here. It’s easy it is to find whatever you need,” she says.
Before moving to Asheville, Debbie and her family lived in Chicago. While they noticed some local food efforts in the city, Debbie says it was different from the local food movement they found when they moved here. “They do have farmers markets and in Chicago, which is really cool. They’ll come in to some of the neighborhoods, but those farmers are driving a long way to come in and you don’t have the connection to the farm. To go out and visit one of those farms would be hard,” she says.
Now that they live in Western North Carolina, Debbie regularly visits local farms with her kids. She has a daughter who is 13-years-old, and twin 10-year-old boys. She says visiting farms has helped them connect with their food and get to know the farmers that grow it.
“We’ve met people here that have made our access to local food even greater. For example, we have a friend who is raising poultry, mostly ducks and chickens and geese. It’s called The Ruby Roost. I bring my kids out there and it’s a wonderful place out in Marshall. It’s beautiful and we like to go in the spring to see all the baby chicks. So that’s a local food connection that’s really close and tight it’s nice to know the people that are raising the food that you’re eating,” she says.
While it’s always fun to see the baby chicks, there are some greater life lessons that Debbie wants to share with her kids. “One of the things that we try to teach them is just the idea that that food comes from someplace—it’s not just some wrapped thing in the grocery store. They have so much more appreciation for where our food comes from and the quality.”
Now Debbie’s kids urge her to buy local when she does the family shopping. “We started teaching them and now they’re teaching us.”
Do you support local food? If you shop at farmers markets, visit farms, or eat at restaurants that source locally, you’re helping to support the local food movement.
We’ll meet more community members in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, tell us how you’ve made local food part of your life. We post photos and links to Growing Local episodes on our social media pages. Search for ASAP Connections on Facebook and Instagram to connect with other local food supporters and share your story. You can hear nearly 150 episodes of Growing Local on our website www.asapconnections.org