Meghan is a Nutrition Education Specialist for DPH.
A local family farm in my community was recently sold. I am upset that the current owners are not actively farming the land. Well, I guess, it is better than razing the land for the development of McMansions.
Every year my family would choose this destination for strawberry picking in June, apple picking in September, and pumpkin picking in October. I was delighted that even though our small community lacked a supermarket, we did have a farm stand. It was my habit, during the warm weather, to stop on my way home every night to select vegetables and flowers for my dinner table. Sometimes I would stop in at the end of my bike ride to check out what was new and to have a friendly chat with the farmers.
Not only did we lose a fabulous asset to our community, we lost a way to connect our children to food. Did you know that some children in Massachusetts think that vegetables come from a factory? My interpretation of this research is that these children have only been exposed to processed foods. It is alarming but true.
I feel that we all have a responsibility to support our local farms. Now, I will need to make an effort to plan my travel to include a brief visit to the neighboring farms. I will be in pursuit of white patty pan squash, antique eggplant, and brandyvine tomatoes.
As summer vacation quickly approaches, I am aware of another negative impact the demise of this family farm will have. Many neighborhood kids don’t have summer jobs; some of them were probably looking forward to working there!
Have you lost a family farm in your community? Please tell us how its loss has impacted you and your family.