The sustainable pioneers

Even in hard times, the human body deserves the best nourishment. Your article “You Can Have Your All-Organic Cake and Eat It Too” [May 21] did a great service by highlighting how we can continue to benefit ourselves with organic food despite rising prices and a stagnant economy.

Your most important suggestion is to take advantage of the many sources of organically grown food in the Asheville region. Many of the Southeast’s pioneer organic farmers grow food near Asheville. The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association alone [has an] online database of sustainable farms that lists over 40 farms in the area that practice organic-growing techniques. The database, located at www.carolinafarmstewards.org, provides full information on local farms’ production methods, so you can learn exactly what’s going into the food that goes into your body. It also provides details on how and where each farm sells its healthy, environmentally conscious products.

Because these growers are local, their products are fresher, tastier and more nutritious—and compared to the rising costs of today’s globally sourced food, their products are competitively priced. And perhaps most importantly, in the face of recession and climate change, investing our food dollars in these local, organic producers strengthens the local economy and environment instead of those of California, Florida or Argentina.

Twenty-nine local, sustainable farms will be on display and open to the public June 28 and 29 at the 13th Annual Mountain Farm Tour. Sponsored by Greenlife Grocery, the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, CFSA, the Mountain Tailgate Market Association, the Organic Growers School and Slow Food-Asheville, the tour is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to support the farmers who support the western mountains. For more information, visit the tour Web site, www.mountainfarmtour.org.

— Roland McReynolds
Executive Director
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Pittsboro

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