A message from Heather Burger, Executive Director
My own relationship with locally grown food started early with time spent at my grandparent’s home in central Florida, which was surrounded by citrus groves.
Drive just a few miles in any direction and you’d find small family-owned farms where we’d visit to buy a dozen varieties of oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes.
Sometimes we'd pick grapefruit and oranges and the farmers would squeeze juice for us to take home for breakfast. While we waited, my brother and would sit on the open hatch of the family station wagon in the morning sun and peel and eat oranges, our hands getting sticky with juice.
My grandparents have long since passed, but three years ago I was on a beach vacation and made a detour on my drive from the airport to the place that held so many wonderful memories. And it was all gone.
The acres and acres of groves are now mile upon mile of identical subdivisions, strip malls, and fast food. As I headed out I stopped to buy a few things in the local grocery store.
Picking up a lemon I looked at the origin sticker. What do you think it said? “California.” 2,600 miles away from where I stood. Where lemon trees once grew not 5 miles away.
It has been said that food can be either the greatest form of medicine or the slowest form of poison depending on its pedigree.
We make that choice for ourselves and our children. Without a community commitment to local agriculture, your children's children may never have the opportunity to visit the pumpkin patch, or the strawberry fields, or come to Harvest Fair at Johnson Farm.
They may never know the simple pleasure of a meal prepared from locally grown, delicious food
I don’t want that to happen. What we have here is becoming unique. And it’s why I must do whatever I can to support our local agricultural economy, as a consumer, and as an advocate through my leadership at Friends of the Farms.
Please join with me in investing in our future.