Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What are your thoughts on local food?

Hey guys, so one day I was browsing the internet and I found myself checking out Farmie Market's Facebook page. Farmie Market is an online farmers market that delivers food right to your door (pretty awesome, right?) and it got me thinking. So many restaurants in Saratoga highlight local farms on their menu...but why don't ALL restaurants use local ingredients? I thought I'd ask Kelly, coordinator of Farmie Market, what her opinion on the matter is and here's what she had to say... 

Support restaurants that support local farms. You’ll thank me.

Earlier this month I attended the Feast of the Fields, a fundraiser for Saratoga County land trust, Saratoga PLAN. The Feast brings together a host of local chefs to prepare delicious tapas-style meals featuring ingredients from local farms. With menu items including pork with cider bourbon reduction, sweet potato frites with roasted beet ketchup, and apple spice cupcakes filled with vanilla bean custard, this event really is a celebration of the bounty of our local farms.

So, why is it important for Saratoga PLAN to highlight the connection between local farms and local restaurants? Because that beautiful combination is so good in so many ways.

For starters, local food is more fresh and more flavorful. When food comes from across the county instead of across the country, that distance matters. Less travel time means foods are harvested at the peak of freshness, not weeks in advance in preparation for a trip across the country. If you’ve ever had those tasteless cherry tomatoes in your salad, you know what I’m talking about.

Additionally, supporting local farms is good for the environment. Not only does supporting local farms reduce impacts from long-haul trucking, but locally it preserves the open spaces we love. Our local farms are the small farms those corporate mega-farms pretend to be on their packaging. If we want Saratoga Springs to continue to be the “City in the Country”, we need to support our local farms so that they can stay in business and not be chopped up into subdivisions.

Lastly, supporting the local economy should not only go for personal spending, but business spending as well. When local businesses support other local businesses we all win. And that’s especially true of local farms. Cornell University estimates that every dollar you spend with a small farmer multiplies 3-4 times in your local economy. How can that be, you ask? Small farmers aren’t large, distant corporations. When local farmers get paid they don’t pay their shareholders, they pay for feed, equipment, farm workers, and coffee on Broadway.

The Feast of the Fields comes around only once a year. But thankfully, many of our local restaurants allow you to support our local farms year round. Some of my favorite downtown farm to table restaurants include One Caroline Street Bistro, Elizabeth’s Table, Mouzon House, and Comfort Kitchen.

But these are by no means the only restaurants in the Saratoga area where you can enjoy great local farm foods prepared by skilled chefs. Be on the lookout for farm to table restaurants and let them know you appreciate that they support local farms. You’ll be doing your taste buds and our local community a favor.

Kelly Holzworth is the Saratoga County coordinator for FarmieMarket, an online farmer’s market. FarmieMarket coordinators work with local farmers to offer their products to local residents via Shoppers can securely browse and purchase products on-line, without a subscription or commitment, and have the items delivered directly to their home or business. For more information, please contact

1 comment:

  1. Farmie Market delivers to my office building. Feel free to go in on an order with me some week!