Support Your Local Farms!

farmfreshriIt’s easy to say “support your local farms.” After all, who wouldn’t agree with this in principle? However, spouting platitudes and actually doing what you say are two very different things.

In Rhode Island, it’s getting a lot easier to support your local farms because, believe it or not, there are so many more of them sprouting up!

The Providence Business News reports these highly encouraging and exciting stats for Rhode Island locavores:

Farming is undergoing something of a renaissance in Rhode Island. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that the number of farms in the state grew 42 percent from 2002 to 2007, compared with a 4 percent growth rate nationwide.

The state is home to 1,219 farms, compared with 858 in 2002. Most are small, part-time operations with about 40 percent earning $2,500 or less in 2007. Nearly 64 percent made $10,000 or less.

Also telling is the number of farms in Rhode Island engaged in agritourism, growing from six in 2002 to 43 in 2007. In total, they generated $689,000 in income two years ago, according to the USDA census.

If you reside in the Ocean State, please visit the Farm Fresh web site and get to know and support some of the more prominent farms in Rhode Island. And beyond that, just take a look around your neck of the woods and see who’s tilling the soil in your area. You’ll feel even better about eating right!

Posted by Joe Paone