The label that tells you it's locally grown
For more than a decade, residents and farmers throughout the Puget Sound region have looked to the Puget Sound Fresh logo to help them find fresh, local food. In addition to providing a label that signals to shoppers that their food is straight from the farm, Puget Sound Fresh also provides an annual print and online directory of regional farms, the services those farms provide and educational materials about farming and its importance for our local culture and economy. The Cascade Harvest Coalition, with support from King County and King Conservation District, created Puget Sound Fresh in 1997 to help local farmers get fresh food onto the shelves of grocers, chefs and local people throughout the Puget Sound region.
“(The program) came out of the recognition that farming was essential to King County and western Washington," said Karen Kinney of the King County Agriculture Program. "The County had made some decisions to help preserve farmland,nbut (they) realized that wasn’t enough -- you have to also market what was being grown and help develop the consumer demand for it.”
Although helping promote local farmers to a broader audience is a large part of what Puget Sound Fresh does, the program also tries to focus on creating partnerships and connections between farmers, businesses and buyers. Their online tool ‘Find a Farm,’ for example, connects people who want good food with people who are working to produce it. You can use this database to find local or specific produce as well as farmers who are using specific growing techniques. This tool is especially helpful for people interested in buying a share in a farm, more commonly known as community supported agriculture. Signing up for a CSA gets fresh food to your plate faster, and provides financial security to local farmers.
Puget Sound Fresh helps people make connections: farmers to the community, families to fresh food and communities with information about healthy, local farms and why they’re vital. And these connections will continue to help build the support systems we need to create vibrant, healthy people, communities and economies.
Why it's Worldchanging:
A thriving local food economy benefits everyone involved. It decreases the miles traveled from field to plate, in turn decreasing the amount of fossil fuels needed for transportation. Knowing where our food comes from helps assure us that what we're getting is fresh and healthy. When our county invests in the local food economy through programs like Puget Sound Fresh, we have the support we need to preserve land and small-scale agriculture for years to come, as well as enhanced community connections to our food and farmers.
Photo Credit: Flickr user Full Circle Farm, CC License
Image Credit: Puget Sound Fresh
This post is part of the series, "Seattle to the World: 100 Best Innovations from the Emerald City."