Homegrown Access: Creative Paths for Local Food Sourcing

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Entrepreneurs are creating novel ways to circumvent the commercial food system that ships food, in or out of season, for hundreds or thousands of miles at the cost of quality and too often, accountability. For example, Re:farm Denver, in Colorado, supplies families with everything they need for backyard gardens, from irrigation systems to seeds. In 2013, 200 families participated.

Cottage food laws allow artisans to sell breads, jams, candy and other foods made in home kitchens. While specific restrictions vary, 42 states have some type of cottage law. Beth-Ann Betz, who bakes sweets in her New Hampshire kitchen, says, “It gives me the option to be independent and selfemployed at 66.”

At the Community Thanksgiving Potluck, in Laguna Beach, California, dinner is shared, not served. For 25 years, those with homes and without, single people, families, city council members and the jobless have gathered to share food and community for the holiday. “It’s a wonderful chaos,” says Dawn Price, executive director of the nonprofit Friendship Shelter. At Bottles Liquor, in West Oakland, California, a banner reads “Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Available Here.” Bottles is a member of the Healthy Neighborhood Store Alliance, an effort of the nonprofit Mandela Marketplace to bring pesticide-free produce to corner stores throughout the neighborhood.

Source: Yes magazine

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