September 16, 2009, Oneonta Daily Star: 'Buy Local' initiative seeks to aid farmers

'Buy Local' initiative seeks to aid farmers

By Mark Boshnack
Staff Writer
link to article is here:

Helping area farmers can be as easy as making a trip to the right food retailer, two people involved with a local initiative said. Two organizations have declared September "Buy Local Month in the Catskills," to help make an impact.

The event is sponsored by Pure Catskills, an economic initiative of the Watershed Agricultural Council, and Farm Catskills, a grass-roots organization based in Delaware County that is dedicated to strengthening sustainable communities in a working landscape, officials said.

The month is intended to raise the community's awareness of the importance of buying local, Farm Catskills board member Amy Kenyon said.

"We are not asking people to spend more money (for the cause)," said Tara Collins, communications director of WAC. But the groups are asking residents to make a pledge that they will spend a certain amount on local-grown food for a definite amount of time. If 1,000 people spend $10 a week on local produce for a year, that would infuse the local economy with $500,000, Collins said. Studies have shown this money will circulate three to seven times in the area, she said.

"That is really the key to bolstering the local economy while benefiting farm families," she said. It may be easy at this time of year, but some wonder how to keep the trend going in the winter months, she said. This can include purchases of honey, maple syrup, eggs and cheese from local producers.

More information on where to buy local products is available at

Collins said some of the larger grocery stores, such as Hannaford, are making it easier to buy local products by identifying them in the store.

More then 150 people have signed up at previous events, said Kenyon.

Pledge cards are available online at or at several local food retailers, including Good Cheap Foods in Delhi, Green Earth in Oneonta, Lucky Dog Farm Store in Hamden, Masonville General Store and Pepacton Natural Foods in Downsville.

Information is also available about the month at several area events including: 9/20 _ Susquehanna Garlic Festival, Wood Bull Antiques, Milford; 9/26 _ Cauliflower Festival, Margaretville; 9/27 _ Scarecrow Festival, Stamford; and the Franklin Farmers' Market on Sundays through October.

Tickets are also available at participating food stores for two showings of the film "Food Inc.," also being sponsored by the initiative as part of the "buy local" month.

The movie lifts the veil on the results of corporate control of the nation's food industry, according to a release from Farm Catskills.

It will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Southside Cinema in Oneonta, and Sunday at the Walton Theater.

Tickets are available at participating retailers or by calling Liz Searles at 278-5427.

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