According to Hopp, the average meal in the U.S has traveled about 1,500 miles to get to us. Not only does transporting the food require fuel, but production and processing use an astonishing amount too.
Although it may be difficult, if not impossible, for North Country citizens to eat a meal a week from local sources all year round, mostly due to a short growing season, we can supplement our diets with locally produced food for at least part of the year. Planting our own gardens can certainly help, and knowing where to find local food producers might steer us towards accenting our plates with a little local flavor more often. Here are a few places, from smaller, seasonal operations to those that are larger and open year round that can help you to eat local!
Whitefields Farms in Athol is a quaint, family run operation tucked away in the rolling hills of Mountain Road. Don and Michelle Whitefield, who have owned and operated the farm for ten years and have been actively selling for about six, sell a variety of products, from fresh brown eggs, cage-free, all natural chicken and self-raised pigs for roasting and various pork products, to vegetables grown without chemicals, pesticides or fertilizers, Thanksgiving turkeys and even maple syrup.
The Whitefields started off farming and gardening just for the family, and eventually found themselves with a surplus of eggs. They put out a sign for fresh eggs and soon were selling everything their little farm had to offer. Running Whitefields Farms is a labor of love for Michelle, who is also a full time nurse, but it comes with its challenges.
Its a learning curve, admitted Michelle, Every year we say, that didnt work, so we try something different. We also have problems with wildlife coming after the animals.