Adirondack Harvest makes the connection

Naturally, consumers' reasons for buying local are several, not the least of which is a concern for food safety.

"Knowing where your food comes from gives you a sense of security," said Davis. In addition, she said, buying local supports the well-being of local farmers, something people are making a conscious effort to do in recent years.

"What I truly believe is that local food just tastes better," she added. "It's usually fresher. If you go to the farmer's market, it's probably been harvested that morning or the night before."

Some of the most delicious local produce, such a heirloom fruits and vegetables, are too fragile to be shipped and are only available at local markets, Davis explained.

Though farmers markets serve as the most visible connection between farmers and consumers, Adirondack Harvest has also facilitated relationships between growers and area restaurants. Dozens of chefs throughout the Adirondacks have begun relying more on local farms for vegetables, fruits, and even meat products.

That includes Tucker Farms, which supplies fresh vegetables to restaurants such as the Lake Placid Lodge and the Interlakes Inn. Tucker said Adirondack Harvest has helped strengthen those ties and facilitate similar relationships with other restaurants.

"It's a big thing now to have local on your menu; it's a big draw," said Davis, noting the fascination restaurant patrons have with locally-grown ingredients. "It's a big benefit for both the local farmers and the local restaurants."

To hear more of Matt's interview with Laurie Davis, Adirondack Harvest coordinator, visit the media lounge section of our Web site at www.denpubs.com.

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