Throughout the communities where Farmer Foodshare operates, there are farmers, volunteers, home cooks, craftsmen, advocates and families finding innovative ways to share tools and knowledge. They're making it possible for all members of their community to eat well and make positive food choices.
Caswell County is a prime example. New in town? Expect to be invited to a gathering of locals, eating food around a common table. On the second Wednesday of each month, the county offers a free Community Building Lunch made with fresh, local produce at the Cooperative Extension Kitchen in Yanceyville.
“There is a huge need here in Caswell,” says Tammy Carter, president of the Caswell County Local Foods Council. “But there is such a strong network and tight community.”
Then there's the annual Farm Day hosted by the Piedmont Progressive Farmers Group (PPFG), a nonprofit cooperative of farmers within a 75-mile radius of Caswell County. The group’s primary focus currently is pastured, cage free brown eggs, which it aggregates from its members after they have been washed, graded and refrigerated on the farms of the individual members. Many of those eggs are then sold to customers throughout the region through Farmer Foodshare’s Wholesale Market.
“They are hands down the best people to work with,” says David Szczepankowski, director of the Wholesale Market. “Our hope is to support them more.”
PPFG promotes sustainable and diverse farming through education, training, technical assistance, and marketing in an effort to enhance the overall operation of disadvantaged farmers in the Piedmont region.
Its Farm Day offers a forum for connecting local people with local resources on land loss prevention, tax information, USDA programs, and even crop specialization.
Sam Crisp, a member of the PPFG board of directors, is crystal clear about what the group aims to achieve. “There is an opportunity to be innovative even on a small piece of land,” says Sam. “We want to help those who own land in the Piedmont area use it productively and creatively,” he says, “not necessarily the way that land was used 50-60 years ago.”
That's exactly the type of work Farmer Foodshare is honored to support.