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Food ~ Keep It Local! June 4, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Food & Drink, Sustainable Living.
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Eating locally grown food is good for you, good for local farmers and food producers, and good for the planet.

Last December, Sarasota County selected 13 images created by local elementary school students to compile a 2012 calendar designed to remind residents to Keep It Local.

The included artwork depicts farmer’s markets, farm stands, fresh locally grown fruits and veggies ~ corn, melon, carrots, strawberries, sunflowers, bees, ladybugs, oranges, pineapple, bananas, key limes, tomatoes, plums, peaches,  grapes, squash, lettuce, greens, and a thought for each month:

* Eat fresh and support the local economy by purchasing fruits, vegetables, eggs, and dairy products from nearby farms and farmers markets.

* Protect local pollinators by eliminating or reducing pesticide use in your yard.

* Plant an organic garden with plants that are naturally disease and pest-resistant for your area.

* Pack a waste-free lunch.  Use reusable lunch box/bag, cloth napkins, food & drink containers, and real silverware.

* Prepare one vegetarian meal per week.  Vegetables are naturally low in calories and high in nutritional value.

* Visit a local farmer to see where your food comes from.

From the Sarasota County Environmental Services website:

The calendar encourages students and all Sarasota County residents to purchase and eat locally grown and produced food, which is fresher, more nutritious and tastes better.   Buying and consuming locally grown foods also helps support the local economy and reduce waste, while using less energy for packaging and transportation.

The calendar was produced through the county’s Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team (NEST) in cooperation with the Sarasota County School Board.  The calendar is free and features the winning illustrations, along with a thought for the month to encourage purchasing and eating locally grown and produced food.

To learn more about the NEST program, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Rob Wright.

To see more photos of the calendar and its budding artists:  Flickr

Aah . . . that’s better!