I’m going to tell you how you can win a prize for “eating local and saving money,” including dinner for two cooked by yours truly. 

First, a few of the steps I’ve personally taken:

  • Know your farmer, even if sometimes she’s your Mamma.
  • Start a wee garden and tend it barefoot.
  • Pick up your CSA share, by self-pedaled wheels.
  • Help your CSA farmer harvest their surplus. Do it for a good cause!
  • Visit your local farmers market.

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Cornell Cooperative Extension is spearheading a unique county-wide campaign called Get Your Green Back. The goal of the campaign is to inspire 42,000 households and every business in Tompkins County, NY to take at least one step to save money and save energy in the areas of food, heating and lighting, transportation, and waste. Guess what the theme is for July and August? FOOD!

Summer brings an abundant harvest and opportunities for affordable and flavorful feasts. This is a great time of year to take a new step to eat local and save:

  1. Shop farmstands–it’s on your way home
  2. Pick your own–picking fruits and vegetables is family fun
  3. Farmer’s markets–did you know you can use WIC and Food stamps?
  4. Go fishing & eat wild
  5. Dine at restaurants serving local food
  6. Create, learn and share recipes that use local food
  7. Preserve the harvest–can, freeze, dry, ferment, pickle
  8. Grow your own–Summer’s the perfect time to start a Fall garden or join a community garden
  9. Share from your garden and cook together
  10. Learn to stretch your food dollar & food stamps
  11. Buy, prepare and preserve in bulk
  12. Plan your recipes around what’s in season
  13. Glean–let no part of the harvest go to waste

These steps can help save money, but eating local brings other benefits as well. Locally grown food is fresh and tastes great. Buying local food supports our farmers and helps retain jobs and create new ones. Currently we spend 10% of our food dollars on local foods. According to Monika Roth, agriculture program leader at Cooperative Extension, “If everyone in Tompkins County bumped their local food spending from 10 to 20% this would generate an additional $20 million in economic value and create hundreds of living wage jobs.”

Learn more and register your step to win local food prizes at GetYourGreenBack.org or call 272-2292.

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