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For immediate release: April 25, 2013

Jessica Palmer
The Piedmont Environmental Council
Buy Fresh Buy Local Coordinator
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434-977-2033 ext. 24

PEC’s 2013 Buy Fresh Buy Local Guides Sent to Over 67,000 C-Ville Area Homes

The guide continues to promote over 170 local food businesses in the area

As this year's growing season gets underway, the Piedmont Environmental Council's (PEC) Buy Fresh Buy Local guides are reaching every home in PEC’s nine-county region -- about 250,000 homes altogether. PEC mails these guides as a free service, with the goal of further bolstering the local food economy in the region as well as educating consumers. Together, the guides for the Charlottesville area, Loudoun County, and the Northern Piedmont include nearly 600  listings of places where people can buy locally grown food, including markets, farms, orchards, wineries, restaurants and retailers.

In the Charlottesville area (which includes Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson), the guides will be sent to 67,325 homes, and they feature over 170 local food producers and distributors. Among the listings are 73 local farms and orchards, 12 farmers’ markets, 22 specialty food producers, 21 wineries and breweries, 31 restaurants and caterers, and 15 grocers all in Charlottesville and the surrounding area.

Download the 2013 Charlottesville Area Buy Fresh Buy Local guide>>

One of the goals of the Buy Fresh Buy Local program is to educate the public about their food and where it comes from. To help consumers navigate the various labels they see on their food, this year’s guides include a list of definitions of terms commonly used on food labels.  

The guides also encourage consumers to “Ask for Local” when they’re doing the weekly shopping or out for a meal.  “When a customer asks for local products it plants the seed and gets businesses with purchasing power to think about buying locally,” says Jessica Palmer, PEC’s Buy Fresh Buy Local Coordinator.  “By asking for local, the consumer raises the awareness of retailers and restaurants, supports our local producers and drives our local food system forward.”

Exploring the Charlottesville Area

Charlottesville Area’s Buy Fresh Buy Local guide also includes a Travel Map that will take you throughout the region-- stopping at farms that sell onsite with open hours, picturesque orchards, wineries, and farmers markets.  The guide also lists many upcoming food events in the Piedmont region.

PEC’s guides always includes profiles of local food businesses. This year’s Charlottesville area guide features a profile of Planet Earth Diversified -- highlighting Michael Clark’s innovative farming practices. The second profile covers a recent partnership between Rebecca’s Natural Food, Wolf Creek Farm, and Brightwood Vineyard & Farm to start a speaker series this May called “Restoring Local Food Systems.”

Buy Fresh Buy Local is part of a multifaceted effort by PEC to promote local farms and preserve farmland. Among these efforts:

  •     PEC works to preserve farmland in its nine-county region through private land conservation. Currently, over 35,000 acres of prime farm soils in Albemarle and Greene Counties are protected
  •     PEC’s Exploring the Small Farm Dream courses guide participants through a decision-making process about starting a farm-related business
  •     Events like Meet the Farmer Dinners, and participation in the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello, State Fair of Virginia, and other conferences that increase appreciation of local food.

PEC thanks the diverse group of businesses who have partnered to bring the guide to Charlottesville area residents including GM Foundation, and local food industry sponsors including Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Albemarle County, The Market at Grelen, Countryside Organics, Wolf Creek Farm, Farm Credit of Virginia, Rebecca’s Natural Food, Woodson’s Mill, Animal Connection, and Cooper Vineyards.

Learn More on PEC’s Local Farms and Food program>>

Visit PEC’s Buy Fresh Buy Local website >>

View the Charlottesville Area Guide >>



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