For immediate release: May 6, 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 72,000 Northern Piedmont Homes

The guide continues to promote over 200 local food businesses in the region

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 Northern Piedmont, Loudoun County, and the Charlottesville area include nearly 600 listings of places where people can buy locally grown food, including markets, farms, orchards, wineries, restaurants and retailers.

In the Northern Piedmont (which includes Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange, and Rappahannock Counties), the guides will be sent to 72,837  homes, and they feature over 200 local food producers and distributors. Among the listings are 135 local farms and orchards, 11 farmers’ markets, 27 wineries and distilleries, 17 restaurants and caterers, and 18 grocers all in the Northern Piedmont. The guide hit the Post Office last Friday, so residents in this region should have received the 2013 guide in their mailboxes over the weekend weekend or early this week.

Download the 2013 Northern Piedmont 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 Northern Piedmont
The Northern Piedmont’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 larger region and information on the formation of a regional “Slow Food” chapter.

PEC’s guides always includes profiles of local food businesses. This year’s Northern Piedmont guide features a profile of Pannill’s Gate Farm -- where Patty and Scott Johnson raise grass-fed beef cattle in harmony with the land they rely on. The second profile highlights Fauquier Hospital’s work to include more local food on their menu -- a menu that not only draws patients and hospital employees, but the general public as well.

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 86,000 acres of prime farm soils in Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange, and Rappahannock Counties are permanently protected.
  • PEC’s agricultural programs work to increase farm profitability and sustainability; and our Exploring the Small Farm Dream course guide participants through a decision-making process about starting a farm business.
  • PEC hosts events like Meet the Farmer Dinners, and participates in other events, such as the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello and county fairs, to 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, Tri-County Feeds, Etc, Washington Fine Properties, NOVEC, and local food industry sponsors including Fauquier Health, The Market at Grelen, Fauquier Department of Agriculture, Fauquier Farm Bureau, Culpeper Harvest Days Farm Tour, Countryside Organics, Wolf Creek Farm, Farm Credit of the Virginias, Over the Grass Farm, and Rider’s Backfield Farm Beef.

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

Visit PEC’s Buy Fresh Buy Local  website>>

View the Northern Piedmont Guide>>