Charlottesville-Albemarle area guides arriving in mailboxes soon
Matt Coyle, Local Food Systems Coordinator
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (May 7, 2021) – With the spring growing season upon the Virginia Piedmont, The Piedmont Environmental Council is pleased to announce the release of its 2021-2022 Buy Fresh Buy Local guides for each of PEC’s three Buy Fresh Buy Local Chapters—Charlottesville area, Northern Piedmont and Loudoun County. The Buy Fresh Buy Local guides offer a one-stop source connecting consumers to fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat and more, by way of local farmers, farmers markets, and other food source venues. The Charlottesville Area guide, covering Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Nelson and Louisa counties, will be mailed to 77,831 households and residences in Charlottesville and Albemarle counties the week of May 10. In total, more than 300,000 residences and businesses will receive one of the Buy Fresh Buy Local guides.
“The Virginia Piedmont is an area rich with a bounty of fresh local food and drink. Our goal with these guides is to connect people to locally grown and produced food and beverages, thereby promoting local farms, helping to preserve the region’s rural economy, and growing the local food economy in the region,” said PEC Local Food Systems Coordinator Matt Coyle, who has led production of the guides. “We hope Buy Fresh Buy Local will encourage families to look to our own local producers for a wide range of healthy, delicious food, dairy, wine, and more, and even ask their local grocers to provide more locally-produced fruits and vegetables, rather than depend on a vulnerable global food supply chain that is less friendly to the environment and less supportive of our local economy,” he said.
Charlottesville Area guides will be mailed to 77,831 homes and businesses in Charlottesville and Albemarle County and feature more than 200 local food producers and distributors. Among its listings are 220 local farms and orchards, 13 farmers markets, 25 wineries and breweries, 20 restaurants and caterers, and 12 retailers, many of which are displayed on a travel map of the Charlottesville area. Other items include a fruit and vegetable availability calendar and a fact sheet explaining various common food labels.
This year’s Charlottesville area guide also highlights two local businesses. Cattle Run Farm in Ruckersville is a third-generation farm that sustainably raises cattle, hogs, goats, and chickens and grows fruits and vegetables as well. It’s owners, siblings Sarah and Ralph Morten also operate a nonprofit, Minority and Veteran Farmers of the Piedmont (www.mvfpva.org), helping other farmers learn sustainable agriculture. Stock Provisions, in Charlottesville, is a whole-animal butcher shop that sources all of its meat from local farms, including pork from Autumn Olive Farm, grass fed beef from Deep Rock Farm, chicken from River Oak Farm, lamb from Meadow’s Pride Farm, and ducks from Free Union Grass Farm, to name just a few.
The free Buy Fresh Buy Local guide is made possible with the support of community and food industry sponsors, including Finest Butcher, Wegmans, 4P Foods and Farm Credit. “Fauquier’s Finest, now known as Finest Butcher, has a longstanding tradition of supporting our local agricultural community. We are thrilled to be a Conservation Sponsor for the 2021-2022 Buy Fresh Buy Local guides to continue that support for our local farmers,” said Finest Butcher owner Clarke Ohrstrom.
Charlottesville area guides were additionally supported by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Wiley Real Estate, New Country Organics and local food industry sponsors including Integral Yoga Natural Foods, Hudson Henry Granola, Virginia Vinegar Works and Rebecca’s Natural Food.
Community members can download the Charlottesville area Buy Fresh Buy Local guide at: www.pecva.org/buylocal. PEC has also launched a searchable Buy Fresh Buy Local website, at www.buylocalpiedmont.org, with an interactive map that makes it simple for consumers to find exactly what they need right where they want it. Learn more about PEC’s local farms and food program at www.pecva.org/farmsandfood.
Since 1972, The Piedmont Environmental Council has proudly promoted and protected the natural resources, rural economy, history and beauty of the Virginia Piedmont. PEC empowers residents to protect what makes the Piedmont a wonderful place, and works with citizens to conserve land, improve air and water quality and build thriving communities. PEC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and accredited land trust. Learn more at www.pecva.org