Camrose County has started an ‘eat locally’ initiative with prizes available to win. Farmers Markets around the area, including Bashaw are participating. File photo

Camrose County campaigns for ‘eat local’ initiative

Chances at winning prizes in Camrose County eat local campaign

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Your neighbours in Camrose County and area produce and process a bounty of food.

With the wide variety of foods available locally — from fresh fruits and vegetables to a wide range of meats including beef, pork, poultry, bison and lamb; to honey, cheese, flour and processed cereals, baked goods, teas and even decorated cakes and more — there are more options than ever for residents.

Camrose County is working on an ‘eat locally’ campaign with potential prizes for participants.

Win a local foods basket

This summer the Ag Communications Committee of Camrose County is hosting a contest to encourage you to shop direct from local producers and processors at farm stores, market gardens and farmers’ markets. Enter to win a basket of local foods in July, August, September and October by completing the contest card. Folks can pick up a copy of the contest card at the county ag services office, local farmers’ markets in Camrose and Bashaw and the Alberta Agriculture office in Camrose as well as other select locations.

Visit the Camrose County website for a comprehensive list of local food producers – www.county.camrose.ab.ca

Why buy local?

There are many reasons to shop local but here are some of the main reasons.

• Supports local farmers and processors – farmers receive fair incomes for their work in providing food to eat and enjoy

• Local food tastes better — fresh, top quality, safe food that has not travelled far and is in season tastes “so good”

• Local food offers greater variety of food — Can one buy honey berries, heirloom tomatoes or Berkshire pork in the grocery store?

• Local food is sustainable — Less transportation in shipping food to market; often less use of pesticides. Not all local food is sustainable so talk to area farmers about their management practices.

• Local food builds community — Chat with the producers at the farmers’ market or visit their farms. That helps build a relationship with the grower or farmer so folks can ask how the food was grown or raised, what ingredients are in the food and learn more about where the food comes from.

Where to buy local?

• Market gardens offer opportunities to u-pick or we-pick their crop. For a great list of market gardens check out www.albertafarmfresh.com

• Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) links the consumer with a local farmer. Before the growing season you buy a membership in the farmers’ crop of vegetables, meats, eggs. Once the crop is harvested you receive a regular basket of their food. Check the local food listing at www.county.camrose.ab.ca for CSAs in the area.

• Alberta Approved Farmers’ Markets in Camrose County include the Bashaw market on Saturday, Rose City farmers market in Camrose on Thursday, the Camrose Downtown market on Thursday, the Miquelon Lake farmers’ market on Friday and the Camrose and District farmers’ market on Saturday. Some of these markets run year round and others are seasonal. For a list of other farmers’ markets check out www.sunnygirl.ca.