Sustainable local food systems are good for Lake County
Look around you as you drive through Lake County and you will no doubt see acres of farmland that provide open views, represent a local economy, and continue a way of life that is quickly disappearing.
Interestingly enough, although the number of acres farmed and the size of farms are decreasing, the overall number of farms and the value of direct-to-consumer agriculture (fruit, vegetable, meat and nursery) farming is increasing with many of these new farm operations using sustainable farming practices. (For a closer look at these trends and the economies of local food production, download this report, The Local Food System.)
Conserve Lake County is part a team of organizations working with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) to promote the emerging local food economy. Local food systems create jobs, provide a viable, vibrant economy, and help retain farming, open space, and scenic vistas for future generations. Most importantly, sustainable farms contribute to the health of our land and water with a reduction of chemical inputs used, improved soil biodiversity, and less soil runoff into local watersheds. Visit the CMAP local food site
Millions of dollars are spent each year on food in Lake County. The more food grown locally, the more of those dollars that will stay in the county. There are also more jobs associated with farms that produce direct-to-consumer foods like fruit, vegetables and meat.
The number of farmers markets continue to grow and provide a place for the community to gather. A vibrant farming economy will mean that our scenic farm vistas that have defined Lake County will remain.
What can you do?
- Visit your local farmers market.
- Learn about the farms that grow your food and support them.
- Encourage your municipality to provide access to land, facilities and infrastructure.
- Make your voice heard on issues that that help Lake county capitalize on the huge economic and envionmental benefits associated with a local food system.
Faces of Local Food
For more about the farmers and chefs in our video read the article Voices of Local Food