The Southeastern Massachusetts Food Security Network today released its new report, the Southeastern Massachusetts Food System Assessment, which presents a wealth of baseline data on the many facets of the region’s food system.
Make sure to check out:
Among the report’s findings:
The goals of the Assessment, which covers Bristol, Norfolk, and Plymouth Counties, with some special focus on the cities of New Bedford and Fall River, are to:
In addition, the Assessment is intended to help connect Southeastern Massachusetts to current statewide and New England food system planning work, including the Massachusetts Food Plan, currently being carried out by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and other partners on behalf of the Massachusetts Food Policy Council, and Food Solutions New England, a broad network connecting planning efforts in several states.
Organized according to the steps involved in bringing food from “farm to fork,” the Assessment includes chapters on food production, processing and distribution, and food access and consumption channels, as well as a chapter on “closing the loop” through food waste recovery and an overview of policy and regulatory issues affecting the region’s food system. Each chapter includes a section on “Gaps, Barriers, and Needs.”
This Saturday, I braved the weather and headed out to the Original Easton Farmer’s Market to set up a lovely SEMAP table. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of people willing to trek to the market in the rain! Seeing the turnout on a crummy day, I can’t imagine how many people attend on a sunny one! I had the pleasure of chatting with Janet from Bridgewater Village Bakery, who had a line at her stand until she ran out of bread! Her sourdough breads are organic and quite possibly the most delicious I’ve ever tasted. Janet has a passion for eating locally and promoting sustainability. She’s only been selling breads for three years, but she’s established quite the following.
I also talked with Marie from Oakdale Farms. She had a lot of great veggies with hers, including lettuce, tomatoes, beets, zucchini, and much more. Marie runs a 150 acre farm using integrated pest management, although some of her offerings are certified organic. At the farm, Marie manages the “Country Pantry,” which has fresh baked goods, jams, relishes, vinegars, honey, and eggs, as well as the “Country Barn,” which has candles, potpourri, wreaths, linens, and furniture. The Oakdale Farm also has a great CSA program, and shares can be picked up at six different locations.
One thing that really surprised me about this market was that there was a seafood vendor. Not often do you go to market to pick up littlenecks! Jackie from Jordan Brothers Seafood in Brockton informed me that their seafood is purchased fresh from Boston each day. Anything that can’t be purchased fresh, and must be farm raised, is purchased from Europe. Seafood in Europe is better regulated than in America, treated more ethically, and fed an antibiotic free diet. Although importing from Europe might not focus on eating locally, it’s important to the Jordan Brothers that they are offering a healthy product that people feel good about eating. I couldn’t help myself and purchased some Onset oysters while I was there. Delicious!
The turnout at the market was really great and if you live in the area, I definitely recommend checking it out! In addition to the above vendors, you can expect to find honey from Rosie Bud Farm, cheese and eggs from Lawton’s family farm, Organo Gold Coffee, natural pet treats from Puppy Luv Bakery, and produce from the Langwater and Second Nature Farms.
The Original Easton Farmer’s Market takes place on Tuesdays from 2-6 and Saturdays from 10-2 at 519 Depot St, North Easton.
Hope to see you there next time!
Learn about Langwater Farm’s Cultivation Techniques on one of the region’s premier Organic Vegetable Farms. Controlling weeds on organic farms is one of the most essential management steps for farmers to achieve profitability. Come learn the ins and outs of Langwater Farm’s cultivation strategy in the height of the growing season.