Letter from Vern Simula published 25 July 2023 in the Stevens County Times.
The Letter to the Editor poses a good question by asking about ways to get more farmers in the area to start growing our table food.
If we would like the farmers to grow more local table food, perhaps the local farmers need to see they can successfully make a profit in this manner. To do this, one possibility is that we can help publicize the existence of current sources of local produce. This would hopefully increase the number of customers and demand for the farmers’ produce.
I’m not sure how widely all the sources of local produce are known. For example, I was unaware of the Ida Valley Farm CSA and the Real Food Hub until rather recently. Both are wonderful sources of local produce!
A possibility to increase the number of farmers growing our local table food would be to ask the farmers if the topic is of interest and what they would need to make it happen.
Determining both farmer and community needs/desires would seem critical. There are a lot of unknowns. What type of produce and method (organic/non-organic) is of interest to the community? Is there a training need for beginning farmers or those wishing to expand? Do farming structures need to be built to increase production and extend the growing season for local food? The list goes on and on.
Perhaps sources for potential grants could be located to help farmers increase our community’s locally produced table food, and make our community less dependent on food produced outside the region.
Just a thought!