North Carolina’s locally-grown reputation

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PITTSBORO, N.C — Buying local. It’s a trend that has been gaining momentum more and more over the years, especially with food products.

There are many proven benefits to this: the food is not processed so it is full of more nutrients and less chemicals, also buying from your local farmers supports your community and in turn works to building a more stable economy.

Based in Pittsboro, N.C., Carolinas Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA), the leading organic farm-advocacy and organic certifier for North and South Carolina, is comprised of over 1,100 farmers, gardeners, businesses and organic agriculture enthusiasts.

Each is committed to sustainable agriculture and the development of locally based, organic food distribution systems.

April 27–28, in partnership with Weaver Street Market, the CFSA is hosting the 18th annual Piedmont Farm Tour.

The self-guided tour will feature 39 small farms in North Carolina’s Orange, Chatham, Alamance, Durham and Person counties, which groups can explore from 1 to 5 p.m. each day.

Meet local farmers and tour their beautiful farms; learn about the Triangle’s local and organic farm and food scene; gain a better understanding of how it works and learn great ways to grow your own food.

CFSA explains that these visits to your local farm are very encouraging to the farmers as it shows the community’s continued support of their efforts.

The tour is divided into three regions, north, central and south, and each has a corresponding map.

CFSA recommends picking only three to four farms within the same region to visit per day. This will allow you to spend ample time at each place (suggested one to 1.5 hours) as well as factoring in driving time between them.

Produce, eggs, cheese, meat, and other farm products will be available for purchase at many of the farms and is strongly encouraged, so bring a cooler (or two).

Another great way to participate in the Piedmont Farm Tour is to volunteer. If you offer one afternoon of your time, you can attend the whole tour for free. Volunteers also get an insider view of farms and get a free t-shirt.

Admission is a one-time flat rate and charged per vehicle but includes all farms, all weekend — so pile in, pick your route and get out.

If you can’t make it out to the Piedmont Tour, the CFSA offers several other farm tours throughout the rest of the year.

Sustainable agriculture workshops and classes around the Carolinas are also put on year round.

A guide to the Piedmont Tour and more information are available online.

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