As the Director of Home Harvest I am thrilled to be part of the local foods movement in Gaston County. Our family has been eating locally for years and is excited to see our food dollars contribute to the growth of Gaston’s economy.
GA!: Danielle, what products and services does Home Harvest provide folks in Gaston County?
Danielle: Home Harvest is a unique food company that links farmers to the people of our community by providing delivery of fresh, local produce. It is our belief that eating locally grown produce can be affordable and accessible.
GA!: What kinds of produce have you had, and what about honey, eggs, etc.?
Our produce varies depending on the season. In the spring our farmers will be harvesting lettuce, cabbage, asparagus, carrots, green onions and strawberries. We currently distribute eggs and are working with the Gaston County Agriculture Extension office to learn about offering other proteins such as chicken, pork and beef.
In the US, the average meal travels 1500 miles before it reaches your plate .The concept of buying local is simply to buy food or any goods or services produced, grown, or raised as close to your home as possible.
Our farmers are your Gaston County neighbors. Home Harvest utilizes farmers within fifty miles of our Gastonia Headquarters. One of our partners, Nature’s Way Farm, is located in Cramerton and is owned and operated by John and Faye Simonds. John and Faye have been farming for most of their lives and take pleasure in growing produce that others enjoy. Nature’s Way is known for their great vegetables and farm fresh eggs.
GA!: The whole eat local, slow food movement seems to be increasingly popular…
By choosing to purchase local foods you protect your health, preserve the environment, and benefit the local economy. Industrially-produced foods are subjected to irradiation in order to extend shelf-life. This process reduces the nutritional value of foods and has uncertain effects on human health. Local foods are typically harvested and distributed within the same week, making irradiation unnecessary and maintaining the nutrients in the food. Factory farms emit harmful gases and particles such as methane and hydrogen sulfide, which contribute to global warming and harm the health of those living or working nearby. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides have turned agriculture into a leading source of water pollution in the United States. Through your purchase of produce from Home Harvest, you are supporting a local business. In today’s market only 9 cents of every retail food dollar goes to the farmer, while 91 cents goes towards distribution. Home Harvest is dedicated to supporting local farmers by ensuring more money goes directly to the farmer.
G GA!: I understand the beginning of this program was an effort to employ some folks who have been unemployed for a while…how did that come about?
Home Harvest is a division of Career Management Group (CMG), a local non-profit organization that assists individuals with overcoming barriers to employment to become contributing members of the workforce. In 2010, a reduction in the number of available jobs in Gaston County inspired CMG to create Home Harvest in order to generate jobs and support the local economy. Home Harvest was awarded a grant from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to begin operation. Home Harvest has been successful in creating employment opportunities through its unique service. The company has hired a delivery driver, administrative assistant and an operations assistant, and plans to hire additional positions as the business grows
GA! When is the next sign up? Can folks get on your list now?
Thanks for asking! Home Harvest offers several ways to bring fresh produce to you and your family. Your enrollment in Home Harvest will last 10 weeks and includes vegetables, fruits and herbs that are seasonally available from the farmers in our community-and we deliver them right to your home or office. We are currently enrolling for our spring season which begins on April 14, 2011.
For More Info Or To Enroll:
980-989-0435 or www.homeharvestnc.org