or ranches that are within a one-day drive or less to Austin.
We believe local products provide these benefits:
Taste and Nutrition
Because local products do not have to travel far to reach the consumer, the produce can be picked when it is ripest. When a fruit or vegetable is given the time to completely ripen, it fully develops and retains its vitamins and minerals, giving it a more vibrant flavor and maximizing the nutritional content.
Our produce is generally harvested within 36 hours of delivery. They have a longer time to ripen “on the vine” and are ready to eat when delivered. They are not picked and processed and then spend a week or more traveling. Other non-local farms pick their produce when it’s still green or unripe. A common practice is to “gas” green tomatoes so they turn red. The result is a red tomato with the taste and texture of a green tomato.
Buying local keeps your money in the local economy. According to the London-based New Economics Foundation, a local farm’s income generated twice as much money for the local economy as a supermarket’s income in the same area.
Each item that we carry has its own unique story. Buying locally means you are supporting the family farmers and ranchers that raised your food. Connecting to the sources of your food is a very meaningful part of enjoying your meals.
Buying locally keeps you in touch with the local seasons. Our list of available produce changes weekly, letting you know what is growing in your area. This means you will be getting products when they are at their peak, are most abundant, and the least expensive. You also become more aware of the products that thrive well in the many different environments of Texas. This will also help you understand that when particular produce is in season nationally, it does not always mean that it is grown in Texas.
In the 1990 Farm Bill, Congress defined “sustainable agriculture” to have these qualities:
- Satisfy human food and fiber needs.
- Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends.
- Make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources, and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls.
- Sustain the economic viability of farm operations.
- Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.
Sustainability practices ensure that the land used to raise farm products is healthy and available for years to come. Farm to Table has partnered with farmers and ranchers that have various means to use less non-renewable resources, make less impact on the environment, and grow a healthy and profitable end product. Sustainable methods include important practices like biodiversity, water conservation, and environmental protection.
For more information about sustainable agriculture, please visit: http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/terms/srb9902.shtml