The Buy Local Program

Local Foods Within Your Reach…is a new effort by Cornell Cooperative Extension to help individuals and families find farm-fresh food that is “within reach”— food that is sold at a price within your family’s food budget and grown near where you live. Many consumers believe that “local foods” are more expensive and less convenient to buy than supermarket foods. Our directory and tips can show you ways that buying your food directly from the farmer can be both easy and affordable.

This web directory and buy local promotion efforts were started as a 5-county grant-funded project at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, with support from the Park Foundation. Initial directory listings came from the Guide to Foods Produced in the Southern Tier & Finger Lakes, a print publication compiled and distributed in Chemung, Cortland, Schuyler, Tioga and Tompkins Counties by members of the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s South Central NY Agriculture team.

Cooperative Extension educators based in counties throughout New York State work closely with farmers and consumers on agriculture and food systems issues, and are uniquely positioned to know about new developments in their local farming communities. We welcome CCE offices to join us in creating a comprehensive state-wide local foods directory on this platform.

Do we need another local foods directory? A key strength of this directory is that is managed by CCE Educators in each county. Many directories contain out of date listings which makes them frustrating to use. Our commitment is to keep this directory current so that local foods are truly easy to find!

Why Buy Local?

Taste and Freshness

Locally grown food is fresh, and fresh food tastes best! Local farmers grow varieties of food selected for taste and freshness, not for shipping and long shelf life.

Support Local Farmers

When you buy local you are supporting farmer neighbors and keeping money circulating locally. If everyone in Tompkins County spent 10% of their grocery and dining dollars on local foods, it would generate over $29 million in economic value for our region!

Protect our Environment

Small family farms typically take a less intensive approach to producing food and use fewer synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Farming in a more sustainable way improves soil health, captures carbon, and ensures a healthy ecosystem so we can produce food locally for generations to come.

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