Local fruits and vegetables are deliciously ripe and full of essential vitamins and minerals, because they are often picked within 24 hours of being sold. Fresh foods start losing their nutrients as soon as they are picked, which actually makes some canned foods more nutritious than store-bought fresh foods. Local foods don't have to sit in a warehouse or a hot truck for thousands of miles before reaching your plate.

Buying Local Food Supports the Valley Economy

Local farmers who sell directly to you receive a larger share of the profit and in turn spend their money with local merchants.  When money stays local, everyone benefits.

Since 1935, the US has lost 4.7 million farms, with fewer than one million Americans now claiming farming as a primary occupation.

At the same time, food safety concerns only increase as large corporations increasingly dominate US food production.  Four large firms control over 80% of beef slaughter, 59% of pork packing, and 50% of broiler chicken production.

Don’t contribute to these stats; keep family farms at the bedrock of our community.

Read about one way, Farm to School, Colorado is trying to do this as a State.

Local Farmers Protect the Land

By being good stewards of the land, minimizing packaging, and harvesting food only when it is ready to eat, local San Luis Valley farmers reduce their environmental impact on the farmland and water sources that make the San Luis Valley beautiful and a great place to live.

All you need is soil, seeds, and water.  Seriously, the San Luis Valley is a high desert valley that receives an average of 8 inches of moisture per year.  The frost free growing season is typically from early June until the middle of September.  Though some veggies grow better than others, try planting potatoes, peas, lettuce, spinach, or carrots in your next garden.  Extend the season with a cold frame or green house.

In the Valley, the soil and sometimes the water tend to be alkaline, making compost a must.  Have your soil tested through the CSU Cooperative Extension. You can contact then at 719-852-7381  or Alamosa@coop.ext.colostate.edu.