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Local Farms, Local Food: Part 6

May 24th, 2018
By Guest Contributors

Upstate Forever's work preserving farmland helps prevent urban sprawl, boosts community health, and contributes to a thriving regional food community.

For our Spring Issue of the Upstate Advocate, we reached out to local farmers, restaurateurs, retailers, and other stakeholders asking them what a thriving local food scene means to them.

Here, in the words of some of the people who know best, are a few reasons why Upstate Forever is working so hard to protect our region's vanishing farmlands. Part 6 of this blog series features thoughts from Possum Kingdom Kreamery and Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery.

 


Possum Kingdom Kreamery

Possum Kingdom Kreamery

What is your organization, and how do you see your role in the Upstate's local food community?

We are Possum Kingdom Kreamery. A small family owned dairy and creamery producing Grade A Raw milk, a variety of farmstead cheeses, cultured products like kefir and a goat milk caramel sauce. We hope to bring good, whole milk and cheeses without any additives or over processing to the Upstate area. We are also very involved in teaching the local community through educational farm tours and on farm workshops.

Why does having a thriving local food/farm scene matter to the Upstate?

Small business across the board is good for the community! Teaching people about healthy whole food and where it can be obtained is important to everyone. In our “fast food” society, people are often amazed to learn that they can do many of these things themselves. Its not hard and it’s so much healthier.

Why does it matter to you personally?

We started doing this because we had gotten concerned about where our food was coming from, what was going into it and the welfare of the livestock. At the beginning our goal was just a self sustaining farm. Then we realized that not everyone has that option and decided to share what we could do.

In your opinion, what is the biggest benefit to buying/consuming local food?

I don’t know that any one thing is the “biggest”. Obviously, supporting local small farmers is a plus. But so is knowing where our food is coming from and in the case of animals, how they were raised. Eating in season is healthier, as are meats from animals raised on a pasture based system. 

What is your vision for the future of local food/farms in the Upstate?

The Upstate is embracing a local food culture — from what I hear from friends in other parts of the country, much more so than their communities. I am thankful for that! I hope it continues to grow and people continue to be educated and informed about what “buying local” means. Not just for small farms, but for their health. I also hope to be able to do my part.

— Tanya Bryson | Possum Kingdom Kreamery, Belton | PKKreamery.com

 


Veggie Pizza at Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery (Jack Robert Photography)

Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery

What is your organization, and how do you see your role in the Upstate's local food community?

We are many things: a bakery, cafe, grocery, teaching kitchen, a pizza restaurant, and a food hub / wholesaler. Our mission is to support a sustainable food system and to provide a community space where people come together to celebrate food. 

Why does having a thriving local food/farm scene matter to the Upstate? 

A thriving local food scene equates to a better quality of life in the Upstate. It can have huge benefits to our local economy. Good food and connections to the source bring communities together. 

Why does it matter to you personally?

Personally, making the switch to mostly eating local has been great for my family’s health. We eat really good fresh food and we feel good eating it, because we know the people who grew it and know that it’s the right thing to do. 

In your opinion, what is the biggest benefit to buying/consuming local food?

There are so many benefits it’s hard to choose one, but one is that we need to keep our small farmers in business. Our local farmers live in and care about our community, and in turn we should support them. 

What is your vision for the future of local food/farms in the Upstate?

We envision a community that celebrates and supports a just and sustainable food system that allows small local farmers to thrive.

— Mary Walsh | Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery, Greenville | swamprabbitcafe.com

Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery (Jack Robert Photography)

Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery

Produce at Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery (Jack Robert Photography)


View more posts in this blog series at upstateforever.org/local-food. If you didn’t get a chance to respond, and would like to, please contact sboman@upstateforever.org. Participants’ views do not necessarily reflect the views of Upstate Forever.

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