Putting Locally-Grown Food on Our Tables

FarmersMarketThe Grinnell Area Local Foods Alliance (GALFA) continues its efforts to stimulate awareness and use of locally produced food by individuals and institutions in the Grinnell area. “We see numerous benefits to the consumption of locally produced food, including freshness and superior taste, strengthening the local economy, fostering community ties, increasing food security, and saving the energy used to bring in food from elsewhere,” says Jon Andelson, and Imagine Grinnell board member who leads this effort.

GALFA helps to coordinate and promote the work of the Grinnell Farmers Market, the Compass Plant Community Supported Agriculture program, the Grinnell chapter of the Plant-a-Row for the Hungry program, and the Grinnell College campus garden. It also is collaborating with other organizations to seek funding to develop a computer-based system that could be used by individuals and institutions to order produce and other foods from cooperating area farmers. “A prototype of such a system is being used successfully in the Postville area. We hope to further develop and refine it. Grinnell College’s dining services and other institutions in the community have expressed interest in this kind of ording system,” Andelson says.

GALFA presently is seeking funding for a project to create a regional food system that would link several local systems and develop a cold-storage and simple processing facility for use by local produce growers. The idea of linking local food systems in eastern Iowa is being promoted by a new magazine, Edible Iowa River Valley, which is published in Iowa City. The premiere issue of Edible Iowa River Valley and GALFA’s directory of local food producers are available free of charge at selection locations in Grinnell.