Lo­cal or­ganic food topic for vot­ers’ meet­ing

Farmer, bee­keeper to lead dis­cus­sion

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Rachel Oswald

A lo­cal farmer and bee­keeper will speak about the ben­e­fits of or­ganic lo­cally-grown foods at the Rock­dale-New­ton League of Women Vot­ers’ Tues­day meet­ing.

Speaker Brady Bala is the driv­ing force in the area’s lo­cally-grown on­line farm­ers mar­ket. His talk will touch on the lo­cal avail­abil­ity of or­ganic foods and the op­por­tu­ni­ties con­sumers in New­ton, Rock­dale and the sur­round­ing ar­eas have to par­tic­i­pate in co-ops or farm­ers mar­kets.

The owner of Dou­ble B Farm, Bala will also ad­dress the cur­rent cri­sis in bee health known as Colony Col­lapse Dis­or­der.

Bala’s pre­sen­ta­tion will be­gin no later than 11:30 a.m. on Tues­day at the Rock­dale Ca­reer Academy at 2064 Culpep­per Drive in Cony­ers. An 11 a.m. League of Women Vot­ers’ busi­ness meet­ing will take place prior to the pre­sen­ta­tion. The pro­gram is free and open to all. At­ten­dees are in­vited to gather at a lo­cal restau­rant, still to be de­ter­mined, for lunch af­ter the meet­ing.

Bala and his farm are part of a larger on­line farm­ers mar­ket, Cony­ers Lo­cally Grown that in­cludes 22 farms, the ma­jor­ity of which are lo­cated within the Athens-Cony­ers area.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion can be ac­cessed on­line at www.cony­ers. lo­cal­ly­grown.net/mar­ket.

Cony­ers Lo­cally Grown sells sea­son­ally avail­able pro­duce, hor­mone-free meat and hor­mone­free dairy prod­ucts among other things.

Cur­rently in sea­son are as­para­gus, spinach, leeks, spring green onions, radishes, Swiss chard and shi­take mush­rooms. Also avail­able are feta cheese, raw milk, but­ter­milk, homemade but­ter and fudge.

Af­ter plac­ing their or­ders on­line at the be­gin­ning of the week, cus­tomers pick up their pur­chased pro­duce Fri­day evenings at Copy Cen­tral on Parker Road in Cony­ers.

Bala said there are many ben­e­fits to pur­chas­ing your food from a lo­cal farm. Or­gan­i­cally grown food pur­chased from lo­cal farms is usu­ally tastier, health­ier and bet­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment.

“You get to know the guy who planted the seed and har­vested the crop,” Bala said. “It’s more of a com­mu­nity-in­volved ex­pe­ri­ence. The whole idea is for us to be lo­cal and sus­tain­able.”

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