December 21, 2014

Letters to the Editor

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Nov. 24, 2010

Why we should support local farmers’ markets

If you’ve never been to a farmers’ market, imagine tables brimming with fresh vegetables and fruit and local products like maple syrup, cheese, hummus and fresh-baked bread.

The food at farmers’ markets travels a shorter distance to get to your kitchen than the food on your grocery store’s shelves, which significantly reduces its carbon footprint. By supporting local agriculture, you’re pumping money into your local economy. And by eating locally available foods, you’re also eating seasonally, which is not only sustainable, but healthy, too.

You can find a variety of fresh organic produce at more affordable prices than in a supermarket. There are also many farmers that carry products that are not technically “organic,” but have many low-priced foods that are pesticide and herbicide free. The advantage at a farmers’ market is that you can actually talk to the farmer, learn about their methods and then decide for yourself. Your belly will remember the farmer’s smile as they handed you that juicy tomato. Supermarkets offer food that is picked before it has ripened, decreasing the vitality.

Food from your local farmers’ market is generally safer. Remember the outbreaks of E. coli in bagged spinach? These things happen mostly in large industrial farms, where businessmen work to mass produce food, preserve it and bag it in mass amounts. The food from your local farmers’ market is, quite frankly, fresher. Because it was grown locally, there is a good chance that the tomato you buy from the farmer was picked a few days ago. This is virtually impossible in a big supermarket.

There’s just no way around it, eating fresh, locally-grown fruits and veggies are great for you. But most of all, farmers’ markets are just plain fun for the whole family. Meeting your local community is an excellent way to feel connected to the world around you, increasing health for body, mind and spirit.

Lisa Boutin, Boutin Family Farm, Williston

Successful bottle drive

Williston Junior Girl Scout Troop 30303 would like to thank all the families and neighbors that donated towards our bottle drive — it was a success in many ways. We had the kindness of our community, lots of help from scout parents, fourth grade scouts in the drizzly cold learning how a bottle drive works and great support from a local business.

The girls are excited about the plans they are making for community service projects and other activities.

Donna Nixon and Wendy Bliss, Troop leaders, Williston

State Senate race was a privilege

It was a privilege to run the race to serve as state senator from Chittenden County. Although I didn’t win, the last five months have been rewarding — full of challenges, new experiences and hard work. I learned a lot about new social media, about the issues and about your concerns for the future. The high points included the Williston parade on July 4th and a terrific candidate forum hosted by the Williston middle school.

To the hundreds of people who helped and contributed to my campaign, and the thousands who voted for me, thanks for your incredible support.

Last, but not least, congratulations to the six Chittenden County Senate winners. It was a good race. I wish you the best with the big challenges that lie ahead. We all worked hard and honorably I congratulate you on your opportunity to serve.

Charlie Smith, Candidate for Chittenden County Senate, Burlington
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