Shenandoah Valley Farm to Table is a community-based farm to table initiative and an overarching effort to strengthen our community food system here in the Shenandoah Valley. The Shenandoah Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local chapter is one component of the Shenandoah Valley Farm-to-Table Project and includes being a liaison for local farmers, producers, institutions (schools, universities, restaurants, grocery stores), and food-related businesses in order to promote more procurement and purchase of local food and farm products in the Shenandoah Valley.
Protecting Water Quality
A particular focus of Shenandoah Buy Fresh Buy Local work is to support efforts to protect water quality in the Shenandoah Valley region. We participate in a project called “Creating a Culture of Conservation in the Shenandoah Valley from Farm to Table,” otherwise known as the Shenandoah Valley Farm to Table Project. This project is a partnership among Virginia Cooperative Extension, Shenandoah Resource Conservation and Development (RC & D) Council, Water Stewardship, Inc., Washington & Lee University, and LexRock Grows. The goal of the Shenandoah Valley Farm to Table project is to reduce nutrients and sediments in the Chesapeake Bay by better optimizing nitrogen and phosphorus management in food and fiber production on a regional scale.
Working with Producers to Help Keep Waterways Clean
The Shenandoah Valley Farm to Table Project includes working with both consumers and producers to reduce nutrients going into our local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. Project partners are currently working with local producers involved in direct marketing to help them meet needed reductions. Additionally, project partners and producers are working together to help build closer links with consumers within the community and local watershed and to meet consumer demand for more sustainable farming practices.
Working with Consumers to Help Keep Waterways Clean
We encourage you to do your part to help clean up our local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay! There are many ways you can do this. One way is by purchasing locally grown, sustainably produced food. Ask your local farmer about the sustainable farming practices they have implemented. To find local farmers near you, search our online database. To learn more about sustainable farming practices that help keep our waterways clean, watch our video series.
Do you know your nutrient footprint?
Use the Chesapeake Fund’s Nutrient Footprint Calculator to estimate your nutrient footprint. By doing things like reducing lawn fertilization and chemical applications, and creating permanent landscapes that require less fertilization, you can reduce your nutrient footprint and do your part in reducing your impact on our local streams and waterways.
Producers and consumers share the responsibility of conserving natural resources and reducing nutrients to the Bay. Therefore, the Shenandoah Valley Farm to Table Project is working to engage the broader community in nutrient reductions while strengthening local community through ecologically based food systems work.