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The farm-to-table lifestyle has been growing in popularity around Ithaca for the past couple of years. The farm to table initiative is all about knowing where your food comes from and supporting local farmers.
In Ithaca, this initiative is also called “Farm to Fork”. People around the town can participate at home, and even restaurants take are taking part in the trend.
One place where the farm-to-fork lifestyle thrives is the Ithaca Farmer’s Market. Here, three times a week, residents and visitors flock to Steamboat Landing in hopes of getting some fresh vegetables and some delicious prepared food.
Farmers around the market praised the farm-to-fork initiative. Parker, a farmer for Stick and Stone Farm said that, not only is it good for the customers, but also for the farmers.
“I mean it’s really about feeding people good food and it helps all of the farmers here in some cases, and restaurants,” said Parker.
Stick and Stone Farm is a big part of the local farm to table initiative. Not only does it participate in the Farmer’s Market, but it also supplies various restaurants around the area with fresh produce. According to Parker, that is what the initiative is here for.
“Why separate farmers and restaurants out? They can easily benefit from each other. More food is better,” said Parker.
Alex Jackman, owner of Jackman Vineyards, is also a big supporter of the farm to table initiative. He pointed out that the difference is the ability to talk to the person who is growing the food you eat.
“It’s really that removal of the middle man, that direct interaction between the customer and the grower that allows for a great variety of things and greater quality. It helps educate customers about the food that their eating,” said Jackman.
It isn’t just the farmers who think that the farm-to-table initiative is important. Customers agree. On any given fall weekend, the market is packed with people looking around and getting their food for the coming days.
Tripti Bodder, a customer at the Farmer’s Market, said that she loves coming down to support the local farms and get fresh food.
“It’s promoting local economy and local farmers. And it’s great when you come to a place like this and get to see where your food comes from,” said Bodder.
Others say that this social movement is a big step for American food, which tends to be known for its unhealthy nature.
Study-abroad student, Viviane Gomiti said that this was an unexpected treat in coming to study in the United States.
“It’s so good, especially coming from abroad we have this idea of food in the United States … So to have such a strong farm-to-table program — it’s incredible,” said Gomiti.
The one problem that many people see with farm-to-table and local eating is that it tends to be more expensive than other, less healthy options.
It is true that organic foods and locally grown foods are more expensive, but when it comes to food, farmers and customers alike agree that in many situations, it is worth the extra few dollars.
“It is what most people consider an expensive meal, but it is what a real meal is,” said Parker.