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Eating local in the cornfields

Great places around Taylor to get locally grown food

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By Lindsay Robinson | Echo

Being in the middle of cornfields influences the culture at Taylor. With an increase in health-conscious living, buying local produce is a growing trend across America. In the heart of farm country, Taylor students are also finding new ways to eat local.

One way to get local produce is by supporting Victory Acres. Through a program called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), students pay a membership fee to the farm and receive locally-grownIMG_0946-2 food in return. According to Victory Acres Master Farmer, Terry Himelick, the program gives members a chance to get involved and volunteer at the farm.

“It is more than just getting vegetables and beef—it’s actually a community,” Himelick said.

Another great place to get local food is by visiting farmers’ markets. Here, farmers from across the county can bring their produce and baked goods directly to consumers. This gives buyers a delicious array of food choices, sometimes at better prices than they’d find at a supermarket.

Nearby farmers’ markets include the Upland Farmers’ Market located in the Depot Park parking lot from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays. In Gas City, there’s a farmers’ market east of McDonald’s on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Upland’s newspaper, “The SEG-way,” publishes details about local farmers’ markets each week.

While farmers’ markets are organized events, local farmers also set up stands on the side of the road. A delicious find may be just an adventurous drive away.

Senior Sammie Cragun often visits a local farm run by Dan and Cheryl Spencer on County Road 300 S. outside Upland.

“Honestly, I just go over there to hang out. . . they’re so nice,” Cragun said.

Spencer Farms sells sweet corn, apples, squash and other vegetables, depending on what’s in season. In the fall, the farm sells pumpkins, which the Spencers gladly allow visitors to pick themselves. They also run a farm stand off State Highway 5.

Homegrown is hard to get at college, but Taylor students are finding ways to eat healthy and be involved in the community. Eating local is about people changing their habits and become educated about how their food gets from the farm to the plate.

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