Monday, December 21, 2009

Local Foods Comparison

I was sent this story by Brenda Sutton, Cooperative Extension agent in Rutherford County. I think a similar study done here would find similar results. I think the comments of extending the growing season are very interesting. That is where the competition is less and the chance for profits is greater.

AMES, Iowa -- If you think local foods are more expensive than their conventional counterparts, think again. Research conducted last summer by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture shows few differences in price for Iowa-grown vegetables, eggs and meat when compared to similar non-local products.
“We wanted to look at prices for some of the fresh foods that might be found in a typical Iowan’s shopping cart,” said Rich Pirog, Leopold Center associate director who collaborated on the study with Iowa State University graduate student Nick McCann. “We found that during peak season, produce items at farmers’ markets were very competitive and in several cases lower than prices for the same non-local items found at supermarkets.”
The study surveyed prices for eight different vegetables sold at Iowa farmers’ markets in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Ames and Iowa City. On the same day, prices were documented for similar produce from national or international sources being sold at supermarket chains in those cities. Prices were checked on five days during July and August.
The results showed no statistical differences for local and non-local vegetables during Iowa’s peak growing season: an average price of $1.25 per pound for locally grown zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, string beans, cabbage, onions, tomatoes and sweet corn from a farmers’ market, compared to $1.39 per pound for non-local items from a supermarket.
The lower prices for the local items can be attributed in part to competitive pricing of zucchini and summer squash at farmers’ markets. A two-week supply of those eight vegetables for a family of four, based on per capita consumption, would cost $15.03 at a farmers market, compared to $16.91 at a supermarket.
A second part of the study looked at prices for lean ground beef, pork chops and brown eggs sold at supermarkets, natural food stores and butcher shops in those four Iowa cities in June, July and August. Pirog said it was difficult to find products with similar attributes available at all venues to make meaningful comparisons. However, they did find that locally raised lean ground beef and bone-in pork chops from butcher shops are similar in price to their non-local counterparts from supermarkets.
Pirog said the study did not look at relative freshness, taste or overall quality of local and non-local products. The study also did not examine produce or food items sold under organic certification.
“Keep in mind that this study was conducted during the height of the Iowa growing season when produce was in plentiful supply from multiple vendors at farmers’ markets, and their prices were lower than at other times during the farmers’ market season,” Pirog said.
He added that the study also points to an obvious opportunity for growers who extend their production season by using greenhouses or high tunnels and market their harvest at competitive prices. “Given the increase in construction of high tunnels in the past two or three years, Iowa growers may be able to increase the supply of locally grown vegetables and sell to a wider array of market venues,” he said.
For more details, including comparative charts and tables, see the new report, “Is Local Food More Expensive? A Consumer Price Perspective on Local and Non-Local Foods Purchased in Iowa,” on the Leopold Center Web site at:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Census Jobs in the Area

Here is a link from Fox News 8 in Winston Salem. There are nearly 4,000 part-time jobs that are being opened up for the 2010 census. If you are working and need extra income or know of someone who needs a job, please pass this information on. There are offices located in most areas of the state and I believe through-out the US. Hope this helps.,0,4806938.story

Here is a link the the US Census Bureau:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Local Foods Meeting

There were 25+ farmers in attendance last evening at our local foods meeting. It is hard for me to express the level of excitement felt by the group. Tim Will the Executive Director of Foothills Connect provided the group with a 35 minute presentation on his Rutherford County based project. It has taken him three plus years to get to this stage in the process but the level of commitment, his passion for helping local small businesses (that is what he calls farmers) and the technology involved is impressive. After his presentation, the group asked question for an additional 30 minutes. Tim never shied away from difficult questions and was patient and thorough in his explanations.

Michael Hylton, the head of the Stokes County Cooperative Extension program then introduced Brenda Sutton, head of the Rockingham County Coop Extension program. Brenda provided what I thought was tremendous news, the Rockingham County local foods group will be ready to start taking orders for food and delivering it to customers in March of 2010. Even better, the group welcomes the participation of Stokes County's farmers with open arms. In other words, thanks to Tim Will, his Foothills Connect group, the use of their web site and the willingness of the Rockingham County farmers, we don't have to recreate the three years of effort that Tim has been through. We can sign up our farmers and start selling produce within three months.

To find out more about this project go to and look up the fresh market page. Tim Will has won national acclaim for this project and this is just the beginning.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Townfork Produce Holiday Gift Ideas

Having trouble finding the perfect gift for the Holidays. Try a visit to TownFork Produce in Walnut Cove. They have custom made baskets, fruit baskets, homemade jellies, country ham, hoop cheese, Case Knives, old timey candies, chocolate, and a large selection of collectibles in addition to a great selection of fresh meat and seafood. This is a family owned local business. See Lauren or Tommy Webster or give them a call at 336-591-3120.

Mitchells Nursery Poinsetta Display

Poinsettia Display
Featuring over 9,000 poinsettias in 70 varieties - an ocean of color! It will be held on Sunday, Dec. 6 from 12:30-4:30 p.m. at Mitchell's Nursery & Greenhouse at 1088 W. Dalton Rd. in King. The public is invited!
Free refreshments and door prizes

Christmas Ideas from Stokes Arts Council

Stop by the Stokes County Arts Council and review the books available for sale - just in time for the upcoming holidays!

"Could The South Have Won The War" by Gordon Mellish
"Guerrilla War In Kentucky" by Gordon Mellish
"House of Petticoats" by Trudy J. Smith
"Trickster Jack" by Dr. E. Reid Gilbert

Other Favorite Selections Available:

"Settling The Colonial Southwest" by George Hicks
"Colonial Wars and the Southern Frontier; Defining A New People" by
George Hicks
"The Revolutionary War and John Stokes; The Man behind Stokes County" by
George Hicks
"Revolutionary War Amid Southern Chaos" by George Hicks
"Images of America - King" by Chad Tucker
"Images of America - Stokes County" by Chad Tucker
"The Meaning of Our Tears" by Trudy J. Smith (Limited number available) *(Reduced to $29.95 plus sales tax)
"Stokes County's Old, Odd and Other Stuff" by Robert (Bob) Carroll
"Arcadia, A Town that Time Forgot" by William (Bill) Cook
"Tried and True Recipes" - Country favorites of the Walnut Cove Senior Center *(Reduced to $5 plus sales tax)
"The Rhodes Family Cookbook" - Rhodes Family Restoration & Memorial, Inc.
"The Heritage of Stokes County" (Vol. I & II) - Stokes County Historical Society

In addition to these wonderful books and cds, the Stokes County Arts Council has the Stokes County Ornament by Jan Lukens, Pewter Ornaments by Les Hunter, CDs by various recording artists, prints of the Nancy Reynolds School, etc.

Also, all Landmark Prints that are currently available will be on sale (50% off of the original price) during the month of December only.

Please stop by the Stokes County Arts Council and review the selection. For more information, please contact us at 336-593-8159 for questions or directions.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Black Friday Ad for Stevens Furniture

B J Stevens Furniture, a full service furniture store located on Hwy 8 N in Danbury, NC is having a huge sale starting today. You don't need to wait for black Friday. Help support our local businesses. They create jobs and wealth in our community. Call them at 336-593-8237 for more details

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Welcome to!

The purpose of this site is to list all the merchants and businesses we have in Stokes County,NC.

We are working to build a business directory on our Stokes EDC site. We want this site to be your location to post specials, find out about specials and for you to share to share what makes your business unique and dynamic. We also want this to complement other efforts for customers to find what they need in Stokes County. This site and its information depends on you and your input. Please feel free to leave a comment and welcome to Buy Stokes NC!