There’s soon to be a fun new way to enjoy our community—and you can help make it happen. A local artist has conceived Stick to Local Food as a project to make it welcoming and fun to visit a wide variety of Rondout Valley farms. Here’s how it works: colorful, shaped stickers are designed for each farm and a companion folding map with spots to match the stickers is given out to visitors, local school children, and everywhere that there are brochure racks. Visitors collect the free stickers at each farm. When the map is completely filled in, collectors are rewarded with a special Stick to Local Food finishing sticker.
Organizer Maria Reidelbach, who is this newspaper’s Yardavore columnist, explains: “I love delicious, wholesome, local food, our local farms and farmers—it’s a big reason that I live here in the mid-Hudson Valley. But the economics of small farming are extremely tough—small farms have to compete with subsidized processed food and cheap imported produce sold at big box stores with underpaid staff and huge marketing budgets.”
Stick to Local is a great way for local farms to
attract new visitors. This is a work in progress view.
By volunteering for the Rondout Valley Growers Association—she serves on the board of directors—Maria said she’s learned that “local farms can’t thrive without community support.” She commented, “Farmers are great at farming, but marketing is a whole different skill set. I designed Stick to Local Food to help farms become better known in the community and beyond.”
To make the Stick to Local Food campaign affordable to farms Maria has organized an online crowd-funding campaign. Contributors can get colorful t-shirts, special stickers, messages and advertising, limited edition versions of the map, and other goodies for chipping in $5 or more. “This is a great way to show your support for our farms and to help ensure that we have local food and a beautiful, agrarian community for years to come,” says the artist. Stay in the loop by emailing email@example.com and by looking for the project on Kickstarter.com in early May.