Made in Boone County.
That was the object of the visit to the Original Belvidere Farmers Market on Saturday in
front of Dodge Lanes on North State Street.
The vendors sold items from herbs to flowers to containers to crafts, but the search was on for 100 percent Boone County food products.
“All of our stuff is local,” said Cindee Robinson, who operates Family Farm on North Boone School Road with her husband, Mike, and sons.
One of the signs at her table reads: “Order your Thanksgiving turkey here.” The Family Farm also produces chicken, pork products and goat in addition to eggs and vegetables.
Her display includes an itemized list of the feeds her animals get.
“With the food you buy at the store, you wonder where it is coming from,” she said.
“You have no idea what it is being fed or injected with. People can come and look at our farm.”
In fact, Cindee said she would like to organize a Boone County farm tour much like organizations hold house walks. That way everyone could see how food is grown and produced locally.
Eating local has become a phenomenon recently. It even has its own word — locavore, which was the 2007 Word of the Year according to the Oxford American Dictionary.
A Web search on the topic produces dozens of sites. One, eatlocalchallenge.com, features 10 reasons to eat local food. The list, originally published by “Life Begins at 30,” includes these reasons:
It means more for the local economy.
Locally grown produce is fresher.
Local food just plain tastes better.
Stan Johnson of Poplar Grove knows that. He’s been bringing beans, garlic, onions, basil, squash, tomatoes and other stuff from his farm to this market for years.
“You just don’t know that much about food brought in from other places,” he said. “The flavor is just not there.”
Susie’s Garden Patch of Garden Prairie, operated by Susie and Doug Silberhorn, was set up next to the Johnsons’ stand. Susie’s is known for its strawberry festival in the spring. But on last Saturday morning, one of her workers, Brittany Poplin, was selling locally grown corn, lettuce, zucchini, green peppers, cabbage and yellow squash.
A few minutes later, Doug came by to swap stories with the Johnsons. He was up before 5 a.m., and he said he had picked dozens of ears of corn.
One definition of locally grown food is that it is produced within 100 miles of your community. So you don’t have to go far to find some good-tasting, 100 percent Boone County food.
The Original Belvidere Farmers Market operates from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.
(Get there early if you want fresh tomatoes.)
Mike Doyle’s column on people, places and things in Boone County runs Thursdays in the People of the Rock River Valley section of the Register Star. This column was made in Boone County. All of the quotes, descriptions and words used in it are 100 percent Boone County originals.