FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 18, 2019
How to Perform Small Acts of Local Love for PA Produce Month
No Investment is Too Little When it Comes to Your Health & Your Home
Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing & Research Program (PVMRP / PAVeggies.org) is approaching it’s 14th annual PA Produce Month celebration this August. While the program’s mission of supporting Pennsylvania vegetable growers and educating consumers about accessing and preparing locally grown produce remains the same, each year the PVMRP develops new resources, content, events, and more to back that mission. There are big boots to fill from 2018 when the Program developed and debuted new branding and a new website that boasts the following features:
- Recipe and Farmer Videos (find them all on the Blog)
- Farm FYI and Recipe Editorials (also on the Blog)
- Local Food Directory with Wholesale, Market/CSA, and Auction Information
- Vegetable Guide
- Marketing & Promotional Resources in the Farmer Toolkit
- Point of Purchase Materials for Farmers – Brochures, Price Cards, Roadside Signs, etc.
- Press Releases
- Consumer Survey
PA Veggies looks forward to offering fresh new content, materials, and unique opportunities that inspire consumers, the media, and the press, and inevitably support the great state of Pennsylvania in a big way. It’s time to express our immense amount of pride for this state and all it has accomplished – and continues to accomplish – in the vegetable industry.
According to a report released earlier this year by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Team PA, in collaboration with ECONSULT and Temple University Fox School of Business, “Pennsylvania’s diverse and innovative agricultural industry has made the Commonwealth a national leader in sectors throughout the industry. Between 2002 and 2012, several sectors experienced rapid growth, well above national averages.”
This growth is occurring despite the fact that only 2% of our state’s population is engaged in production agriculture (as opposed to 50% at one point). Those two percent are productive thanks to hard work, science and innovation, but the final piece of that success puzzle is people, individually and collectively, performing thoughtful acts that invest in local agriculture.
There are many ways to celebrate Pennsylvania’s vegetable industry all year long and PA Veggies recognizes August as the official Produce Month of Pennsylvania due to the extraordinary bounty of local vegetables that are available via farmers markets, on-farm and roadside stands, CSAs, grocery stores, auctions and more. The abundance of fresh, flavorful and perfectly ripened vegetables throughout your region is proof that August is the ultimate culmination of Pennsylvania’s growing season and serves as delicious motivation to get your local vegetables while the getting’s good.
No matter how you plan to celebrate, it’s important to remember that each choice to purchase local vegetables and support your local farmer is not just a simple exchange, it’s a smart and admirable way to invest in your health and your great home state of Pennsylvania, supporting both its economy and the environment.
Here’s how the PVMRP / PA VEGGIES PLANS TO INVEST:
- Fresh Content – we’re educating and inspiring consumers by keeping paveggies.local fresh with resources, recipes, videos, photos, infographics, stories, interviews, and more – sign up for our emails and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for direct alerts about new content.
- Promotional Materials – we’re designing and distributing point of purchase materials, like posters, brochures, and recipe cards, to farmers, markets, stores, auctions, roadside stands, and other PA vegetable outlets.
- Find PA Vegetables – we’re revamping our vegetable directories into databases that serve as a valuable tool that connects consumers and wholesale buyers to their local farmers.
- Cheerleading – whether conversing on one of our digital marketing channels or appearing at a local event, we’re always rooting for PA Veggies and reminding individuals the importance of supporting local farmers, small businesses, and Pennsylvania’s economy.
Here’s how CONSUMERS CAN INVEST:
- Visit your neighborhood farmers markets, roadside market, or on-farm stand. Take the kids and create a scavenger hunt that encourages them to engage with multiple vendors and vegetables.
- Sign up for a local CSA. Consider splitting the share with family, a friend or neighbor.
- Attend a farm-to-table dinner, festival, or other local food event. Grab your partner or your closest pals and make it a date!
- Pick one day of the week that works best for your schedule/lifestyle to eat veggies at every meal.
- Aim for the MyPlate goal and make at least half your plate, at all or most meals, vegetables and fruit.
- Take a cooking class. Consider finding something for canning/preservation so you can learn to enjoy the bounty beyond Pennsylvania’s most productive seasons.
- Already know how to can/preserve? Buy extra from your local farmer this year and organize a gathering to train friends who aren’t as skilled in this age-old tradition.
- Not much of a cook? Consider August farm to table restaurant month and pledge to only dine at restaurants using locally sourced ingredients.
- Find a local farmer that welcomes visitors (some do even if they don’t advertise it – just call) and schedule a tour for yourself, family, friends, and/or the kids.
Here’s how the MEDIA CAN INVEST:
- Lookout for communications and Press Releases coming from your local farmers. They may be using resources from our Farmers Toolkit to perform outreach.
- Call a local farmer for a customized quote. Find them in the PA Veggies Directory.
- Create an educational series showcasing various Pennsylvania farmers sharing specialized and fun vegetable knowledge.
- There are 31 days in August. Highlight a farmer of the day by simply sharing their name, location, and services. Maybe throw in a fun fact about their operation, too.
- Have farmer readers? Run a story for them! Pennsylvania is a big state. Not all of its growers are familiar with PA Produce Month and the resources available to them at paveggies.local. Use your platform to show them the way.
- Collaborate with one of your current advertisers/sponsors relevant to the health/local food/farming industry and strike up a custom campaign that celebrates and exudes pride for Pennsylvania’s bounty.
- Keep an eye out for PA Veggies’ upcoming content – recipes, videos, blogs, and more – by reviewing our emails, visiting paveggies.local, and following @paveggies on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
- Schedule an interview with PA Veggies for one of a kind content and to learn more. Contact us at 484.955.3817 or [email protected].
The Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program is a statewide marketing order established by a grower referendum, governed by a grower board and funded by grower assessments. The Program’s sole purpose is to serve the vegetable growers of Pennsylvania by promoting Pennsylvania-grown vegetables and funding practical vegetable production research. Consider liking PA Veggies on Facebook (PAVeggies), following along on Instagram (@PAVeggies), subscribing to our YouTube channel, and using #PAVeggies to find and share your homegrown PA happiness experiences.
EDITORS: If you have any questions, please contact us at 484.955.3817 or [email protected].