A new initiative called “Home for Thanksgiving” is being launched which encourages families to incorporate at least one locally grown item in their holiday feasts. The campaign, led by the Great Basin Community Food Co-op, aims to provide an easily attainable way to introduce new people to the local food movement.
“We thought this would be a fun way for everyone to try locally grown ingredients,” said Jolene Cook, co-general manager of the Co-op. “We hope this becomes a new tradition for area families not only because this food is delicious and healthful, but also because local food purchases benefit area farmers and help connect our community to those who grow our food.”
The Nevada Department of Agriculture and Buy Nevada have joined in to help to promote the campaign.
“The Nevada Department of Agriculture and its Buy Nevada program are pleased to partner with the Great Basin Community Food Co-op on the Home for Thanksgiving campaign,” said Bob Conrad, the Department’s public information officer. “The Co-op and Buy Nevada are great sources for finding locally grown Nevada food, and we encourage everyone to include Nevada made and grown food products into their Thanksgiving meals and as much as possible throughout the year.”
NevadaGrown, a local nonprofit that helps foster the success of sustainable agriculture and promotes healthy eating habits, has also backed the effort.
“If you’re new to buying local, the Thanksgiving meal is a great place to start,” said Ann Louhela, president of NevadaGrown. “Just add one new product at a time to your grocery list. The taste can’t be beat, and our local economy will be giving thanks when we keep our dollars local.”
Look for “Home for Thanksgiving” ingredient inspiration on the Co-op’s Instagram account (@GREATBASINFOODCOOP) and the social media accounts of the Nevada Department of Agriculture and NevadaGrown. Post your own photo of the local ingredient you are using in your holiday meal and be entered to win a gift basket of local items from the Co-op. Just tag @GREATBASINFOODCOOP and use the hashtag #homeforthanksgiving.
Locally grown traditional Thanksgiving ingredients will be offered at the Co-op’s downtown Reno location leading up to the holiday, making it easy to find at least one item that will fit into any dinner menu. Everyone is welcome at the Co-op and membership is not required to shop. Organic or natural turkeys will be available for pre-order through Nov. 15, and customers will receive $15 off any purchase of $100 that includes a turkey. Some of the other local items that will be available include:
· Eggs from Hadji Paul
· Milk from SandHill Farms
· Pie pumpkins from Lattin Farms
· Honey from Dharma or Al Bees
· Onions from Nevada Ag
· Tomatoes from Greg’s Organics
· Sage/thyme from Salisha’s Delicious
· Shallots from Mewaldt Organic Farms
· Beets/carrots from Avanzino Farms
· Butternut squash from Pioneer Farms
The purchase of just one local item from the Co-op will delight more than just your taste buds. The Co-op is community owned by its members and aims to provide wholesome and nutritious food — much of it being organic and free of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) — that is produced in an environmentally sound and socially just manner. It promotes our local food system by supporting small, family farms and sustainable producers. Additionally, purchasing from the Co-op helps to keep money in the area — it re-circulates 20% more income into the local community compared to non-locally owned grocery stores.
The Great Basin Community Food Co-op is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 240 Court Street in Reno.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.