Why Local Llano?
Do you know where your food comes from? Why does it matter? These two questions drive the concept of Local Llano.
Local Llano is a concept we coined to highlight our food shed. In short, a food shed is a geographic area where food is produced and consumed (similar to a watershed, which encompasses the flow of water from where it starts to where it ends). The vast majority of food we buy in supermarkets travels over 1,300 miles–part of a highly concentrated global system and food shed. By contrast, our blog focuses on foods grown or crafted in the bio- region where we live, the Llano Estacado, which is a bit more than 200 miles long and about 100 miles wide.
Why does food that is grown, crafted, and consumed in the Llano Estacado region matter to its residents?
Though few food sheds can provide all that is needed by those who inhabit it, there are great benefits to producing and eating food grown here in the Llano. First, locally-produced food is fresher and often more nutritious than products that have traveled hundreds of miles, and the money spent to purchase or craft it tends to circulate multiple times in the local economy, rather than draining away to distant lands and cities. Furthermore, local food production reduces the resources needed to package and transport food, thereby lowering solid waste and fossil fuel emissions. Finally, eating from our local food shed builds up our food security, meaning that we won’t have to rely solely on grocery store chains to deliver the food that is essential to the social and economic health of our communities.
In 2011, Ogallala Commons, a nonprofit organization working to reinvigorate Great Plains Communities, initiated the Local Llano blog and Facebook page to educate the public on locally grown foods in the Llano Estacado region. Each week, the Local Llano blog features a story about growing, purchasing, cooking, or celebrating locally produced foods, while Local Llano Facebook offers posts per week with ideas, photos, and people producing and crafting good eats in our “island in the sky.”
Please look for our blog each week so you can “experience your food shed” and like us on Facebook. We would love for you to share this blog or any posts with anyone else who is enthusiastic about the local food movement (and sign up to receive our monthly email updates).