Mission: Our mission is to strengthen your relationship with our local farmers and producers.
Vision: We envision protecting and promoting a local food system that builds community, supports the local economy, nurtures a healthy environment, and produces healthy, delicious food! We want to build a network of county people who value local food and local food producers.
At Carteret Local Food Network, we recognize the importance of our local food economy and the need to support it. We honor the diverse range of farming practices and understand that consumers have many options when it comes to what, where, and when to buy food. Some of our farmers learned their skills from past generations while others have utilized modern resources. However, all farmers must contend with the unpredictable challenges that come with farming. Despite this, they strive to produce quality products and maintain sustainability. Although no farmers in Carteret County are currently "certified organic," many are adopting eco-friendly methods and are happy to educate consumers about their processes. By choosing to shop locally, you have the power to make a positive impact on your health and your community. The quality of the food you consume affects your well-being, and as a consumer, you have the right to know where your food comes from and how it was produced. Choosing local, fresh, and healthy options is an investment in yourself and your local economy. When you purchase from local farmers, you are supporting not only their business, but also the many other local businesses that benefit from their success.
Nowadays, phrases like "fresh local food" and "sustainable local food systems" have become critical in promoting healthy and environmentally conscious eating. Fortunately, these trends are not limited to big cities or popular food hubs like North Carolina's Piedmont region, but are also taking root here in Carteret County.
The Carteret Local Food Network aims to connect you with food that is grown and produced locally, eliminating the need for food to travel long distances. Not only does locally sourced food tend to be fresher and more nutritious, but it also often tastes better! We are committed to sharing information and updates about community food projects and sources of fresh local food.
If you're interested in learning how to grow and cook your own fruits and vegetables, the North Carolina Cooperative Extension offers resources to help. The Master Gardeners have four demonstration gardens, two of which focus on home vegetable gardens. Additionally, there are several markets and Saturday Farmers' Markets where you can purchase seasonal foods that you can't or don't grow yourself. Carteret Catch can also help you find local retailers and restaurants that serve locally caught fish from fishing families in the area.
We want to express our gratitude to North Carolina growers, gardeners, educators, chefs, volunteers, and others who work hard to bring fresh, healthy food to our tables. Moving forward, we are excited to support programs like FFA and 4-H that encourage young adults and farmers to grow more sustainably, reducing our environmental impact and improving the quality of food available to consumers. With this shared commitment to local and sustainable food, we look forward to many bountiful seasons ahead.