Environmental Factor, July 2011, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
"Going local" at the spring Farmers' Fair
By Melissa Kerr
Bishop was eager to tell visitors to his table about his bees and their delightful honey. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Kerr)
Like his fellow vendors, NIEHS Biomedical Engineer Jeff Tucker, owner of Sugar Creek Farm, clearly understood the value of presentation as he spread out his spring garden's bounty. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Kerr)
Local farmers and crafters exhibited their produce and products June 15 on the patio outside the Rall Building as part of the NIEHS spring Farmers' Fair. The NIEHS Environmental Awareness Advisory Committee (EAAC) hosted the event to promote the idea of buying local.
"It's very important for us as consumers to reduce our carbon footprint and to know where our food is coming from," explained NIEHS Hazardous Waste Manager and EAAC Co-Chair Paul Johnson.
The abundant spring sun encouraged many NIEHS scientists and staff members to take advantage of the offerings, as well as a chance to mingle with friends and colleagues and to take in some people watching.
Fresh flowers and vegetables were available from several different vendors. NTP Research Geneticist Jack Bishop, Ph.D., brought local honey along with a live display of his bees in action. NIEHS Biomedical Engineer Jeff Tucker brought in produce from his farm. Cohen Farms promoted its line of fresh, hormone-free meats and eggs. There was also a display of handcrafted baskets from Rabbit Patch Baskets.
NIEHS Biologist and EAAC member Cindy Innes coordinated the event along with NIEHS Program/Committee Support Assistant Jenn Evans. EAAC member and NTP Health Scientist Diane Spencer also helped with the preparation of the fair. "We were very happy with the response this year," Spencer said.
The EAAC is a committee designed to promote an awareness of the environmental impact of our actions, as well as serving as an advisory body to the NIEHS/NTP director and associate director for management on environmental initiatives.
(Melissa Kerr studies chemistry at North Carolina Central University. She is currently an intern in the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison.)
Farmers' Fair exhibitors
The Farmers' Fair brought together nine local food and crafts producers to show off their offerings to people at NIEHS:
- Coon Rock Farm (http://www.coonrockfarm.com/)
- Cohen Farm (http://www.cohenfarm.com/)
- Speckled Bird Farm (http://www.speckledbirdfarm.com/)
- Cut & Carry Bouquets by Marcia Tice (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Rabbit Patch Baskets (http://www.rabbitpatchbaskets.com/)
- Vesta Toppings (http://vestatoppings.com/)
- Saddle Creek Honey by Jack Bishop (email@example.com)