LOCAL FOOD SYSTEMS
Supporting local food systems enhances the social relationships between farmers and consumers; supports small and family farmers; keeps local agricultural economies viable; maintains genetic diversity of food crops; and preserves natural resources, rural land, and wildlife spaces. An important objective of UF/IFAS Extension Orange County is to increase food security and community development by supporting a culture that celebrates our local food system.
Urban agriculture can provide healthy, local food that contributes to food security and helps to maintain additional green space. Today up to 15% of our food originates from within metropolitan areas. The contribution of urban agriculture is crucial to food security and healthy nutrition as more people live in cities than ever before.
Educational workshops, presentations, mentorship and outreach resources are offered for hobbyist in the areas of keeping backyard honey bees in Orange County, Florida. These programs provide research-based information to the public that emphasizes proper management of honey bees and wild bees in Florida.
Urban populations are becoming more aware of where and how their food is made. Due to this desire to become reacquainted with food production, backyard chickens is a growing trend within our metropolitan areas. Having chickens in their backyard is an excellent way for people to experience how their food is derived and a great opportunity to discover a walk of life they are less familiar with.