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A Look "Behind The Barn" At Local Foods

Residents of southwestern Pennsylvania are being urged to "put a face to your food" by exploring what local farms have to offer and learning about their growing practices. The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is hosting its 5th annual Buy Fresh Buy Local Farms Tour this Saturday from 1-5 p.m.

The tours highlight nine farms in Allegheny, Butler, Fayette, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland Counties that use sustainable agriculture techniques that are designed to make the farms viable, grow and produce healthy food, and protect the environment. Leah Smith, a spokeswoman for PASA, said this tour helps facilitate a close relationship between farmers and consumers.

"We are very enthusiastic about connecting people with the source of their food," Smith said. "And when you support local farmers you are getting healthy fresh food for your family and you are supporting the local economy and small businesses."

Smith says the best way to experience the tour is to make a route on the Buy Fresh Buy Local website that will take you across southwestern Pennsylvania. The $10 fee per vehicle, which can be purchased at the first farm you visit, goes to cover the cost of the tour and the work that PASA does.

"As part of our Buy Fresh Buy Local program we want to highlight farms that are really interested in connecting with customers and sharing their sustainable practices with each other and the public," Smith said.