Chatham University researchers have compiled a detailed map of farms and food processors in Pennsylvania, as part of a larger project to educate people about the region's food network.
The map is of producers and preparers within the Pittsburgh Food Shed, a 200-mile radius from downtown Pittsburgh, which spans into five other states. A map for West Virginia was also released, and there are plans to create maps for New York, Ohio, Virginia and Maryland. The two existing maps break down farms and processors by product, including grain, dairy, meat, produce and miscellaneous products.
Director of Chatham's Center for Regional Agriculture, Food and Transformation Alice Julier saidshe expects the map will be used to develop food tourism in the commonwealth. For example, she said, tourism bureaus could put together excursions based on themes such as charceturie or fermentation.
"Knowing where those retail outlets are that sell local product, and knowing what farms are out there, really helps us see what our state is good at," Julier said. "Or, what else we could be even better at."