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Madison County: Shop, eat local

Residents of Madison County can visit their nearest P&C Food Market this week to see what farm-fresh really tastes like. Madison County's Agricultural Economic Development Program and the Cornell Cooperative Extension are presenting their very first "Buy Local Week" from Aug. 11 through 16 to help support local farmers, help connect consumers with opportunities to buy food locally and increase awareness of various aspects of agriculture.

P&C will give a Pride of New York reusable cloth bag or apron to customers spending more than $15 on locally grown products, while supplies last. Customers can also pick up their free 'Buy Local' passports. The Buy Local Passports can be used during Open Farms Day on Saturday Aug. 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Twelve farms throughout Madison County and the Cazenovia and Hamilton farmers markets will participate. The markets will provide new farm maps recently completed by the Madison County Agricultural Economic Development Program.

Visitors will be welcomed and given samples of the products each particular farm produces. Visitors can bring their Buy Local passports to the host farmer after visiting the site or Buy Local Week tent at the markets to be stamped.

Many farms also will offer samples, farm tours, animal petting and discounts. Any participants who receive two stamps will automatically receive prizes, including a free hat or t-shirt, as well as a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to Circa Restaurant in Cazenovia or the Colgate Inn in Hamilton. Each additional stamp earns another chance to win. Passports can be submitted at any participating farm or market.

There will be a shuttle bus leaving the parking lot of the Hamilton Village Hall starting at 10 a.m. that day.

Interested parties should call 684-3001 as soon as possible to register. The shuttle will go to Foothill Hops in Munnsville, Mosher Farms in Bouckville, Heritage Farm in Bouckville and Heamour Farm in Madison.

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