Berea, Kentucky is one of four winners of a competition held by the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Department of Agriculture. The “Livable Communities” award was granted to support Berea’s continued work on expanding the local food system. This grant will help Berea develop a city lot into an “urban farm” (well, as urban as you can be in Berea!) With its popular farmers’ market, the new Berea College Farm Store, groups like Sustainable Berea, and area schools and restaurants buying locally-grown produce, it’s no surprise to us that Berea would be among the winners. Representatives from the federal agencies will be in Berea today to present the award.
The other three winners are New Albany, Mississippi and Forest City and North Wilkesboro, both in North Carolina.
Local food is an important component to Appalachia’s transition and taps into our deeply-held food traditions. When it seems like everyone is looking for something to fight about, food brings people together and provides common ground. We’re looking forward to seeing the new urban farm come to life.