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April 30, 2013

Contact: Elaine J. Lidholm, 804.786.7686

Do the eyes of the Mom at your house light up when you give her a shrub, tree, plant or rhizome for her garden? Does she love a picnic in the park or an elegant dinner at a local restaurant? Would she wax poetic over a gift certificate for horseback riding lessons? Does she remember fondly the days spent on her grandparents’ farm when she was a kid?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has two words for you: BUY LOCAL. You can find any of the gifts mentioned above and a whole lot more at Virginia farms, farmers’ markets, nursery and garden centers, restaurants or agritourism farms that give you a day on the farm along with fresh-picked strawberries or asparagus.

A locally-grown plant from a nursery or garden center is already acclimated to your specific micro-climate, and if Mom happens to be a Hokie, you could get her the VT Spirit* daylily. If you pack your own picnic, many of the state’s 230 farmers’ markets are open now and can provide wonderfully fresh fruits, vegetables and other products. More and more Virginia restaurants proudly feature locally-grown or raised meats, eggs, fruits, vegetables, wine, herbs and more. And horse farms in every area of the state offer riding lessons for all ages.

Begin your search for local products at, VDACS’ interactive website that includes farmers’ markets, farms, CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture subscriptions), specialty products - many with the Virginia’s Finest designation - and agritourism farms. The benefits of buying local products go way beyond buying the freshest products available. They also include supporting the state’s farmers, keeping your dollars in the community and boosting the state’s largest industry, agriculture.

How can you be sure you’re buying Virginia Grown products? When you buy directly from the farmer or on the farm, the guarantee is implicit. At grocery stores, look for Virginia Grown or Locally Grown signs, banners, labels or price cards. If you don’t see them, ask. And if the store doesn’t carry local products, tell the manager that it is important to you to buy local.

The peak of the Buy Local season is just beginning. So buy Mom local plants, give her Virginia’s Finest chocolates, take her to lunch at a restaurant that features local products or help her remember what a day on the farm was like. In the process, you’ll give her the satisfaction of keeping the local economy alive and well.

VDACS posts all of its news releases on Facebook and Twitter. To receive immediate updates, follow us on Twitter@VaAgriculture or like us on

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