The Washington-Baltimore area and the broader Mid-Atlantic needed a better way to connect our many residents who care deeply about the quality and context of the food they put on the table with the world-class meat being produced by experienced, principled farmers practically on the outskirts of town, and by fishing captains catching populous species sustainably in nearby waters.
This need was there before COVID-19; it's more pronounced now.
Throughout our region, neighbors who prefer healthy, ethically-sourced meat and seafood for themselves and their families routinely make disheartening compromises, or give up entirely, because it's too time-consuming, confusing or expensive to shop right.
But the Capital Region's "near country" is bountiful. Many of our local farmers have been raising animals the right way for years, producing meat that is as delicious as it is responsible. And many local watermen ply their trade with a focus on landing species that are safely abundant, or even invasive and therefore detrimental to local ecosystems.
I started Near Country Provisions to create a new bridge from farmers and fishers to families, and to make it easier for my neighbors to eat well and eat good by tapping into the local small farmer and small fleet heritage.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been awful for everyone, and most of all for vulnerable populations from industrial meatpackers in the countryside to our cities' communities of color. But when together we beat the virus, we may find that a silver lining of the experience has been that more of us have learned to make deliberate choices about how to source safe and ethical food, and that more locally-focused businesses have risen to the challenge of providing it. Here, we are certainly trying to live up to that aspiration.
Founder, Near Country Provisions
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