More consumers look to farms to offset rising grocery costs

More consumers look to farms to offset rising grocery costs (Image 1)

More consumers have chosen to purchase food from local farmers as grocery prices have noticeably increased since a year ago.

According to the Consumer Price Index, compared to early April of 2011, beef is up more than 8%, dairy is up almost 8% and bread is up 5%.

The trend is prompting shoppers to look elsewhere for food and local farmers like David Daily are reaping the benefits.

Daily started “Real Food Farms” four years ago and hasn't looked back ever since.

He said he never dreamed where his love for growing good food would take him. “It really is a labor of love,” he said, “You've got to be committed.”

During harvest season, Daily told Nashville's News 2 he can spend upwards of seven to eight hours a day, seven days a week, making sure the farm runs smoothly.

A few years ago, Daily said 25 people signed up for the community supported agriculture program, or CSA. This year they expect to provide 300 customers with food.

“People [just want] to get food that tastes better and is healthier,” Daily said.

More often than not, Daily told Nashville's News 2 he hears gripes about grocery store prices driving consumers to seek out better options.

Real Food Farms runs a summer CSA starting in mid-May. It costs $800 and runs for five months, supplying one large bag of produce per week.

Another option available provides a smaller amount per week for $550.

“Somewhere in there, organic food reaches the same price as conventional food, so why not get the better?” Daily asked.

For Daily, business is booming. Real Food Farms concentrates on produce, but also sells beef and dairy products.

To keep up with demand, Daily recently added acreage to the farm.

He told Nashville's News 2, “The reason we do this is to provide healthy food to people, and the more people who want it, we want to make sure their requests are met.”

There are more than two dozen CSAs in the Middle Tennessee area.

Click here for more information on how to sign up for the CSA at Real Food Farms.

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