PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - We are two decades into the 21st century, but a very old piece of America's legacy is once again stepping to the forefront: her farmers. All around the region, people have been buying things fresh from the farm.
Between Pittsburgh and Butler -- along Route 8 -- is an old-fashioned slice of Americana.
"Freedom Farms was established 10 years ago," says Tim King, "but we've been in this community -- my children are five generations."
King and his family are part of the American agriculture machine. Every day, you can buy items that come straight from their family farm. Produce that is produced just like it has been for decades.
Yvette Smith of Butler visits the market probably once a week. "We like to buy their fresh produce, and we have gotten boxes of beef and their chicken as well."
Freedom Farms sells more than the fresh ingredients. They offer homemade baked goods and soups and salads made from scratch each day. They sell milk from their dairy cows, and eggs from their chickens. Beef and chicken are available as well.
Bill Belch has been a regular customer for years. More recently, his health has him visiting more often: "I have chronic leukemia, so I am a big organic vegetable guy. I eat all their vegetables and fruit."
King says Belch is not alone.
"I think people are focusing on their health right now in this epidemic and our sales have been steady or even elevated," he says. "We are blessed in that aspect that our farm market can carry the rest of our businesses."
People who shop at the Freedom Farms Market on a regular basis say there's just something different about the food they get. That's why they keep going back, week after week, and spending big money there.
"I have been shopping for the last six weeks or so for my neighbors who can't get out," says Belch. "I have probably spent close to $10,000 here, during the pandemic."
King encourages all shoppers to learn where their food comes from. He stresses they should go meet the farmers who grow it. "There's a lower number of farmers than there's ever been, but there's a farmer in your area. Go support them go talk to them, tell them how you want your food raised. You know -- vote with your dollars."
Smith agrees. "Come support your local farmers. If you want great meats, come support the Kings. They are phenomenal."
Regardless of what happens in the next couple weeks or months, King says he and the other farmers in the United States will be ready to feed the nation.
"We're producing more. We're putting more seed in the ground," he acknowledged. "We hear whispers of food shortages, but I don't necessarily believe that that will happen. We still have a lot of great farmers in this country."
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