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Environmental Factor

July 2011

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"Going local" at the spring Farmers' Fair

By Melissa Kerr
July 2011

Jack Bishop, Ph.D., stands at a display featuring honeybees and jars of honey

Bishop was eager to tell visitors to his table about his bees and their delightful honey. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Kerr)

Jeff Tucker arranges produce on his display table

Like his fellow vendors, NIEHS Biomedical Engineer Jeff Tucker, owner of Sugar Creek Farm, clearly understood the value of presentation as he spread out his spring garden's bounty. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Kerr)

Local farmers and crafters exhibited their produce and products June 15 on the patio outside the Rall Building as part of the NIEHS spring Farmers' Fair. The NIEHS Environmental Awareness Advisory Committee (EAAC) hosted the event to promote the idea of buying local.

"It's very important for us as consumers to reduce our carbon footprint and to know where our food is coming from," explained NIEHS Hazardous Waste Manager and EAAC Co-Chair Paul Johnson.

The abundant spring sun encouraged many NIEHS scientists and staff members to take advantage of the offerings, as well as a chance to mingle with friends and colleagues and to take in some people watching.

Fresh flowers and vegetables were available from several different vendors. NTP Research Geneticist Jack Bishop, Ph.D., brought local honey along with a live display of his bees in action. NIEHS Biomedical Engineer Jeff Tucker brought in produce from his farm. Cohen Farms promoted its line of fresh, hormone-free meats and eggs. There was also a display of handcrafted baskets from Rabbit Patch Baskets.

NIEHS Biologist and EAAC member Cindy Innes coordinated the event along with NIEHS Program/Committee Support Assistant Jenn Evans. EAAC member and NTP Health Scientist Diane Spencer also helped with the preparation of the fair. "We were very happy with the response this year," Spencer said.

The EAAC is a committee designed to promote an awareness of the environmental impact of our actions, as well as serving as an advisory body to the NIEHS/NTP director and associate director for management on environmental initiatives.

(Melissa Kerr studies chemistry at North Carolina Central University. She is currently an intern in the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison.)

Marcia Tice shows flower arrangements to customers

Nothing can brighten a room more than the colorful flowers showcased by Cut & Carry Bouquets owner Marcia Tice. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Kerr)

Sindura Ganapathi Ph.D., looks over flower arrangements

NIEHS Visiting Fellow Sindura Ganapathi Ph.D., enjoyed the bright display. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Kerr)

Visitors look over baskets of produce

As visitors quickly discover, there was no shortage of fresh produce at several booths. (Photo courtesy of Paul Johnson)

Two smiling women pose together for a photo

Friends and colleagues Cynthia Radford, left, and Evans, right, took advantage of the fair's offerings. (Photo by Eddy Ball)

Cohen stands in front of a sign describing her products

Cohen Farm displayed a list of organically produced, hormone- and antibiotic-free beef, pork, and eggs available by order. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Kerr)

A table displaying produce and birdhouses

This spread represents just a small sample of produce and products offered at the fair. (Photo courtesy of Paul Johnson)

Several visitors talking in front of a display tent

Like NIEHS Grants Financial Analyst Benny Encarnacion, left, most shoppers used vendor-supplied plastic bags to take their produce and craft purchases back to the office. (Photo courtesy of Paul Johnson)

A table filled with hand-made baskets

But fair goers also had the option of carrying home their bounty in style with handmade baskets on sale at the event. (Photo courtesy of Paul Johnson)

Farmers' Fair exhibitors

The Farmers' Fair brought together nine local food and crafts producers to show off their offerings to people at NIEHS:

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