Boston Globe: Professor Donahue Discusses Increased Demand in Local Food

Demand for locally farmed food is on the rise in New England. Not typically thought of as a farming region, land devoted to farming has increased over the past decade. Brandeis Professor Brian Donahue shared his thoughts in a recent Boston Globe article Demand for local foods help Mass. Farming find its footing.

The land has provided sustenance in Massachusetts since before the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth. Farms spread across the terrain as colonists arrived and the population swelled, with the agriculture industry peaking around the turn of the 20th century.

But then the industry declined. Cheap energy made large-scale irrigation possible and the long-distance shipment of farm products by trucks and planes. Massachusetts growers found themselves competing not with the farm down the road, but with behemoth establishments in Florida, California, or Washington, said Donahue.

The article addressed the main reasons for the resurgence in farming and the new face of farming as seen through those not born into the industry.

Professor Brian Donahue is a Brandeis historian and Massachusetts farmer. He is a co-collaborator on “A New England Food Vision” which suggests that we should be growing half of our own food by 2060. For more information, please visit

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