Located at the corner of business 380 and Walnut Street, a busy corner in the sleepy town of Decatur, Texas, you will find a charming family business called the ‘Decatur Fresh Produce Market.’ Run by family matriarch, Nina and her three children, Debra, Lisa, and Doug, “The Decatur Fresh Produce Market” has been a thriving staple for many to the town of Decatur for over 16 years.
Step into the shop with a traditional doorbell chime and all, and you’ll find colorful array of fresh fruits and vegetables displayed in wooden crates and baskets, a room full of refrigerators containing locally raised meats, eggs, and milk, and a “seller room” full of locally made jams, jellies, and locally jarred fruits. Upon entering, you are likely greeted by a member of the White family. You will know it’s them by their charismatic smile and genuine interest in you and your story. These ladies don’t know a stranger and that is because most people walk out as friends.
Started in 2007 by Delbert and Nina White, the family opened their doors when they realized the opportunity for local, organic produce and grocery goods was missing in their hometown. Since Delbert’s passing in 2021, the family has stepped up and continued the legacy of their husband and father. “Dad used to sit outside on the bench out front and wave to everyone as they drove by,” says Debra. Now a bench is dedicated to him decorates the front porch.
But behind their brilliant business is an entire generational story of this families’ love and impact on the land. For most, the environmental costs of grocery stores are often overlooked, but this family knows that by keeping their community fed with local and fresh produce, there is a bigger benefit for future inhabitants of the Earth.
One of the most beneficial ways buying local helps the environment is by reducing ‘food miles.’ Most items in a grocery store travel over 1,500 miles to reach your plate. Local produce has smaller carbon footprints and cuts down on fuel consumption and air pollution including overseas plane travel and long-haul travel. It reduces the need for shipping facilities, packing facilities and materials, and refrigeration.
Many local farms pride themselves on following sustainable farming practices. By keeping products organic, hormone free, and pesticide free, farmers and ranchers which can contaminate soil, water, air, and cause harm to wildlife and humans. Crop rotation, cover cropping and other natural methods enhance soil heath and protect biodiversity.
A secondary benefit of buying local is the workforce opportunities brought to the area. By purchasing groceries locally, you’re helping keep local growers, creators, and farmers in their jobs. Without the consumer demand, these local farms and ranches may not exist. Employees would have to seek work elsewhere, outside of the community. This adds highway congestion, fuel consumption and enlarges the overall carbon footprint.
While Nina, Debra, Lisa, and Doug are always delighted to see you walk in the door, they are also grateful for the environmental repercussions of your purchases. Keeping the land happy and healthy for their future generations and for a budding family of 8 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren to date, they can’t help but smile.
Decatur Fresh Produce Market
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