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Corridor backs local use of local farm produce.

PUTNAM - The Quinebaug-Shetucket Heritage Corridor would like to see something new on local restaurant tables and store shelves - local agricultural products.

The area has more than 400 farms and agricultural businesses that produce common farm products such as beef, milk, cheese, apples and sweet corn. It also boasts the state's largest bison and free-range turkey farms, as well as another that raises 60,000 guinea hens for a specialty meat market in New York, according to QSHC Executive Director Charlene Perkins Cutler.

"I think there are some informal relationships between growers and various purveyors, such as retail places and restaurants. But there is kind of a disconnect," Mr. Cutler said.

She said QSHC would like to help make a connection.

The corridor next month will begin a feasibility study to create a blueprint for establishing a farm-to-purveyor program in the corridor's 35 communities in Northeastern Connecticut and South Central Massachusetts. The study should be done by the end of summer with the implementation of a plan possible next year.

Ms. Cutler said the increasing cost and difficulty of transporting farm goods from far away to local users makes this a good time to consider such a program.

The corridor will survey agricultural businesses, restaurants, caterers, grocers, markets and cooperatives to determine capacity, routes and demand.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Mar 30, 2008
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