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VOICES FROM THE FIELD
Saving Water + Energy with Local Foods
Karen and John Pendleton are leaders in the local-foods movement in Kansas. Operating on 65 acres in northeast Kansas, just outside of Lawrence, the Pendleton’s raise vegetables and flowers using surface and subsurface drip irrigation in the field, in hoop houses, and greenhouses.
Emphasizing the importance of direct marketing via farmer’s markets and community supported agriculture, agricultural education, and agri-tourism, the Pendleton’s educate local consumers on agricultural practices, beneficial insects, and nutrition. Using a common sense approach, the Pendleton’s practices save water, energy, and benefit the local community. John Pendleton explains,
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We live here. We think it’s important to have a nice balance of good, healthy environment where we live and work. Whether it’s food, butterflies, pumpkins, or flowers, they’re all different things we have on the farm. The butterfly pavilion is educational, the flowers are beautiful, and the food tastes better. We want to provide good quality products to the customers that look better, taste better, and are more nutritious. I like that people say, ‘this is my farmer.’ Our customers are our customers, and we are their farmers.