Buying Local

by Mary Entrekin Agee

Middle School photography students learned about the importance of buying local with their latest project.

Their photography book Why Buy Local? is a look at the importance of purchasing more of our food from local growers. Middle school photography students from University School of Nashville visited the Nashville Farmers' Market to document the lush visual array of fruits and vegetables available on a crisp fall day, interview the farmers and vendors, and learn more about the Local Food movement.


This semester my MS film photography students have taken a look at some of the reasons why buying food from local sources is better for us and better for the planet. We started with a taste test of some locally, regionally, and internationally grown apples. Then we looked at how many miles a Gala apple from New Zealand has traveled to get here. Do you know? (The answer is 8029 miles).

For our field trip to the Nashville Farmer's Market, the students were "hired" as freelance photographers for our collaborative book project, with me as their art director. They were assigned a cover shot that would be a close-up or detail of some type of produce. I hope you agree that my freelancers did a magnificent job. They were also encouraged to document people, place, and produce. I am so proud of the work that the students have submitted and hope it will initiate interesting conversations among our families in the USN community. Read the book to learn about families within our community that are providing locally produced food in their restaurants, so you can support your local community. Lots of you are probably already supporting these businesses.

To see the book, stop by the middle school office anytime. Or you can see a preview of it on at Why Buy Local? by MS photo students at USN, Fall 2010.


For a limited time, we will be selling copies of our book for $18 (including shipping and sales tax)*. Or you can order a copy directly from at the above link for about $22.50 including shipping and sales tax.

If you are interested, please contact me at with your name, address, email address, and the quantity of books. Questions?

*The cost of shipping/handling drops when I order several copies at once. I will place the order over winter break and deliver books in January.

    • The cover of the students' book

    • at the Farmers' Market

    • an apple tasting, comparing apples from Tennessee, New Zealand, and other places

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