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Local Dirt site increases market for local foods
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MADISON - Demand for locally and regionally grown food has increased enormously in recent years. Increased awareness about the importance of healthy, nutritious foods in the face of dramatically rising childhood obesity; rising consumer awareness about where food comes from due to recent food safety scares; and a desire to support local economic development and neighborhood and regional businesses means local food is an increasingly strong market.Helping to address this growing demand is the new and improved Web site Local Dirt, formerly GreenLeaf Market, launched by local entrepreneur Heather Hilleren with support from the UW Extension Ag Innovation Center and Thrive, the regional economic development enterprise for the eight-county Madison Region (Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Rock and Sauk counties). Local Dirt allows sellers of local food to market their products online and buyers to easily order from local sellers.