This is Day 125 of the Green in 365 series!
It’s the season for Farmer’s Markets and CSA’s and Local Food! Our Farmer’s Market is open year round, but this is the time of year where it really starts to pick up with fresh and locally grown produce and other products.
Finding local, real food is a great way to feed your family good, healthy food while also being kind to the Earth, because it doesn’t have to travel for across the country, or world, to get to you! This saves on gas and transportation resources, and also supports and builds up your local economy!
When you’re first starting out though, it can sometimes be hard to find good sources of local food, so I wanted to put some resources together to help you get started.
Resources for Finding Local Food
Farmer’s Market.com – Start by finding your local farmer’s market and beginning to get to know some farmers there – asking them questions about how their food was grown/raised. Sometimes you will be able to find more food sources through connections at the farmer’s market.
Local Harvest – This site is an amazing resource for finding all different types of local foods, from farmer’s markets to CSA’s to local meat and dairy farms. The listings are detailed – showing what type of growing methods a farm uses, and what products they have available during the different seasons. Some of the farms even have the option of ordering or buying straight from the Local Harvest site.
Eat Wild – On Eat Wild’s site, you can search for locally raised pastured meat, poultry and dairy products.
Pick Your Own – One of our favorite family traditions has become picking fresh, local fruit in bulk to preserve and freeze to use throughout the year. I love using Pick Your Own to find local u-pick farms.
Real Milk – If you are looking for raw milk suppliers in your area, this site can help you to find a good source.
A few notes about these resources:
These sites and listings are not exhaustive for finding local food sources. I know there is a newer Farmer’s Market in our area that carries a lot of organically grown, and pasture raised, foods that isn’t listed on the Farmer’s Market site.
Also, the farm where we purchased our bulk beef and pork, and get our raw milk and eggs from, is not listed on these sites, most likely because it is run by an Amish family. We found them through word of mouth, so always be open to asking other people who have similar food values as you for their recommendations for sourcing local food.
For Farmer’s Markets, or group co-ops, also be willing to talk directly to the Farmers about buying and ordering directly from them. There is a local dairy that sells unhomogonized, pastured milk at one of the Farmer’s Markets, and also a food co-op in our area, but, in talking with him, I found out that they also do home deliveries. It’s a couple extra dollars a week, but if you had a tight schedule and weren’t able to get to the market or co-op pick up, home delivery would be a great option!
Always make sure you contact a farm before visiting or buying from them. Some of the listings on these sites may be out of date, or incorrect, so you need to make sure you check with the farm to make sure they are still in business, or have the products available that you want to purchase.
Also, if you live close to the state line, like we do, be sure to check for resources in the surrounding states. Many of the local fruit and berry farms are in Michigan, so I have to check the listings for Michigan on the Pick Your Own site to find more farms that are available near us.
And, of course, the best source for finding local food is other people who live locally to you. Don’t be afraid to ask around, talk to others, share your local food sources with them, and find out about their food sources. Other people can give you their experience and recommendations, and help you to find the best local food in your area!
How do you source local, real food in your area?
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