While I do have a few plants growing in pots around the house, I don’t have any kind of huge operation going on this year. Between personal schedules and other things, I just lack the time to grow as much of my own food as I’d like. However, having organic and locally produced food is really important to me, so I shop at farmer’s markets and the like as much as possible, and you should too. Here’s why:
Benefits of Buying Locally
- Support farmers in your area
- Have confidence in the source and conditions of your food through its full cycle
- Be able to ask questions about the raising/growing conditions
- Know exactly where the food is coming from
- Many local farmers use organic methods (and it’s easier to check)
- Local farmers won’t sell produce that’s not ripe (unlike grocery stores)
Where to Find, Buy and Sell Locally
Maybe it’s old fashioned of me, but there’s something neat about knowing exactly where your meat, dairy and vegetables are coming from, and that’s where locally grown food/produce comes in. Whether you’re interested in selling or buying I wanted to share a few resources that I use in order to find local farmers in my area:
- Eat Wild – This website provides a searchable-by-state database. Mostly it focuses on meats and animal products, but other items are also listed.
- Local Harvest – This website is more about plants than actual animal products, although both are listed. You can search by region by typing in your city.
- Local Dirt – This site isn’t quite as expansive as some of the others, but it has some pretty good information and comparing farms by area is much easier.
All of these websites feature not only ways to search and purchase local food but also to list your own farm to help increase your customer base. Of course, there’s more to just listing it on a website, so be sure to check out this handy list of tips for selling locally so you can be prepared for all those new customers!
I realize I might be preaching to the choir a little bit here, but I was absolutely amazed at how few people there are at the local Farmer’s Market yesterday, so it really got me to thinking. You just don’t know what you’re missing out on until you check it out! Do you shop (or sell) at Farmer’s markets or other local avenues? Share your thoughts and experiences with me!