Local Made Easy

Local Produce Sign

I think I can honestly say that I am hooked on local foods. I have noticed that in the past month since our going local challenge I consistently and effortlessly continue to buy local foods. One reason I say effortlessly is because the places I choose to shop make it easy for me. While Rhaya and I have mentioned some of the places we find our local foods as we go along, here are a few ideas on how to start to finding your own local foods:

Farmer’s Markets – Obviously the Farmer’s Market is a great place to get all kinds of local foods from veggies and fruits to cheeses, meats, wines and sometimes even specialty items like soaps and pottery. While some are just winding down for the year, many move the market indoors for their customers to enjoy year-round. Find one near you at Local Harvest.

Food Co-op: From helpful signs like the cute chalkboard above to the individual handmade signs, the local Co-op makes it easy for me and I have come to rely on their extensive labeling of products to guide me through my local foods shopping experience. Co-ops are owned and operated by its members who collectively decide upon their principals which guide their decision making process. Typically, food co-ops offer high quality, affordable, products at the best possible price minus the sales atmosphere. Most co-ops do not require you to become a member to shop in their stores, but if you find yourself shopping their regularly, the shares are usually affordable and it may be worth it to have a voice in the operation and get a discount (sometimes up to 26% if you are willing to work a few hours). Find one near you here or here.

CSAs: CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. While its likely too late to sign up this time of year in most places, it is something to think about for next. Think of it as your very own farmer’s market delivered to your door. Early in the spring, you can sign up with a participating farm to purchase a share of their crop, then every week a you can pick up your own fresh box of in-season produce at a central location in your area. Check out Rhaya’s post about a Farm Fresh Delivery in the Indianapolis area. Find one near you here.

In addition to the above, you can always practice a few simple things no matter where you shop: 1. Read labels, as in go for the bag of apples that were grown in your own state rather than across the country; 2. Speak up, ask questions about where the food is coming from and ask stores to carry more local foods; 3. Eat in season; and 4. Support restaurants that support local foods. For more ideas, check out Sustainable Table for information on sustainable shopping, where you can find a directory of local food sources like many of the places mentioned here and even restaurants too.

Posted in At The Market,Going Local by Liz on October 23, 2007 | Permalink | No Comments

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