Everybody loves a farmer’s market. Roadside fruits and vegetable stands are popular as well. Numerous schools and churches give away local farmers’ produce in the summer or fall. Those dining out at restaurants consciously choose eateries using locally sourced foods. One way or another, people eat the freshest fruits and vegetables available to them.
Considering how much people love these fresh fruits and veggies, there should be more and better knowledge of locally sourced foods. Not many people are aware that many local farms allow the public to pick what they can carry in return for a contribution. Lots of farmers allow the public to pick what is left over following the harvest sales.
We’ve found the following ways to help people better support their local food systems.
1. Your State’s Cash Crop
Go online to find out what your state’s cash crop is. For example, corn is the major cash crop in Maryland, followed closely by soybeans. Silver Queen corn is the go-to veggie for anything to do with crabs. If you’re having a party, crab will be on the menu. You won’t have to look far for the Silver Queen corn.
Go online to find out which farms in your area grow something different. After all, there’s corn for animal feed, corn for popcorn, corn for a dozen different things including clothing and fuel. Find out what your area grows, then go and get some of it.
2. Look in your local grocery store for local farmers’ foods.
Many farmers have a contract with local grocery stores, restaurants, and even some convenient stores. Spring and summer are perfect times for festivals of all types. You won’t have to look far for a farmer with something to sell. You’ll be supporting the local food system.
3. Buy up all the produce you can
It comes from farmer’s markets, roadside stands, festivals, grocery stores and anywhere else you can manage. Then can them. Tutorials abound online, so it won’t be too difficult to learn to can. You’ll be provided with a list of things you’ll need plus any safety precautions you’ll need to know.
Canning is a time-honored tradition of using in the winter months what was grown during the summer and fall months. It’s a lost art today, sad to say, but it can be revived in order to help your local farmers.
4. Join a CSA or Community Supported Agriculture
This will net a good haul of fruits and vegetables during the harvest. Lots of farms add in milk, eggs, butter, or meats with their harvest deliveries. The way it works is you offer a contribution to a local farmer in return for regular deliveries of whatever is harvested.
Many people help during the harvest. Such helpers are often invited to have meals with the produce grown on the farm. Look online to find a CSA in your area.
It is only a matter of digging up the ground in a specified area as well as planting a $1.50 packet of seeds. Just weed the garden and keep pesky bugs away from your food. Living in an apartment is no reason to not have a garden. Most garden centers sell huge planters for trees. They make the best container garden ever.
Starting a community garden is no different. Ask around to find out who owns the nearest empty piece of land. Ask the owner if you can use it for a community garden. Almost no one is ever refused this request. Let the neighbors know. They’ll help take care of it.
When people see things like this, it encourages them to support their own local food system. They often share their take from the farmer’s market, the giveaways at churches and schools in addition to what they pick from farms. Here is a great article on Vertical Gardening that you will find insightful.
Eating locally is a good way to support your local farmers. Many restaurants, especially in small towns and villages, use local produce, plus sometimes eggs, butter, milk, and meats. Eating at these restaurants ensures the local food system is strong.
Guest Author’s Bio
Kylie is the editor at Green & Growing. She enjoys the outdoors, especially when she can go on a fun hike or adventure. She likes to focus on the perks of green living. She feels it is so important to take care of our earth and hope to spread more awareness as she edits and writes.