If you want to bring more local foods to your table but don’t know where to start, here are some options:
1) Read Labels
In season, more and more grocery stores are beginning to showcase locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Why buy apples shipped in from another state when Galas from a local orchard are in the next bin? Look for provenance information on stickers, twist-ties, or on the shelves themselves. A good produce manager should also be able to point you in the right direction.
2) Visit Farmers’ Markets
Let yourself explore new vegetables, maybe take a risk on something you wouldn’t normally buy like rainbow chard or muskmelon. Ask farmers what’s new this week, what they love, what they like to do with it. And come back to SeedtoSpoon.com for seasonal recipes and other tips! There are too many markets for me to list here, but if you need help finding one, go to Google or Yahoo and type in Farmers Market and the name of the town. Or if you’re in Colorado, click on this directory from the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
3) Join a Farm Share, also known as CSA, for Community-Supported Agriculture
In a farm share, members buy a weekly share at the start of the season, usually for $300-$500, depending on the size of the share (quarter, half, full, etc.). If there’s a banner harvest, you get more in your box; if there’s hail or a drought, you get less. Either way, the farmer can count on your money. This is a good thing, especially when you consider how many farmers have been forced to hang “For Sale” signs on their properties in recent years.
4) I Want to Join. Now What?
Here’s a listing of CSAs by city. Note that many CSAs serve cities within an hour or so radius, so if you don’t find one in your hometown, call around. And if you don’t live in Colorado, click on LocalHarvest.org and search by city on the CSA Page. P.S. As the months progress, you’ll find more and more profiles of these wonderful farmers listed under the “Personalities” category on the right of the blog.
Lora’s Nourishing Produce
Abbondanza Organic Seeds and Produce
Cure Organic Farm
Red Wagon Organic Farm
Javernick Family Farms
Happy Heart Farm
Ela Family Farms
Cresset Community Farm
Monroe Organic Farms
Pachamama Organic Farm
Zephyros Farm and Garden
Grant Family Farms