How to Be a Locavore
If you want to eat locally, eat healthier foods, and help your local economy at the same time, here are five options to get your locavore groove on.
1) Seasonal farmers markets: Even if you are from a small community, chances are you have a seasonal farmer's market. You can expect to find the foods that are growing in your region at the time of the farmer's market. Some markets may only sell local or organic food, while others allow trucked-in food, which may be contaminated with pesticides. Talk to the individual vendors to learn more about their products and their farming methods.
2) Local Community Supported Agriculture Groups: Research your area to see if they offer community supported agriculture co-ops (CSAs). By joining a CSA, you can have access to in-season fruits, vegetables, and (sometimes) eggs by paying a monthly fee. Some CSAs deliver, while others allow co-op members to pick up their box of goodies at a designated location once a week.
3) Local chefs: There are many local chefs who understand the benefits of serving locally grown food that is in season. These chefs understand that local food tastes better, and it is a sustainable option. Ask around your local farmer's market or CSA for recommendations on restaurants that serve local food.
4) Your own victory or community garden: You can turn your unused yard into a mini homestead, and produce much of your own food needs on as little as 1/4 acre. Community gardens allow individuals gardening space in a community setting, often at a church or unused plot of land somewhere in the city. Though you might have to get on a waiting list, once you're a part of the garden, you can tend to your space as if it were your own.
5) Local food co-ops: This might be a little tricky. Local food co-ops buy fresh foods in bulk, but not always from producers within a hundred miles of their home stores. It takes a little questioning to find out. Ask the manager where the food comes from, and what items in the store are provided by local farmers. Co-ops, like farmer's markets, often act as a hub of sustainable-minded activity. Keep your eye out for a bulletin board or newsletter that lists upcoming eco-friendly events.