Visit Farmers Markets, Farm Stands & Grow Your Own – Local Challenge

What is local? How much is it possible to truly purchase local? My goal is to get as many people involved to see that it is easy to do, when you start small, baby steps. Produce is easy in our area, as the farmers markets and farm stands are everywhere. That is a great place to start! 
We tend to rely on the grocery store to supply us with our fruits and vegetables, without really taking into account the seasonality of that produce, or the distance it travels to make it to our plates. Now when I go into the grocery store, I look at the point of origin on all produce. So much of the produce comes from Mexico and other distant places. By buying local, not only will you get the freshest tasting produce, think of the fuel savings across the board too!
This was a great explanation to me of what “local” is, taken from the Sustainable Table
“Talk of local food is everywhere. But what does it mean? How local is local? Local is shorthand for an idea that doesn’t have a firm definition. Unlike organic standards, which entail specific legal definitions, inspection processes, and labels, local means different things to different people, depending on where they live, how long their growing season is, and what products they are looking for. 

Practically speaking, local food production can be thought of in concentric circles that start with growing food at home. The next ring out might be food grown in our immediate community – then state, region, and country. For some parts of the year or for some products that thrive in the local climate, it may be possible to buy closer to home. At other times, or for less common products, an expanded reach may be required.”

That being said, think about joining the Local Challenge, starting with produce. Grow your own heirloom and non-gmo plants like I am going to attempt to do, thanks to The Good Farm’s plant sale this past Saturday. For those without a green-thumb or the time to experiment with growing your own, visit your local Farmer’s Market to see what they have to offer. Asparagus, greens and strawberries are locally available right now!