No matter where you live in the United States, this one website will help you find farmer’s markets, grocery stores and co-ops that sell food from local farms in your area. The site also features Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) where you can sign up directly with a local farm for weekly baskets of produce, flowers and many other farm products.
The site, called localharvest.org, provides a zip code based search engine that highlights local farms and farmer markets in your town, region or state. It even has search engine for events such as farm dinners and festivals. While some search categories such as restaurants and meat producers are spotty, the farm, CSA and farmer market categories provide excellent information.
Why buy local food? Here are three good reasons:
- The food is fresher and often organic. You can often talk directly to the farmer about their growing methods.
- Buying local food means supporting your local economy. Why support some big agribusiness from out of state when you can support a local farmer?
- Buying local lowers the impact on the environment. Vegetables from Florida and Mexico need to be trucked hundreds or thousands of miles, adding to air pollution and contributing to global warming. A lot less gasoline and other resources are used when shipping food locally.
So check out www.localharvest.org and try out the search engine for your area. Then buy some food from a local farmer!