Summer is coming to an end. You may be sad to see the warm weather and abundant sunshine come to an end, or you may realize that harvest season is coming! For people who live in seasonal climates, the end of the summer and beginning of the fall is a beautiful time of the year. The weather is comfortable, and the food is amazing! So many fruits and vegetables are available being harvested, and with the growth of the organic and local food movement on the Internet, finding a way to purchase local produce has never been easier.
There are a few easy ways to find your local markets. The first obvious way is to just use your favorite search engine and browse until you find a market in your area. But what about using a website where you can see reviews and find other local farm information? Well, you’re in luck! You can find information on local farmers markets, local farms and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) on localharvest.org by looking up information based on your zip code. You can also then see user reviews for markets and farms in your area.
Purchasing locally is incredibly important. In today’s tough economic market, farmers are having a difficult time just like the rest of us. By supporting your local farms, you support people you know instead of big business agriculture.
You can also encourage farmers to gravitate to farming practices that are better for the environment by purchasing organic produce and grass fed meats*, and discouraging the farmers from looking to ship out their products and releasing pollution into the air via the trucks hauling the produce. What’s more, by shopping with farmers who grow organically and naturally, we can help keep pesticides off our foods and out of our bodies.
Not only is eating locally and seasonally important for the local economy and environment, but it’s also undeniably delicious. The Farmers Market is a perfect place to get what you need to make healthy home cooked meals, or even try out something new like the raw food diet. Many cookbooks out there focus purely on local and seasonally available ingredients. I know that for me, these cookbooks have opened up a world of delicious cooking opportunities that I may not have thought of trying before. Because I now only use seasonal items in my kitchen, I look for new recipes and explore the delicious world of food like I had never done before.