Many people are realizing the benefits of eating local food and supporting local food producers such as small farmers. Although going to the farmer’s market in the summer is a great way to get your hands on local produce, there are many other ways to ensure the local eating continues throughout the entire year. However, many people find that tracking down these sources can be difficult at first. Online resources are helping to change that as more and more people get connected with local farmers and growers.
Find Local Farmers
If you have no idea where to start on your hunt for local food sources, there are websites that provide the information you need. You can input your zip code and search for farmers. Many times the farmers will have websites that highlight what they provide such as eggs, grass-fed meats or produce. If they frequent farmer’s markets, you may be able to find that out here as well. The location of each farm or person is provided, as is a phone number. This is an excellent starting point for those seeking to eat more local foods and support their small farms.
It would be great if you acquire a list of farmers in your local area and their contact information. You will find once you start digging around that many farms are connected to help get the word out that provide certain products.
How to Find Small Farms
Sometimes, small farms may not be listed online, but they still provide produce or eggs that might be closer to where you live and/or offer a cheaper price on the same product. Many times, finding out about these farmers is possible only by word of mouth. Ask around and see who you get referred to. Sometimes these farmers will make their appearance at the summer farmer’s market – make sure to introduce yourself and get their contact info so you can get ahold of them throughout the year. Many times, these type of farms will offer Community Support Agriculture programs to get involved with. Several will offer mailing lists to sign up for so you can keep in touch with what’s going on.
How to Find Farmer’s Markets
Another way to find out about the local markets is to contact the local government, as they often have information about farmer’s markets posted on their websites.
If all else fails, ask around. Those who are deeply supportive and involved with the local food movement will be able to tell you where to find the best markets and farmers.