There are a few ways that the food on your table gets there. There are many companies in the food industry. Many of them are incredibly large corporations that partner with large scale farmers all around the country, in some cases, the world. There are also farmers in your own backyard that work and partner with stores in your area. They even have their own storefronts that they set up. Farmers of all kinds, from all over, usually get together in an area with excellent foot traffic to put on a local farmers market. These markets can be found all over the country with farmers in every industry. Farmers Markets are great locations to get locally grown produce and fresh meats from the surrounding area. Purchasing goods from local farmers helps add to the support for them from the community. Some of these local farmers rely on the community to be there only customer base. Supporting local farmers can also help the economic standing of the city. Here are three wonderful reasons why you should support local farmers.
Shop at Farmers Markets
Farmers Markets have been around for a good length of time, but they have not always been as visible as they appear today. Many consumers will go to the same supermarkets that are in their neighborhood without ever venturing out to find the hidden gems that lay hidden around them. Farmers that set up shop at local farmers’ markets usually have an incredibly diverse selection of produce and locally sourced products for sale.
Most of the farmers that sell at local farmers’ markets offer quite the selection that most supermarkets cannot. The best place to find locally sourced, organic produce is at a farmers’ market. While they have some fresh and great produce, they also have gleaming smiles that are ready to forge relationships with their customers. Look for a local farmers market at community message boards or in the paper. You can usually find an advertisement for the very next one in a local publication.
Dine at Farm-to-Table Restaurants
In almost every city, you will find a large restaurant population that prides itself on being Farm-to-Table. This means that the restaurant does business directly with a farmer to source the food that they use back in the kitchen to make all of their dishes. These farmers can be meat-driven and produce-driven. While these restaurants can be a bit more spendy, the price that you pay is worth it. When you dine at a Farm-to-Table restaurant, you are not only paying the restaurant for their food, but you are also helping to sustain a local farm.
Many Farm-to-Table restaurants work hands-on with farmers to know the quality of the ingredients that they purchase. When these restaurants provide for their community, the farm and the restaurant works to have the highest quality ingredients possible. A vast majority of local farmers do not treat their animals with unnecessary hormones, antibiotics, or GMO’s. This practice ensures that you are getting an organic meal that is not full of chemicals or solvents. Dining in at a Farm-to-Table restaurant is an excellent way to support not only your community but your community’s economy.
Join a Community Supported Agriculture
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA’s) are becoming more and more common. A CSA is a system that works to connect farmers and growers with customers that share in the harvest of particular farms. Farms work closely with their customers to offer them shares of their harvest. Farmers will often make a certain number of shares available to the members of the community. When they begin to harvest their products, you receive your share from the farmer.
This allows farmers to develop a deeper relationship with their customers. Most farmers in this type of community are produce based but have begun to enter non-produce-based markets as well. Some farmers are beginning to offer dairy, meat, honey, and even home-made soaps. If you are looking to support your local farmers, finding a way into a CSA is a great way to get started.
How Can I Support my Local Farms?
Supporting your local farms is as easy as stopping into a local farmers market. There are a ton of markets that happen every day. You can also choose to dine at local restaurants that hold the Farm-to-Table value close to their business. This helps add value to the restaurant, community, and the farmers that work to piece the puzzle together. You can also join a community support agriculture to share the harvest with some of your local farmers. If you are unsure of where to find a farmer’s market, CSA, or a Farm-to-Table restaurant, you can try going to https://www.localharvest.org/. LocalHarvest is an excellent search engine that you can use to find all three of these and more in your local area. Choose what it is that you want to see and put in your city or zip code, and LocalHarvest will show you what is in your area and what kind of events are upcoming.