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Saturday, July 9, 2011

More Ways to Eat Local

You visit farmers’ markets. You shop by season. You buy loaves of bread from your local baker. But now you want to do more. Don’t worry, there are plenty more ways to implement local eating into your meal planning! Try these tips to take your local eating habits even further.

Grow a Garden 
It’s time to bust out the spade and gloves and get dirty. If you want to go ultra-local, grow a mini-garden in your backyard! There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that are fairly easy to grow, like chives, basil, carrots, lettuce, and berries. If you aren’t sure which foods will work best in your region’s climate, take a trip to the nearest garden nursery and ask lots of questions. You could also join a community garden if you’re feeling less confidant about your gardening abilities. Visit the American Community Gardening Association website to find a community garden near you. 

Join a CSA 
If you haven’t already, you should join a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture. A CSA allows you to get food items fresh off of the farm in exchange for a personal pledge, paid up front. Prices can vary for different farmers and depending on their portions so find a CSA near you on the Local Harvest website and inquire about prices. If you like to cook, the CSA program could be a wonderful way to experiment with new fruits and vegetables.

Get an Animal 
For the meat-lovers out there, get an animal! All right, this may sound a little cuckoo, but small farms are starting to sell animal shares. The farm raises, processes, and packages the animal and you simply purchase and devour. For a list of farms that sell beef, check out EatWild.com

You may also try buying a few chickens. Anyone who has had an egg straight from the nest knows that there is simply no comparison between fresh and store-bought eggs. Not only does raising poultry provide eggs, it can also rid your backyard of pesky insects. Chickens provide one egg every 24-48 hours, so make sure to buy enough for your morning omelet. However, some cities do have limitations on backyard livestock, so make sure you have the green light to get poultry beforehand.

So there you have it, a few more ways to eat local. There are always more ways that you can get fresher food and help your environment.

James Kim is a writer for foodonthetable.com.  Food on the Table is a company that provides online budget meal planning services.  Their goal is to help families eat better and save money.


Anonymous said...

I just visited Local Harvest and was quite happy to discover there is a delivery to our rural area. I have emailed and can't wait to join. Thank you for this particular tip!

jdmsmith said...

Just found you...love your blog!!!!

Kara said...

Yeah, I just got chickens, the eggs do taste a lot different. I'm not sure if its just because I know there fresh or just really good but Im happy to know I my on little flock of egg layers.

arlene said...

Love my city chicken condo! Check it out
I had it built for my backyard and it's perfect for 2 or 3 girls. Fresh eggs do taste so much better and can make meringues like you wouldn't believe.

Kerns Chicken Farm said...

I believe that getting an animal helps. I raise chickens and love having fresh eggs everyday.