How to find local food

My friend asked where she can get locally grown produce, and how she could find farmers who don’t use pesticides or are certified organic. She lives close to Raleigh. There is a nice farmer’s market in Raleigh, but I don’t know as much about the farmers that sell there.

First, ask the farmer who’s selling at the booth. S/he will know and can tell you what they use . In both Durham and Raleigh’s farmer’s markets, a farmer would have to have their organic certification to use the word organic. In Durham, some booths say that they do not use any pesticides. But remember organic does not mean the plants have not been treated at all, but they can only be treated with certain natural pesticides. Maple Spring Farm in Cedar Grove, NC has an interesting post on that subject.

You could start at the Growing Small Farms website and see if there are any farms near you. Also Eat Local Triangle has a listing of market’s on its website. One of those links, Local Harvest is a great tool for finding food near you in the US.

Using her zip code I found that there were a few cool farm’s nearby. Including Kidd farm (veggies), Spain farm (mushrooms), Double-T (veggies) just to name a few.

Another way would be to do some research on the CSA’s in your area. In a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) you would buy a share ahead of the season, and then you would get a box of food each week for the number of weeks you signed up for. You will most likely not be able to pick exactly what you get, but you are going to get some super fresh food and the opportunity to learn about a few veggies that you might not have tried.

Many CSAs are already sold out at this point in the season, but you may be lucky enough to find one that isn’t. Many of the farmers in the area sell to Whole Foods or Weaver Street Co-op, so that’s a possibility too. Those stores list where the produce was grown. I find that I can get a better variety right at the farmers market myself. and it’s nice to see who’s growing your food.

Our local weekly, The Independent, has a section full of local food information this week. It seems that alot of people want fresh produce, and to support the local farmers so they can grow more. In fact, my market is open for the first time on a Wednesday – I may just have to stop by.

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2 Responses

  1. I’ve actually been posting recipe suggestions for my local CSA’s weekly share. It’s fun and I hope I’m making more people aware of CSAs… I’m from Mountain View, CA.

  2. I’ve been wanting to do more local eating but the nearest farmer’s market is a full HOUR from my home and I suspect the gas spent would be too much for it to be either cost effective or environmentally better. CSA’s are a good idea. I’ll have to look into that.

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