Sunday, April 10, 2011

Know Your Food!!

I took this picture last summer in San Francisco when I was doing a farm tour of that area. There is some awesome stuff happening in California involving the local food movement. Today I just wanted to get you all thinking about what you can do to support local farmers and increase your nutrition and health by eating foods where you know the origination.

I live in the South and the majority of the crops around here are 1) soybeans, 2) cotton or 4 ) corn. The corn for the most part is that for livestock, but there are several corn fields around here that still grow the delicious sweet corn that most of us are used to.

There is also a growing movement of small farmers around my area. I stay out of the grocery store as much as possible and would love to rely even less on imported food, even if it is imported from across the country. There is something very patriotic and revitalizing for me to buy local, delicious products from someone just down the road from me. I love knowing the farmer, knowing their family, knowing their practices etc.
The first step to eating locally, at least for me and my family is to grow all that I can myself. We grow  large varieties of vegetables, have fruit trees, pecan trees, fruit bushes, herbs and have chickens for our eggs. I try to can, preserve, freeze, or dry any excess for the winter. The second thing I like to do is to buy from local farmers. There is a lovely family about 25 miles from my home  that provides delicious cheese, yogurt, and milk. And honestly, their prices are very comprable to the organic gallon jugs of milk at the grocery store. The cheese is outstanding and they offer several different flavors.
There are some things that we have not  mastered yet as a family such as asparagus, but their is a grower in the county next to us that has wonderful asparagus when they are in season- so we get it from him. There are other things too that we typically get from local farmers throughout the year. Last year we didn't have near enough blueberries so I bought several more gallons from a local grower. There is an older lady I know that has amazing wild blackberries which she offers for us to pick for free ( and of course I always pick plenty for her which she appreciates).
There is a grain mill about 40 minutes from out home which we buy local flour and other grains from. I'm really striving to buy as much locally as possible and eventually would love to buy EVERYTHING we eat from a local supplier.
There are things that although not necessities that I still buy from a local grocer such as almonds, coconut, sugar, baking powder, salt, cocoa, etc.

I guess the point of my rambling is that you CAN buy a lot more locally than you think. I obviously don't know where everyone lives, but I'm certain that with a little bit of trying that there are ways to really support your local farmers. A few posts ago I talked about ways you can find out what is offered in your area. Check out the post here.

How are you all supporting your local farmer?


  1. Great post! You are blessed to have so much good food available to you.
    We support local organic farmers by buying at the farmer's markets and through our co-op. We also purchase local honey. I think it can be somewhat limiting though, depending upon where in the country you live. Here in Florida we have an abundance of citrus and veggies, but I don't know anywhere where you can purchase grain or milled flour. We just do the best we can. ;0)

  2. Honey is something else we can get locally. Something that we can't grow here is olives so I haven't figured out a way to get cooking oil locally yet. As much as we love fresh citrus, we can't grow that here either, so we normally only get it a few times a year when we are either on vacation, or someone we know is on vacation we buy a big bag and bring it home. Same thing with shrimp, we buy it in bulk from the coast everytime we go.