Sunday, April 10, 2011
Know Your Food!!
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?