Here are a three strategies to get you started.
Ask. Ask and ask and ask.
Ask, “What’s your favorite local food restaurant? Your favorite local food at the grocery store? Which farmers markets do you go to (and do you know about any others)? What do you make with local produce that you just love? What’s easy to grow in our area?” And ask whatever other local-food questions you have.
Why? If you’ve tried this method, you know: People LOVE to talk about local food. Their eyes spark, their voices rise to a new energy, and they wax enthusiastic – even poetic – about whatever local food they know. And if they don’t know of anything, they will ask you to keep in touch when you do find some – they want to get in on the local food action too.
If you haven’t tried it yet, be prepared to make new friends and deepen existing connections. And here’s the kicker: nobody is going to be upset with you for asking. Test it out: you’ll see! Even if you wind up commiserating on how tough it is to find local food, you’ll be strengthening the local food love and building a network of local foodies who can seek out new sources together.
(with apologies to those who bristle at the verb-ing of that term or who prefer other search engines) 😉
Just a few weeks ago, we heard from a few people who were concerned that they could never try the 10-Day Local Food Challenge: “This is simply not possible where I live; there is virtually NO local food available here.”
Well, we absolutely understand that some places are indeed “food deserts” (at the moment), but we did some research, and in the particular cases of these folks, their communities had plenty of local food available! All it took to find it? A Google search.
Try these strings in your search:
My town, state farmers market
My town, state CSA
My town, state farm stand
My town, state local food co-op
You could also try using the name of your county and state or add quotation marks to some parts of these strings to see if you get more helpful results.
▪ Local Harvest Recommended by Mother Earth News, Local Harvest features an interactive map with many sources of local food, an online buying function, weekly featured foods, plus the ability to track your purchases if you buy through the site.
▪ USDA’s Local Food Directories Directories of farmers markets, CSAs, food hubs, and on-farm markets.
▪ Eat Well Guide Another directory of local food sources, including local restaurant listings.
▪ Local Dirt A more recent site offering local food direct to your door.
▪ Falling Fruit A site for local gleaners.
▪ Agrilicious Another new entry into the local food-via-the-interwebs market.
Please note: Each person’s tactics for searching and comfort levels with new sources of local food will be different. We do not endorse and are not currently affiliated with any of these sites, and provide them only as potential resources for you to use at your own discretion. They are up to date as of 2015.
Why not post in our Facebook Group so other Challengers can learn from your local food-search experiences? Plus you can share stories, issues, recipes, and fun with Challengers from near and far, and get the latest food news during and after this year’s Challenge.