This year’s National Nutrition Month theme is “Go Further with Food.” One of the main components of this is “shop local.”
Why? Because by shopping and buying local, you are not only supporting small businesses and small farmers, but you are supporting the environment as well. The less distance food has to travel, the fewer resources (read: fossil fuels) are needed to get it from farm to table.
Two great places to buy locally grown produce are farmers markets and U-pick farms. Farmers markets are places where local growers and other merchants from around the area sell their produce and other wares. U-pick farms are places where customers go to a farm and pick their own produce (e.g. blueberries) to take home and enjoy.
“Shop Local” Advantages
There are several advantages to buying local:
- Eat healthier. With easier access to fresh fruits and veggies, getting your 5 a day is easier than ever!
- Save money. Because there is less packaging, processing, and transportation needs, locally grown produce is less expensive.
- Support local commerce. Local farmers and businesses thrive when we shop locally, and that benefits everyone.
- Have fun. It’s sometimes a hassle to fight the crowds at the supermarket. Small businesses and farmers markets provide wholesome family fun and unique experiences.
(Click here for more great reasons to buy local!)
Many farmers markets and farm stands now accept SNAP benefits, which makes it even easier for low-income families to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.
“Shop Local” Markets
Looking for a farmers market near you? Local Harvest is here to help! Simply choose which type of venture (e.g. farmers market, U-pick, etc.) you want to find, enter your city or ZIP code (Tallahassee, FL is default), and click the magnifying glass. It’s that easy!
Speaking of shop local, we will be having our annual Wakulla County Extension Open House & Master Gardener Plant Sale on Saturday, April 7, beginning at 8:00am here at the Wakulla County Extension office at 84 Cedar Avenue in Crawfordville. There will be booths, demonstrations, entertainment, and lots and lots of beautiful plants for low, low prices (including veggie plants such as tomatoes, peppers, and squash). Come out and join us. We’d love to have you! (Here’s a sneak peek.)