Do you love fresh produce? I don't think anything can compare to ripe fruits or vegetables that have just been harvested. The shorter the distance between the field and your table, the better that food will taste and more nutritious it will be. Great taste and nutrition are not the only advantages of having your food produced close to you. It is also a great way to be green! If you buy only local produce you will be supporting the local economy (and most likely a small, local farmer), reducing carbon dioxide pollution (no planes or trains required), and you may be introduced to something yummy and new that thrives in your local climate.
We have become accustomed to having staple items available throughout the year, but have you noticed that the strawberries you buy in January just don't taste right? I sure have! We need to move back to seasonal eating - and I admit that I don't even know when some of my favorite fruits and veggies are in season any more.
So what brought all this on, you may ask? Well, I have watching my local PBS station during lunch and they had a show about fresh produce suppliers to the New York City area in a program called Taste of New York. As part of it, they highlighted Roxbury CSA (community supported agriculture). This was a farm that sold shares to local residents and in return those shareholders received fresh produce during their growing season. This really struck a note with me, and I quickly googled "CSA." The very first listing that appeared was for Local Harvest. This site provides information farms, CSA's, and local Farmer Markets, and includes a search tool to help you find local food sources in your area. I have found a CSA about an hour drive from my house, with a drop location even closer. It is quite an initial investment so I'm not sure it is the best option for me at this time. I might try one of their Market Days first (farm is open with tours and other local farms coming in for a farmer's market of sorts.)
We will, eventually, have our own mini garden in the back yard to grow some of our favorite and most used produce. When we have the time (and money) to build the raised bed I will photo blog the progress. Hopefully we will get our compost bin started soon so we have healthy soil to plant in!
Do you know any other sites for finding local farms or farmer's markets? If so, please leave the link in the comments!