As consumers continue to clamor for local foods, restaurants, grocery stores, and even some big box stores are scrambling in their efforts to provide more local foods to their customers. While local food availability has improved in the last few years, it can still present a challenge for some, particularly in urban areas, to find fresh, locally grown food.
That’s why farmer’s markets have become so popular, and so important, particularly in these urban areas. For instance, Green City Market in Chicago has three locations, and is open year round. Portland, Oregon offers more than 40 farmer’s market locations throughout the metro area. And the Urban Harvest Farmer’s Market in Houston is open year round, and also offers classes on gardening and producing local fruits and vegetables.
You can also search websites such as Local Harvest, which provides a handy list of the farmer’s markets available in your area.
Once you find a market that you love, take the time and get to know the people who are growing your food. Learn about their production practices, how they take care of the soil and the animals they may be raising. Farmers and ranchers, like all of us, love to talk about their passion for the land, and for the food that they’re growing.
For those of us that have easy access to locally grown, nutrient-dense food, we should be grateful. But while others may need to work a little harder to find fresh food, it’s available more than ever before, even if we have to seek it out. It’s well worth the time and effort to do so.