Think Globally, Act Locally
15 September 2016
How can we think more globally and act more locally? One of my favorite things to do is support our local farmers! Our family purchases 2 CSAs every year (1 for organic fruit and 1 for organic vegetables). We also participate in a local buying club for monthly delivery of grass-fed beef (though they also offer pastured poultry and eggs and forested pork, as well as other locally made items). We are a shareholder to receive fresh, raw milk every week from another local farm, where we also purchase fresh pastured eggs and chicken and even our Thanksgiving turkey! (I do go to the store to get other staples, though look to our local farms first)!
So what is a “CSA”? A “CSA” is Community Supported Agriculture. You pay a fee at the beginning of the year for a “share” and during the growing season, each week you receive a bag or box or container of fresh, locally grown goodies! Some farms offer a ½ share or if they don’t, you can split a share with another person or family. Many farmers will provide a weekly newsletter to update on how crops are doing and what goodies you may find in your share that week. This can be really helpful in meal planning (another subject for another time).
Going to local farmers markets is another way to support our farmers and local economy. Farmers markets are wonderful for seeing/tasting/trying out new and local foods and goods. You also get a chance to possibly meet the farmer (or at least employees of the farm) so you can get a better sense of their farming practices (organic, conventional, pesticide usage, rotation of crops, composting, soil type, etc.).
For farms that raise grass-fed, pastured, forested animals, many of these farms have buying clubs. Some Buying Clubs have monthly delivery drop offs where you order online and pick up from a drop off point. Some places have a minimum purchase amount, though contact the farm directly with specific questions. “Grass-fed” means that the cattle or lamb roam free on a pasture and eat only grass. “Grain-fed/Grass-finished” means that the cattle or lamb are confined in feed lots and eat mostly grain. “Pastured” means that chickens and turkeys and other poultry roam free within a fence-lined pasture with a safe place to roost and lay eggs. “Forested” pork refers to pigs that are raised within an enclosed area of forest/trees and raised naturally (without hormones or antibiotics).
So how can you find local farms, farmers markets, CSAs, Buying Clubs, apiaries (for honey), etc? There’s a great website called “Local Harvest”. Just type in your zip code and the site will provide info on all of the local farms, farmers markets, CSAs, etc. You can also check out "Farm Plate".
Check out "Eat Wild" to locate locally-raised, grass-fed, pastured, free-range, forested meat (beef or lamb), poultry, and/or pork.
Click "here" to find grass-fed milk and dairy products.
I just found out about another really neat site today called “Hungry Harvest”! Hungry Harvest was recently featured on the show Shark Tank! This company recovers produce that would normally be thrown out or wasted. Sadly, 20% of all vegetables and fruits are wasted due to “aesthetic imperfections” (such as bruises or off-color or oddly shaped) or “logistical inefficiencies” (if a store over-orders). Hungry Harvest collects this extra produce and delivers customized boxes to customers. Hungry Harvest is currently located in the D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia metropolitan and suburbs, though is looking to expand to other regions in the near future!
With over 7 BILLION people on the planet, we need to continue to find more ways to sustainably feed everyone. By supporting our local farms, we help support the local economy and this is a great way to act more locally and support sustainable practices!
How do you think globally and act locally? Do you have questions or comments? I’d love to connect with you for a free health coaching session!