We talk about eating local and supporting local farmers all the time on Care2, but unless you’re part of a CSA or personal friends with a food grower, it can be hard to know where to find local foods.
Here are four resources that can teach you what foods are in-season in your area, and help find local suppliers that sell directly to the public. (Note: these resources focus on the United States, but I’d love for readers to share similar international resources in the comments!)
1. Local Dirt
This site is unique because it allows buyers to search and source local food in their area with the added convenience of on-line ordering. You can purchase from multiple sellers during one visit to Local Dirt. I tried out this site, and found that because it’s still fairly new, searching for individual ingredients (like “turkey” or “brussel sprouts”) wasn’t nearly as successful as general terms, like “farmers’ market,” in my zip code.
I discovered this unique app right before it was released in March of 2009. It uses built in GPS and location awareness to show you real-time information about the nearest farmers’ markets, what’s in season locally, and what’s coming in season soon. Version 2.0 allows you to connect with locavores near you through a new feature called “I Ate Local.” This feature encourages people to share what they’re actually finding at the market. Powered by Facebook Connect, you can also post your local food finds onto Facebook.
FoodHub has been called the Facebook of the locavore movement, and offers many features that make it easy for regional food buyers and sellers to find each other, connect and do business. Upside: This site was extremely easy to use and returned many results when I searched for “turkey,” including restaurants, farms and ranches. Downside: Right now, this tool is focused solely on the Northwest region of the United States.
This site was one of the first to offer a searchable national directory of organic and biodynamic food producers, and it’s still one of the best resources for finding farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area. Even if you can’t find what you’re looking for locally, the site’s new online store can help you support Local Harvest vendors in other parts of the country.
Image Credit: Flickr - Lane & Anne