Part of the “Moving toward local eating” series
What is produced in my area? When? Is it seasonal, or available year-round? What’s it cost to buy?
These are pretty fundamental questions, and while the answers mostly stay the same (especially about what’s in season when), availability can change as new farmers come online or change their offerings fairly frequently.
For some ideas about what’s available when, see:
- PickYourOwn.org is a great resource for locating pick-your-own farms, figuring out what’s in season, and deciding how much to pick to fill those jars.
- LocalHarvest.org lists farm markets, CSAs, and such for the whole country.
- Real Time Farmslets you know what’s in your local market today. Very handy if you need something specific and the market is a 10 mile drive away. Also tells you what restaurants are serving local food in your area.
- Eden Foods sells many, many organic foods grown and processed in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and SW Ontario (just across from Detroit). In addition, they have the most stringent anti-GMO measures I’ve ever heard of (food is tested multiple times from seed to harvest to delivery at the processing plant), they soak their beans before cooking, and they don’t use any BPA in their cans.
- Dei Fratelli tomatoes and tomato products are grown and processed near Toledo, Ohio. They use San Marzano tomatoes, which are really super tasty. If you are looking for really good, Midwest-grown, and honestly, cheap tomato products, seek them out.
And don’t forget to read labels. I was pretty surprised to learn that Meijer organic apple juice is from Turkey, for example. Meijer and Hiller’s are getting very good about labeling locally-grown produce. You could easily stock up on a winter’s worth of squash, potatoes, and apples there. Meijer is apparently also pretty fair with the pricing they give farmers (don’t know about Hillers) – so if farm markets don’t work for you, consider those sources.
For folks outside of Michigan, you’ll have to do a little more digging. Any of my out-of-state readers…do you have any good lists of local foods you’d like to share?