Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to find something to buy local this month.
Farmer’s Markets across the country are in full swing, and there’s no better time to find a local source for fruits and vegetables than summer. You might find U-pick berries or just a roadside farm stand with fresh produce available. I love when a mission has plus marks next to all three pillars of stewardship: the earth, your health, and your budget.
Earth: Buying local means avoiding the high environmental cost of transportation/fuel, and usually local produce needs fewer chemicals because it doesn’t have to have such a hearty composition to survive a cross-country semi truck ride. (Local and organic, of course, is even better.)
Health: Buying local produce may not be better for your health than far away produce, but I always find that finding local fruits and veggies, in season, is such a joyful (and delicious) experience that I buy more and eat more. In that way, buying local produce is definitely an improvement for my health.
Budget: Often, local sources of foods are less expensive than a grocery store, especially if you pick your own, buy in bulk, or find a farmer who sells “seconds” for less. (Seconds are the ugly ones!) Sometimes even the regular price is much less than the supermarket prices on fruits or vegetables.
Not So Fast…
I bet many of you already buy local, regularly. For you, a choose your own adventure “upgrade” challenge:
- Learn the name of someone you buy from at the Farmer’s Market
- Choose a vegetable you’ve never cooked with before and ask the grower for a recommendation on how to prepare it
- Share your source for local food with someone who doesn’t shop at the Farmer’s Market
How am I Going to Shop Local?
If you read KS very much, you probably have guessed that a great big chunk of my food budget already stays very local: milk, eggs, some cheese, maple syrup, honey, almost all meat, and this time of year, almost all produce comes from local farmers.
I try to shop at my local health foods store when possible, but I do make some online and bulk orders.
My goal is to spend more of my dollars locally (that I wouldn’t usually) on things like:
- Local Restaurants I love patronizing small business and know the importance of keeping our dollars right in town.
- Move amy cheese purchases to local cheese only
- Focus on local breweries for “fun” beer purchases
- Choose small, family-owned businesses over big box stores when I can find an alternative
Need More Baby Steps?
Here at Kitchen Stewardship, we’ve always been all about the baby steps. But if you’re just starting your real food and natural living journey, sifting through all that we’ve shared here over the years can be totally overwhelming.
That’s why we took the best 10 rookie “Monday Missions” that used to post once a week and got them all spruced up to send to your inbox – once a week on Mondays, so you can learn to be a kitchen steward one baby step at a time, in a doable sequence.
Sign up to get weekly challenges and teaching on key topics like meal planning, homemade foods that save the budget (and don’t take too much time), what to cut out of your pantry, and more.