We love to pair our Ancient Harvest quinoa and Culinary Ancient Grains with fresh produce and products that we’ve sourced (literally or figuratively) from our own backyards. We feel so fortunate to be based in Colorado, surrounded by farms, orchards and natural foods brands. However, no matter where you live, you’ll find that buying local has a wealth of benefits for both you and your community – so here are some tips to help get you started:
Know what’s in season.
Eating seasonally is a great way to enjoy a variety of flavors and nutrients, support local businesses, and cut costs. What’s more, fresh fruits and vegetables always taste better when in season – and when they haven’t traveled too far to reach you. These State-Specific Seasonal Produce Guides provide a wonderful resource. Click on your state, and get ready to enjoy the best it has to offer.
Frequent the farmers markets.
Of course, this may be much easier to do in the spring and summer than the middle of winter – but many states around the country have year-round farmers markets, or even special winter events. Don’t know where to start? Check out the USDA’s Farmers Markets Directory.
Join a CSA.
One way to enjoy fresh, local produce year-round (without even having to venture outdoors!) is by joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that delivers a box of fresh fruits and vegetables directly to your door each week. Find one near you at LocalHarvest.org. By letting local farmers contribute to your meal planning, you’ll be supporting your community – and also be given the opportunity to try new things. And speaking of that…
Be open to trying new things.
Choosing to shop at local, independent stores may introduce you to up-and-coming brands that you may not have seen before – and even larger retailers make an effort these days to point out when a product or brand is local. Keep an eye out for these labels or, if you see an interesting product (a packaged granola bar, a fresh pressed juice, sweet-smelling lip balm) that you haven’t noticed before, take a moment to read the label to see where that product is from. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that your neighbors are manufacturing a variety of delicious treats, stylish clothing items, and lovely gift items. Taking the time to seek these out at independent booksellers, coffee shops, convenience stores and specialty shops will help you support your community, introduce you to new things, and possibly even save you money.