Welcome to the 39th "Green" Tips Message. This message is sent to all subscribing users on a weekly basis providing simple tips on becoming more Green! This article is part of Earth911’s series, where they showcase ways to green your life in various areas.This week's message provides simple tips on:
Ways to Go Local
1. Partner up with a local farm
Enroll in a community supported agriculture (CSA) program—of which there are thousands across the country. They work like this: you pay in advance for a share of a nearby farm’s crops, and each week, the farm delivers your share either to your door or a neighborhood pick-up spot. Typically, a single share consists of enough organic vegetables to fill most of the needs for a household of two to four people; some CSAs also include fruit, eggs or meat.
Members (that’s you) assume some of the risk of farming—shares are bigger in good year, smaller in a bad one, but the cost usually works out to be less than what you’d pay for the same amount of produce at a typical supermarket. Not only that, it’s an easy, convenient way to support a small, local farm and better understand what’s in season. You’ll also get plenty of chances to try new veggies, since most farmers try to offer a lot of variety (When was the last time you had kohlrabi? Or purslane?). Find one near you with Local Harvest’s searchable database of over 2,500 CSAs.
2. Head off to the market
Of course, another great option for local food is the farmers’ market, which offers more flexibility than a CSA and also allows you to comparison shop and choose from an array of locally grown crops. Farmers typically travel less than 100 miles to bring their crops to market, a fraction of the distance most fruits and veggies cover before reaching the grocery store.
Plus, eliminating the middleman also means your fresh produce is usually cheaper. And, it’s easier than ever to find a farmers’ market near you—there are now almost 5,000 in the U.S. alone, an increase of 170 percent over the last decade, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Find one near you with EatWell.org’s search tool.