One of my favorite Green Tips is to eat locally. Now this came mean doing as little as supporting the local mom and pop restaurants to buying what you can from the local Farmer’s Market to buying all of your food from a local CSA. Personally, we do a combination. We only have one local CSA and they only allow so many people each year to take part in their program; we have not yet participated. We do eat at local restaurants as often as possible and we buy all of our fruits, veggies, herbs, and flowers from our Farmer’s Market when they are available…heck, we even buy some of our Christmas gifts from there, they have such pretty things.
CSA, Community Supported Agriculture, is a great way to support your local farms and get fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and herbs on a weekly or monthly basis. You become a “member” or “contributor” to a farm by paying a dividend (which you can share with someone else) upfront yearly. According to Localharvest.org, “Some CSAs also require that members work a small number of hours on the farm during the growing season.” Our local CSA’s season runs year long, since they offer beef and pork, but many CSA’s season only runs from late spring to late fall. Even with a short season, the contribution is well worth it. You get locally raised foods; they taste fresher, often the food is without pesticides or growth-hormones. We will be going in with some family this year to buy a share in our local CSA. To find out if there is a participating CSA in your area visit Local Harvest’s easy to use locator.
When you buy locally you not only benefit your local economy, which is important especially now, but you are supporting your family’s healthy lifestyle. Buying locally also saves you on gas, which is obviously good for the environment and your pocketbook. I encourage you to support your local economy in whatever way is comfortable for you, the important thing is to make an effort, a small change can lead to a big payout for our environment.