Find out more about your local agriculture and find sources for your favorite foods
Some Tips on How to Make the Most of Your Local Agriculture:
- Head to your local farmers market, ask the grower about their goods, and if they come from a local source. You can also find out where to get their goods outside of the market.
- Stock up on what is in season: freeze surpluses- greens are abundant in the Spring and Fall, but are non-existant in the Summer; can tomatoes, make pickles, dehydrate fruit or freeze for smoothies or pies, get CREATIVE with this. It is a lot of fun. I have been eating from my freezer all Winter- butterbeans, strawberries, and asparagus- all frozen from last Spring and Summer. When you buy food in season, you are helping the farmer move their bumper crops and receiving the most nutritionally dense food you can buy. Not to mention it was likely grown within a 1 hour drive from your home. The benefits are limitless!
- Grow your own. In coastal South Carolina we are fortunate to be able to grow food almost all year round. Check out my blog at www.ritasroots.wordpress.com to see what we recently finished harvesting from last Fall. Within one week of finishing with the Fall goods, we are already picking Spring arugula and spinach! Fresh produce is scarce in our area during the sweltering August and September months though. If you don't have much space, try some fresh herbs in your windowsill or tomato plants in 5 gallon buckets. Raising chickens takes only a small back yard space, and they will do a great job keeping the grass down. There is a wealth of knowledge out there- Acres USA and ATTRA.org are two great sources to check out. The books found in the Acres bookstore cover it all too.
The main ingredient in eating locally is your desire to do so. It takes an extra effort to make it to the market or out to the farm, to blanch and pack your greens in freezer bags, and to put tomatoes up over the hot stove in July. But really, nothing will give you more satisfaction that pulling out your heirloom tomato jars in February, throwing in a chopped spring onion, dried red and chili peppers, the juice from a Meyer Lemon and some frozen cilantro for some local salsa with your Sea Island Red Pea and Burden Creek Dairy Goat Cheese quesadilla. Yum!
Rita Bachmann can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or found at the Marion Square Farmers Market on Saturday mornings from April through December. Thackeray Farms is also open during the week for on-farm vegetable sales and u-pick whatever is in season- call for details and directions: 843-559-9058.
From Local Agriculture to Gourmet and Grapes