Food exporters overseas face a tough new challenge with the recent coronavirus impact. With fewer workers available to sift through and pick fresh produce such as vegetables and fruit, there is less available to export. Because of this, locals have begun to shift their gaze to locally-sourced produce. For those of us unable to grow our own food (be it a lack of a green thumb, or a lack of space) and want to support local fresh food and leave a shallow carbon footprint, read on to see how you can help- even after this pandemic has passed!
Visit and Buy From Local Farms
Local farms are often downplayed as a humble hobby, or romanticized as an ideal getaway, a view especially common from densely populated urban areas. But theme parks are also usually crowded, overpriced and not worth the sweat and far ride. This summer, why not visit a local farm in the countryside closest to you, for its fresh air and spacious land? Farms usually have different specialties, some focus on livestock, with others producing a fruit yield. For a price, you can visit these farms, ride, pet or feed a farm animal, and possibly get to pick your own vegetables.
Farms that are open to the public depend on local tourism, and do so to raise awareness, so visit a farm and learn a thing or two about crops. When you visit these areas, buying vegetables straight from these sources can help them much more than buying them from a supermarket!
Going to Farmer Markets
While this may seem obvious, it does make sense to support farms, by buying from them. Visiting the farm itself is certainly one way to support it, but farmers would greatly appreciate buying their produce. A farmer’s market and wet market operate the same way- both are markets filled with fresh produce straight from various smaller farms, transported in the wee hours of the morning.
For those who live closer to the farmer’s market than the farm, which would happen to be most of us, this is the ideal everyday choice. Visiting a farmer’s market would offer a variety of fresh food, from vegetables, to fruit, eggs, and even flowers for those who would like to support less commercialized florists, and there are few experiences more authentic than walking from stall to stall, assessing each fruit, and stowing them away. And what’s more, you yield a discounted price! Farmer’s market goods are more often than not, cheaper than a supermarket’s prices.
Joining a CSA
For the unsuspecting, CSA is Community-Supported Agriculture, a marketing campaign intended to support farmers. Usually government-aided, this service is for those who prefer a home delivery, and have no qualms supporting farmers without the aforementioned farm-based experiences. In a CSA, boxes of fresh produce are delivered to the farmer’s market, or to the home address of the consumer on a weekly basis, throughout the appropriate season of harvesting. In fact, a farm may have more than one CSA, and may expand their delivery options to cuts of meat, bread, or even cheese! For those who live in areas more heavily afflicted with the pandemic, this last option may be the best for you.
From home cooks to local restaurants, CSA deliveries are helpful, with some people ordering from more than one farm, to have a variety of food to work with. They often find that this is enough to sustain them, and we couldn’t agree more for a sustainable lifestyle. For more information on CSA, click here to browse through various examples!