photo by John Robinson
eat local, eat fresh
armer weather is quickly approaching, which means greater access to locally grown fruits and vegetables. But what is the best way to buy local produce for your family? Trips to the Farmers Market? Check out that bin in your grocery store advertising goods from local farms? Scope out a roadside stand? Living in view of the Blue Ridge Mountains we are fortunate that all of these options are available. In the heart of summer, roadside stands and trucks filled with tomatoes, corn, and cantaloupes line thoroughfares on the outskirts of town. On Saturday mornings you can meet local farmers, buy vegetables and goods produced in our area, and grab a bite to eat at the City Market. There are midweek Farmers Markets at Meade Park and Forest Lakes. We also have a variety of local food co-ops with drop off locations in town, like Relay Foods. And then there are Community Supported Agriculture programs, or CSAs. The question is not about access, but what is the best fit for your lifestyle and family budget. Farmers Markets, like City Market, give you access to the greatest variety of farm and local goods in one convenient location, but for some, it can be challenging to stay on budget with so many tempting selections. Still, others want to feel like they are supporting the local economy in a more personal way. This is where CSAs can help.