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5 new ways to eat local

By Carolyn Malcoun, April 6, 2009 - 4:36am

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I’m so glad that spring is (finally!) here and my farmers’ market is back in the swing of things. I can get my favorite salad greens (here's a recipe for my favorite dandelion-greens salad), garden-fresh rhubarb and fresh-from-the-oven bread directly from the best local purveyors. But shopping at the farmers’ market isn’t the only way I eat local. Here are 5 ways you can eat local beyond the farmers’ market from our new book, EatingWell in Season: The Farmers’ Market Cookbook.

Get the recipe: Dandelion Salad with Goat Cheese & Tomato Dressing

1. Join a CSA: My husband and I have had a community supported agriculture (CSA) share from a local farm for years. If you like to cook and like to try new foods, it’s a fun way to get locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. You pay up front, which helps the farmer cover early-season costs, in exchange for farm-fresh produce each week. Find great recipes for spring produce, like watercress and apricots, in our Spring Recipe Collection.

2. Buy the Cow: We don’t eat a lot of meat, but when we do, we choose meat that we know has been raised in a sustainable, humane way. Small farms are increasingly selling “animal shares”: a whole animal or portion of one. Each year, we go in on a cow with some friends. The farm takes care of processing, USDA inspection and packaging. Get 25 recipes for ground beef, including Mini Shepherd’s Pies and Stuffed Chard with Fresh Marinara.

3. Start a Kitchen Garden: We live in an apartment, so aren’t able to grow a lot of our own food, but we do grow salad greens and herbs in containers on our deck. It’s a great way to supplement our CSA without heading to the grocery store. Salad greens are easy to sow and quick to grow. These 9 steps will have you growing your own greens in no time.

4. Join a Community Garden: Since we were itching to grow more of our own food, we got a plot at a community garden this year. We have a small section of a larger garden at one of our city parks, but a community garden can be as small as a simple bed next to a building.

5. Pick Your Own: From the first spring strawberries to the fall apple harvest, one of our favorite activities is visiting pick-your-own farms. We freeze several gallons of blueberries and strawberries each year so we can enjoy the flavors of summer all year long.

TAGS: Carolyn Malcoun, Food News Blog

Carolyn Malcoun
A graduate of New England Culinary Institute and University of Wisconsin with a degree in journalism, Carolyn pairs her long-standing love for food with writing as EatingWell's senior food editor. Carolyn’s culinary interest is rooted in her childhood; she grew up making thousands of Christmas cookies every year with her mom and picking leaves off bunches of parsley to make tabbouleh with her dad. Away from the kitchen, Carolyn enjoys seeking out rare craft beers and exploring the outdoors with her husband, 2-year-old daughter and dog.

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