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5 Ways to Eat Local Beyond the Farmers' Market

By EatingWell Editors, EatingWell In Season: The Farmers' Market Cookbook (2009)

Support your community and reap the harvest with these ideas for going local.

3. Start a Kitchen Garden

A kitchen garden is a great way to supplement your trips to the grocery store. Whether you grow a pot of herbs on your windowsill or replace a bed of flowers with dark leafy greens, your kitchen garden will inspire you to celebrate fresh flavors. Start by making a list of foods, focusing on crops that you can’t always buy fresh. Lettuce is easy to sow and quick to grow. Fresh herbs pack lively flavors, and edible flowers serve as pretty garnishes. Plant your seeds in rich, organic soil supplemented with organic compost, usually found at garden centers, to give plants a boost. Mail-order seed sources offer a wide selection, or go to local nurseries for heirloom tomatoes and ornamental edibles, such as rainbow chard and Tuscan kale.

Learn how to start a successful garden at gardeners.com or seedsofchange.com.

4. Join a Community Garden

If you want to garden but don’t have space where you live, get involved in a community garden. A community garden can be as small as a simple bed next to a building or an acre of land in a park. The garden may be divvied into small plots, each worked by an individual. Other gardens are worked collectively and all involved share the bounty.

To start your own community garden, go to communitygarden.org.

5. Pick Your Own

Enjoy the sunshine while gathering berries, apples or citrus fruit at a local pick-your-own farm. Some farms even give you the opportunity to dig potatoes or cut flowers. Freeze extra berries and stone fruit or try making freezer jam. Both are great ways to enjoy summer-ripe fruit all year long.

Find a you-pick farm near you at pickyourown.org.



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