Buying Local Year-Round

If you’re the kind of person who likes to sustain yourself on fresh, local produce, then spring, summer, and fall are pretty much no-brainers. This is when produce is plentiful, and you can take advantage of things like farmer’s markets where you can easily get great local ingredients. Even tending your own garden is much more doable in the spring and summer!

Even though we are just getting into the summer months, it’s wise to use this time with an abundance of fresh produce and food to start thinking about the fall and winter. You can also stock up on fresh food at other times of the year and find ways to make it last. For example, many ingredients can be purchased in bulk and frozen. If you have a separate freezer, you can really stock up and have enough good food to last until spring comes again. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can actually put some meals together before freezing them, so that you have TV-dinner style meals ready to go on days when you don’t really feel like cooking but don’t want to go out.

You can also get into preserving food, and summer is the perfect time to stock your pantry for the rest of the year. Canning or making jams and jellies is a great idea and can be done in big batches. Whatever you think you won’t use can be given to friends and family as gifts. Dehydrating food is another idea that can make the ingredients you buy last longer. You can make your own trail mix for road trips, dehydrate fruits for snacks, or even make beef jerky! The possibilities are endless.

Just because fresh food is less plentiful in the latter months of the year doesn’t mean you can’t still buy local. All it takes is a little advanced planning, and you’ll be good to go until warmer weather comes around again.

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