What is Local?
The phrase “local food” means something different to everyone. USDA defines local as a product being sold/purchased within 400 miles of where it’s produced, or within State lines. Some people feel “local food” has other components in addition to where a product is grown or produced: “fresh and in season, sourced from small local farmers, often associated with sustainable farming practices, close to the source, and supports the local economy” (Source: ATKearny).
Take some time to think about what matters to you, then find the farmers and producers that meet your definition. Asking producers questions like: Where was this grown, what type of pest control do you use, and who farms with you, can help you make the decision what and who to purchase from.
Questions to Ask
When shopping local at farmers markets, be ready to ask these questions:
- Where is your food grown/Where is your farm located?
- Do you start seeds early?
- Do you grow food in a greenhouse or hoop house?
- Do you grow your own food or do you buy and resell?
Farmers Market Tips
Use the guidelines below when at a Farmers Market to make the most of your shopping experience. Click the image to view a larger version (.pdf).
Local Food Definitions
Use the information below to learn what Local Food means. Click the image to view a larger version (.pdf).
See the image below for information on what an on-farm store is and how to buy from one. Click the image to view a larger version (.pdf).