How To Support Local Farms and Vendors

A lot of people want to do better; they want to shop responsibly and learn how to support local farms. After all, one of the best ways to know exactly where your food is coming from—and that it’s ethically sourced—is by shopping local. Whether it be your neighborhood butcher, farmers market, or a co-op. Not only will you have a better connection to your food, but you’ll become better acquainted with your local storekeepers and farmers while supporting smaller businesses. It’s a win/win!

How to Support Local Farms—tractor in a grassy green field.
Photo credit: Xavi Moll

Here are some tips on how to support local farms and vendors.

Research what’s nearby. If you’re familiar with the area you live in, you probably already know where the farmers market is and when it’s running. But a little research might also crop up some hidden gems, The first step is simply looking up what’s near you, which you can do on Google. A simple search like “co-ops near me” or “butchers near me” will bring up a selection based on your location.

Hit up your farmers market. There’s no better way to know who you’re supporting than to meet them face to face. You’ll also see a huge difference in the quality of produce, meats, and other products.

Eat at farm-to-table restaurants. This isn’t something you need to make a habit of, but it’s a great way to support local farms AND businesses while also resting assured that the food on your plate was ethically sourced.

Seek-out small grocers and butcher shops. Again, the supermarket is convenient. But if you really care about where your food is coming from and you want to feel more connected to your community, shop at small family-owned grocers. You’ll also find a huge difference (aka better experience) at your town butcher shop. Most butcher shops carry local ethically-sourced meats; factory farms work with big chains.

If you’re having a hard time finding ethical welfare certified meat at your local grocer, you can present them with a Customer Request Letter.

Featured photo credit: Michael Bourgault