Supporting Local in the time of CoVID-19

During times of uncertainty, I find peace and comfort in drilling down to what I can control and do in my personal life. As someone privileged to currently have a job, one area I’m focusing on is my food purchases. There is an abundance of local food in our state and ever growing list of creative ways to connect to this food. 

If you have the means, here are some tangible, meaningful ways to connect to local food businesses, and support a resilient local food system, now and in the future. ( For farmers and small food businesses, check out this other actionable list!)

Join a CSA.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs are farm subscriptions and are a convenient way for consistent access to farm fresh food. You pay upfront to receive weekly/bi-weekly boxes of farm goods which could include produce, meat, coffee or honey, or mix of all the above. Every CSA program is unique. To find one that’s the best fit for you, go here, select farms and then CSA box.
p.s. There’s a Virtual Statewide CSA Fair on April 29!

Shop the Farmers Market.

You can still shop at farmers markets (many of them are going online or offering curbside pick-ups!), just be safe and remember that, right now, markets are a tool to meet your basic needs, not a social experience. Shop safely by: making a shopping list (and sticking to it!), sending one person from your household, maintaining a safe distance from other shoppers and vendors, wearing a mask, and washing your hands and outerwear immediately when you get home. Need more ideas? Check out this article from Civil Eats.

Shop Local Online.

One silver lining right now is the creativity, collaboration and good ol ingenuity that is occurring amongst our food producers. One solution many farmers and local producers are turning to is online shops and ordering systems. Reach out to your favorite producers about their options and find some new business to support by going here, selecting farms and filtering by “online store.”

Eat Local and Chill.

Budget for one take-out meal a week from a local restaurant that buys from local producers. Many that didn’t have takeout or delivery before have adapted to offer these services. Local takeout is a fun way to give yourself a special treat (yay for no dishes!) or enjoy a date night in while giving your favorite restaurants some support and love.

Watch Cooking Local Live.

Need to brush up on your cooking skills or get some inspiration for your next quarantine meal? Join TLD on IG Live as we bring your favorite local chefs and restaurants into your kitchen. Learn more here or via our Instagram page.

Have other ideas for supporting local food right now? Share them with us by tagging @tastethelocaldifference on social media with the hashtags #shoplocalsafely.

Kelly Wilson, RDN is Taste the Local Difference’s Director of Community Partners. She is surviving quarantine by spending time with her seedlings, planning out her spring garden and drinking session mead from Bløm Meadworks.