Eat Local When You Eat Out
When you decide to splurge on a nice meal out, pick a restaurant known for sourcing its meals locally. Ask your server where the ingredients came from and how they were prepared.
Enjoy Good Food Books
Join a CSA
Think inside the box about seasonal produce, the CSA box that is. CSA is short for "community supported agriculture." CSA farms offer subscriptions whereby members receive a box full of fresh seasonal fruits and veggies each week.
You can find a local CSA farms by using the Get Local Info tool on The Daily Green's homepage.
Join a Community Garden
Find and join a community garden in your area.
As the American Community Gardening Association puts it, community gardening "improves peoples quality of life by providing a catalyst for neighborhood and community development, stimulating social interaction, encouraging self-reliance, beautifying neighborhoods, producing nutritious food, reducing family food budgets, conserving resources and creating opportunities for recreation, exercise, therapy and education." Don't you want to be a part of that?
Cook One Local Meal Per Week
Try cooking one new dish each week using local and seasonal ingredients and keep track of the ones you, your friends and family like the most.
Summer, when so much food is being harvested, is easier than other seasons. Here's some help with the rest of the calendar:
Shop Your Local Farmers' Market
Search out and visit a farmers market in your area to find out what's in season in your area and whos growing it.
You can find a local market by using the Get Local Info tool on The Daily Green's homepage. Learn how to use unfamiliar spring fruits and vegetables, or salivate over some of our delicious seasonal spring recipes.
Grow Your Own
Commit to growing at least one ingredient for yourself or your family this year, whether it's herbs in a window box, tomatoes on a balcony or a raised bed container garden full of salad greens.
Need help getting started? See The Daily Green's How to Plant an Organic Garden for help.
Double Your Recipes
Even the most passionate of home cooks dont always find the time to cook delicious, nutritious foods from scratch every day. What you dont finish today, you can enjoy tomorrow or freeze.
Have Others Cook for You
Host a local foods potluck dinner. One of the best ways to learn what foods are in season and how to prepare them is to invite others to teach you. Ask your guests to bring extra copies of their recipes.
Pick Your Own
Reap where you didnt sow this season by visiting a pick-your-own berry farm or orchard. Pay attention to how things are grown and see what fruit crops might work in your own yard.
Regional tourism agencies often have information about local pick-your-own farms. You can also find local farms using the Get Local Info tool on The Daily Green's homepage.
Freeze More Food
Invest in a chest freezer. Freezing is one of the easiest ways to preserve seasonal ingredients like berries and green beans in large quantities.
If youre already growing some of your own food plants, take the next green step by starting a compost pile. Composting recycles food wastes into plant nutrients. Even city dwellers can compost their vegetable wastes by keeping a worm bin in a closet or under a sink.
Celebrate Kitchen Garden Day
If you're already a kitchen gardener, invite a few people into your garden on Kitchen Garden Day Aug. 23 to show them what local foods look like when growing and what they taste like when they've just been picked warm and ripe from the vine.
If you're lacking inspiration, here's a surefire recipe for success:
- friends, family and neighbors (young, not-so-young, green thumbs, greenhorns, etc)
- delicious local and home-grown foods
Combine all ingredients in a garden or on a local farm and allow them to mix, mingle and steep. Serve with joy and gratitude.
Have a Local BBQ
Kitchen Gardeners International scored a huge success with its Eat the View campaign, which helped convince Michelle Obama to plant an organic vegetable garden at the White House. The campaign helped earn founder Roger Doiron a 2009 Heart of Green Award. Food Independence Day is the group's next campaign.