On March 11, 2010, this website was launched with the goal to promote local and sustainable agriculture that cares for people, animals, land and water. As spring 2019 arrives, we are pleased to introduce an upgraded website, with superior navigability, which will make it easier for our readers to explore our website.
From craft bakeries, which use locally sourced ingredients, to coffee roasters, who support ecological coffee farmers through fair trade agreements (and dozens of other farm to table directories, as well as relevant news on the good food movement), the upgraded website should make it simpler for our readers to navigate our site on their computers, tablets or smart phones.
With spring taking root, now is prime time to plan a vegetable garden, easily the best way to know where your food comes from. The Farmers Almanac provides a convenient way to confirm the average start of the growing season in the U.S. with its information on Frosts and Growing Seasons. To find a source for organic and heirloom seeds, explore our directory of seed vendors and groups committed to providing and sharing organic seed, free of contaminants and adapted to the needs of local organic agriculture. Our directory includes 75 seed vendors throughout the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Ireland and Australia.
If you don’t have a backyard garden, we encourage our readers to explore the possibility of obtaining a small plot to garden by participating in a community garden. The therapeutic value of digging in the soil and planting some seeds is priceless for young and old.
If you are unable to dig in the soil and grow food, there’s little doubt that the next best way to know where your food comes from is to join a farm community and actually know your farmer by signing up for a farm share in a CSA (community supported agriculture) family-scale farm. Search our CSA farm directories to find a local farm to support by the purchase of a farm share. Purchasing a farm share has the added benefit of becoming a part of a community of people who understand the importance of supporting local agriculture. It’s a satisfying feeling to know your farmer and how your food is being grown, and it’s economical to purchase a farm share before the start of the growing season.
Unable to grow your own food or not ready to become part of a farm community by purchasing a farm share, in our opinion, the next best way to know where your food comes from is to shop for food at a farmers market. Consider patronizing a particular farm stand on a regular basis to enable you to know exactly how and where your food is being produced. Ask questions concerning the growing practices of the particular farm. For example, the destination farmers market in upstate New York’s Capital Region, the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market, has several organic farms, which set up farm stands weekly at this year-round market (including Laughing Earth Farm whose historic farmhouse is pictured above).
For consumers unable to grow their own food or participate in a CSA farm or shop regularly at a farmers market, we suggest shopping at a food co-operative. Food co-operatives are a source of many organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables and other nutritious food. And becoming a member of a food co-operative enables consumers to become involved in a community of people concerned about the source of their food.
And no matter how you source the food you choose to eat, put into practice the ever persuasive advice of Michael Pollan: Eat Food, Mostly Plants, Not Too Much.
(Frank W. Barrie, 3/28/19)