How to Buy From Your Local San Diego Farmer + Why it Matters
It’s no secret that buying local produce is better for the environment and for the economy. But what many people don’t know is how to start buying local produce. Learn why it is important to buy from local San Diego farmers, plus some tips on how to get started!
Why Buy from Local Farmers?
There are many reasons to buy from local farmers. Here is a list of some of the most important reasons:
Locally grown food is full of flavor. When you buy from local farmers, you are getting the freshest possible produce. Crops are usually picked at their peak of ripeness and most times the produce you purchase has been harvested within a 24 hour period!
Healthy for you
When you eat from local farms, you are also eating seasonally which can be better for the body as it connects to the natural rhythm of nature. Local fruits and vegetables are picked at the peak of ripeness and contain more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than those that have been transported long distances and sit on grocery store shelves for days or weeks.
Supports local economy
When you buy from farmers markets or directly from local farms, you are supporting the local economy. Small farmers often struggle to compete with large commercial farms and your purchase helps keep them in business! The money you spend with local farmers and producers stays right here in your community, which can help revitalize the economy.
Benefits the environment
There are many reasons buying from your local farm benefits the environment. One reason is that local organic farms use fewer pesticides and chemicals than large commercial farms. They also have a smaller carbon footprint as the food doesn’t have to travel as far to reach you. When you buy from local farmers, you are also helping the production of less waste, supporting the preservation of genetic diversity and helping maintain wildlife habitats.
When you buy from local farmers, you are forming a relationship with the people who produce your food. You learn about their stories, their families, and their connection to the land. This connection creates a sense of community and can lead to lasting friendships!
You might be surprised to learn that buying from local farmers can actually save you money! When you buy in bulk or direct from the farmer, you cut out the middleman and often get a discount.
How to Buy From Your Local Farmer
Now that we’ve discussed some of the reasons why buying from your local farmer is important, let’s talk about how to do it! Here are a few tips:
From the farm directly
This can be done by visiting the farm, ordering online or over the phone. This is a great option if you want to buy in bulk or get to know your farmer! Check out this resource to find a list of all the farmers in San Diego County.
This is a great option if you want to buy smaller quantities or try out new products. Most markets are open seasonally, so be sure to check the schedule in advance. Check out our handy list of all the farmers markets in San Diego County
A CSA box is a great way to get locally grown produce delivered right to your door! With this option, you pay upfront for a share of the farmer’s harvest. This typically lasts for a season and you will receive a box of seasonal produce each week. Check out this resource to find a CSA opportunity near you!
A group of farmers, eaters and entrepreneurs making a change in the local food distribution system, you can purchase fresh local produce directly from their website.
An open-air seafood market on the port of San Diego where you can delight in purchasing fresh caught seafood directly from local fishermen. With sustainable fishing practices, minimal carbon footprints, and local harvesters – Tuna Harbor Dockside Market benefits the local food system.
Another way to support your community and local farmers is by supporting the businesses that do the same. Farm to Fork is a grassroot group of restaurants, beverage makers, businesses and nonprofits that support local farmers and fisher families and a fairer, more sustainable food system. Check out their list of local businesses that are a part of this group.
Making a Difference in San Diego
San Diego is making a wonderful wave in the local movement. Here are a few more resources you can lean on when choosing to make a difference and buy local in San Diego.
Helping the community by eliminating food insecurity and waste, Produce Good is a movement of volunteers, businesses and farmers who up-cycle food that would have otherwise been wasted. Once the food is collected, they donate it to nearby food banks.
The City Heights Community Fridge is a mutual aid collective that provides accessible food, meals and basic need items through a local pantry and fridge. Everyone involved in the upkeep of the fridge works to maintain clear communication and engage the community in becoming an accessible source for food security
Farm Lab is a 10-acre property that houses multiple components that support health and wellness and enviro-literacy for EUSD students and the Encinitas community.
Support our Local San Diego Foodshed
Eating locally grown food is not only good for you, but it’s good for your community and the environment. If you buy local in San Diego, you are investing in a sustainable future!
Try incorporating some of these tips into your routine and see how easy and delicious eating locally can be. Bon appetit!