Learning What’s Local
One direct way to learn what food is local is to visit your town’s farmers’ market. Farmers’ markets provide consumers direct contact with the people growing produce in their region. Most farmers are happy to answer questions about their products and farming practices, which helps create connections between the food on your table and the places it came from. The USDA maintains a directory of farmers’ markets nationwide, which can assist you in finding a market in your area.
I visited the nearby Ahwatukee Farmers’ Market to see what’s growing right now and farmers there were happy to answer my questions. If you like to plan meals ahead of time, one good question to ask is how long certain items will be in season. On my trip, I learned that it’s nearly the end of watermelon season here in Arizona, so I shouldn’t expect too see them at the market much longer.
Additionally, you can also make a point of checking to see where the produce at your local supermarket came from. While this information is not always readily available, retailers will often highlight local foods.