Buying Local Food - The Minnesota Project

mnproject.org

Buying Local Food - The Minnesota Project

W H Y B U Y L O C A L F O O D ? C O N T I N U E D

Variety

Since local foods don’t need to travel far, local farmers grow

varieties based on flavor rather than on their ability to withstand

a long journey. Local farmers produce a wide range of

interesting vegetables, fruits, herbs, meat and cheeses that may

not be available from traditional food distribution channels.

Many farmers may grow specialty items specifically for you,

even if they don’t currently grow them.

Relationship with the Farmer

When you buy directly from a farmer, you know how the food

was grown and the animals were raised. Even if the food is not

certified organic, you can ask about the farm’s growing practices

or visit the farm. Often long-lasting friendships develop between

chefs and farmers, and many chefs discover new foods and ideas.

Differentiated

Consumers are seeking food that reflects our state’s distinct

seasons and regions. By filling your menu with local ingredients

and promoting the farmers who grew the food, you are providing

a varied and interesting experience for your customer.

W H AT C A N I B U Y L O C A L LY ?

Local food is available year-round in Minnesota. Fresh vegetables

are usually available from May-November, and extend even later

if you consider storage crops like onions and potatoes. Many

farmers are putting up “hoop houses” or greenhouses to further

extend the growing season.

While the months of July and August bring us the largest bounty

of fresh vegetables, look beyond produce for year-round local

ingredients. Milk, cheese, butter, eggs, honey, maple syrup, breads

and dry beans are available year-round from local producers.

Beef, pork, chicken, bison, elk, duck, veal, rabbit and other meats

are available year-round from many local farmers. Flour,

cornmeal, wheatberries, oats, flax, wild rice, and other grains are

available from many local farmers year-round too. The chart on

page 3 shows the peak season for some locally grown produce. 2

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines