Somewhere along the way during the past three years, I replaced the grocery store visits with fresh, regional, seasonal foods bought in four venues.
We started with vegetables and fruit.
Sunday mornings at Olney, or Saturdays at Glenwood.
Add to that our visits to the local farmstands and local farms, for dairy, meat, cheese, bread and other goodies. As well as the veggies and fruit.
You can go online and find year round open farm stands. Like England Acres, Breezy Willow or Copper Penny. I have been keeping track of the locations on my Farms page, and my local resource page.
There are at least six CSAs in this area. Some of them year round. Others, eight or nine months a year.
There are buying services. One, Friends and Farms uses regional suppliers. The other, South Mountain Creamery, delivers all sorts of items beyond milk, right to your door.
Now, I have also expanded my garden.
Add to that the pick your own sites, like Larriland, Butlers and Baughers.
It is pretty simple around here to replace grocery stores for most of what you eat.
Over these four years we have done just that. It took a while to find sources, but it is so satisfying to have really fresh foods. And we know the people that supply us with most of our food.
I just visited the new Ellicott City Farmers Market last Saturday. This is what I love most about farmers markets. The best things to buy and use.
I came home with two really great salsas. Some romaine. Radishes. Apples. A half dozen plants for my yard. I was tempted by the pizza, but had enough at home to pass it by this time.
I will be going back for more of that salsa.
Have you replaced the stores with your local businesses? The buy local challenge in July isn’t the only time to support your local farmers, vendors and small businesses.