5 Ways To Support Local Farms

When you live in a big city it's easy to lose contact with Joe Farmer living on the outskirts of town. While he's tending his fields and herding his flock you're hopping trains and going about daily life. Just because you have different lifestyles doesn't mean you can't support those folks trying to make a difference in our communities with fresh, chemical-free food. Here are a few ways you can help Joe Farmer in your neck of the woods:

1. Know Who They Are: It might seem silly, but you can't support people you don't know exist. Look for local ranches, gardens, even those making goods like honey or eggs. You'll be surprised at who's actually around you once you start looking!

2. Buy Their Stuff: Maybe you'd like to join a CSA or just hit up the farmers' market every weekend, but no matter what, your dollar counts. Buying local has a very real impact and is important.

3. Spread The Word: Just because you don't want to join a CSA doesn't mean that your friends don't. Talking about the things you bring to your dinner table in an open and inviting way is a great way to get others engaged.

4. Visit and Lend a Hand: Most farms will gladly accept a little volunteer help! You might pick weeds for a day, help harvest or even start fall crops. Every hand makes a difference and sometimes it's fun to get your hands dirty. Many established farms have visitor days where you can go check out how things are made. (This is a lovely way to get children involved and educated about where their food comes from.)

5. Make Charitable Donations: Donations to local farms are tax deductible. Give a little, get a lot!

How do you support your local farmers? Let us know in the comments below!

Related: Oregon Fruit: Berry Farm & Cannery Tour

(Image: Emma Christensen)

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Sarah Trover has lived all across the Midwest and currently calls the hot dog-laden city of Chicago home. She rides scooters and seeks out kitchens that make the best pie.