Decades ago Long Island – my home and the home of NCP – teemed with farms, which supplied a growing New York City with fresh fruits and vegetables and livestock. More recently, suburban sprawl has led to much of the area being filled with homes. However, there are still many family farms within a few minutes’ drive from almost any place on the Island.
There is nothing better than to take a drive out to the eastern part of Long Island and stop at the many roadside stands or farm stands along the way. You can find a wide variety of tasty local crops and goods. (And if you didn’t know, Long Island has a very respectable wine market!)
There are many reasons to buy local, according to the University of Vermont Extension:
- Locally grown food tastes and looks better. The crops are picked at their peak, and farmstead products are “hand-crafted” for best flavor.
- Local food is better for you. The shorter the time between the farm and your table, the less likely it is that nutrients will be lost from fresh food.
- Local food supports local families. The wholesale prices that farmers get for their products are low, often near the cost of production. Local farmers who sell direct to consumers cut out the middleman and get full retail price for their food – which helps farm families stay on the land.
- Local food keeps taxes down. According to several studies by the American Farmland Trust, farms contribute more in taxes than they require in services, whereas most development contributes less in taxes than the cost of required services.
- Local food benefits the environment and wildlife. Well-managed farms provide ecosystem services: they conserve fertile soil, protect water sources, and sequester carbon from the atmosphere. The farm environment is a patchwork of fields, meadows, woods, ponds and buildings that provide habitat for wildlife in our communities.
Do you have farmer’s markets near you? And if do, what are your reasons for buying local food?
So which products do consumers really care about buying local? According to The Nielsen Company, produce tops the list, as 58% of consumers state that buying local produce is important to them. The majority of consumers also say local is important when it comes to bakery, eggs, and food service.
As for which consumer groups feel strongest about buying local, low-income consumers are more likely to say that buying local is extremely important to them across all products compared with the general population, according to Nielsen. Young families say buying local is extremely important to them for their deli items, bakery, produce, as well as their shelf-stable and frozen goods. And Millennials say local matters most in the frozen department.
ALSO! Please remember if you purchase any fresh produce without a barcode, to make sure and use the appropriate listing in the Barcode Reference Booklet if you use a handheld scanner, or if you have the NCPMobile App, the Non-Barcoded Items listing in the app.
So if you get a chance, visit a local farm stand and enjoy the freshness! Have a great weekend!
In my town we have a outdoor farmers market from May – Oct. then they move it indoors about 2 blocks away on Saturdays.
It’s been dubbed “The Harbor Market” located on the grounds of our museum, located by the harbor and walking distance to Lake Michigan’s Shores.
The harbor, back in its time, was a huge asset to our city.
Freighters would line the piers waiting to load automobiles, manufactured by Nash, then AMC. When AMC stopped production, they left behind a legacy and brown space.
Once the sites were decontaminated, the City leaders built a new Kenosha Public Museum and a Civil War Museum.
I volunteer at the CWM on Saturdays and can validate the Harbor Market success. Traffic flow is solid, parking lots and curbside parking are maxed. A trolley now exists to pick up patrons to and from the event for 50 cents,
All of this and more has revitalized our downtown business, who suffered a big blow. Their lost a great number of regular -patronage from the employees when AMC stopped production.
From the brown factory sites, rose a great green success, it has even improved our air quality and less pollutants into Lake Michigan. ❤️My hometown, Kenosha, WISCONSIN USA ??
I help my aunt with her garden. She runs the farmers market in Globe,Arizona. Fresh is always best really. When you grow your own food and don’t have to worry about where it came from or what’s been sprayed on it or put in the soil. No better feeling. I was raised vegan in the middle of nowhere and we grew a fairly impressive garden. Oh the good ol’ days..
I sometime volunteer so i get some if my veggis free ,it helps alot .
This year for the first time we have subscribed to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and it has been FABULOUS! Our goodie bag comes loaded every week with fresh produce from a local farm. We have gotten Lettuce (Many types), Onions(Red, Yellow, Green), Tomatoes, Corn, Melons, Beans, Eggplant, Kohlrabi, Potatoes, Celery, Basil, Cilantro, Swiss Chard, Leeks, Beets, Carrots, Peppers, Cabbage and others. If you have them in your town, you would love being part of it id you love FRESH!
It’s been a while since I have visited a framers market but I guess I don’t go anymore because I have my own organic garden in my backyard.
I never think to shop at a farmer’s market. I need to find one.
When shopping at a farm store, which category should you use? Closest catagory seems to be “farm stand drive through”.
Hi, you can use coop/feed/farm
I wish NCP listed Farmers Market as an available choice to select. I found something that said coop/farm and used that. I hope it was correct.
Yes, use that one. We will look into including Farmers Market in the near future. Thank you!
I wish i could go to the veg market and get some extra food but I
can’t I don’t drive and i have to depend on my boys 1 working during the day and the other one sleeps all day because he works at night late and come in early
I buy a lot of local products, including produce, meats, dairy and personal care. It is frustrating to report many of these items to NCP. Often times there is no barcode or corresponding item on the list. My purchases are not always correct because of this. Please add more items to this list! I love and believe in buying local but also want to report all of my shopping. This also happens sometimes with items purchased from Amazon.
Noted! We are always trying to add more items to the listings. Thank you for your comments!
Besides fruits, vegetables and honey it’s often difficult to find other local products and we have very little produce to choose from locally. I love getting fresh farm eggs but they’re not easy to get around here and I absolutely miss having fresh milk, bread and cheese; they’re impossible to find in my area. I know there are farms around here since I live in a rural area but it’s still extremely difficult to find out how to get these fresh products. If I could I would buy everything from local farmers instead of the grocery store!
Thank you for your comments about Shopping at Farmers Market.
I ask every couple years why we can’t “scan” farmers market products Because there is no store to assign them to !!
Not a problem to list the price of everything
I enjoyed your commentary about Buying Local. I think it’s a great idea, and we use it as often as we can. Some of the benefits are helping the local economy, knowing where your food comes from, the prices are very reasonable, the food is often just picked and minimally processed, and you can actually talk to the farmers and ask questions. Most of them are very helpful and happy to answer many questions you may have. Some even offer product samples. We look forward to the many Farmers Markets and Produce Stands as summer approaches. They are great places to take your kids to learn a bit about agriculture too!
I love local farmers market or going to a local Amish market nothing like the down home baked goods and freshest produce
I always look for farmers markets or even vegetables just sold in fron if the house. Locally grown is the very freshest and I feel like it has some if everything native to my local area. Good for the body. It’s not expensive and you help to keep our family farmers around. I’m all about healthy and natural. No processed
My local farmers market is one block from my home.
We are so happy summer is here and our local farmers are ready to start marketing, my mouth just waters at the sound of home grown fruits snd vegetables
No I don’t go to the farmer market.
I don’t drive so I have to depend on my boys
All the time. Plus I never have enough money to get anything there