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The Unfair Advantage: A Guide For The Wanna-Be Locavore

by Robbie - July 3rd, 2011.
Filed under: Gardening, HomeEc, Resources.

Dig in. Right here.

In Colorado it’s prime territory-and prime time of the season-for eating locally.

If you’ve ever toyed with buying some, most or even all of your food locally (for one meal or for a week) you are in the right state. Let’s start with a list of the most dependable places you can look for the freshest local foods.

Local CSAs – Community-supported agriculture, in which you buy shares and receive boxes of food regularly through the season. http://coloradocsas.info/

Here’s an even bigger source for all local products-it’s a site called “Local Harvest”. Type in your zip code and the food you seek, from meats to honey and everything else.

Colorado Farmer’s Markets: http://www.coloradofarmers.org/marketfind.htm

Local growers – There are more and more people in your neighborhood looking to sell their homegrown produce and eggs on a small scale, but you may have to hunt around for them. Keep your eyes peeled. Next to all those Yard Sale signs you may spot a hand-written sign boasting cucumbers and zucchini. Be adventurous and neighborly, and check it out.

Other MarketsDenver Urban Homesteading is a year-round Farmer’s Market with more extensive hours than many seasonal markets http://www.denverurbanhomesteading.com/market.htm

Now let’s look at food groups.

This is an amazing time of year in Colorado for fresh fruits and vegetables. If you’re looking for produce the entire list above can apply. If you sign up for a CSA and find yourself with boxes of tasty-looking but mysterious vegetables, a copy of Amy Cotler’s “The Locavore Way” is a gentle guide to making the most of fresh produce that you may have never seen before.

What about grains? There are local resources for this. You can find Colorado Easy Eats at Denver Urban Homesteading Market. Here’s her link:   http://www.coloradoeasyeats.com

Colorado is home turf for bison. They are naturally from here, they eat what grows here and they need no antibiotics or hormones to produce. The buffalo you find in the grocery store may not be local. Start here: Local Harvest You can also find locally grown grass-fed beef and other meats, poultry and even local fish grown with hydroponics.

With the surge in backyard goat popularity it will be easier and easier to find locally produced chevre and other cheeses, as well as milk. You can even find raw milk in some places, although it’s a bit of a ballet due to FDA standards and limitations. Find out more here: RawMilkColorado.org

Locally roasted coffee is around as well.

And tea? Celestial Seasonings is right up the road in Boulder and at your grocery store. You can tour Celestial Seasonings, too. Nice thing to do when the folks some out for a visit.

For sweeteners, Colorado Honey is a wonderful product. These days you can even find this treat at most local grocery stores.

Colorado Wine, an amazing array of brews including beer and mead and even booze are produced locally as well. Just Google “Colorado Wineries” and stand back. The listings will knock you over.

Are you more for a brew? We are pampered here in Colorado when it comes to local beer, but remember – it’s not just about a cold one. It’s about tours, tastings and festivals, too! Check out Colorado Brewers.

If you’re looking to experiment a bit, try a locavore dinner or even just a breakfast with a local peach or melon, a local egg and a muffin made from locally grown and milled grains, topped off with a little Celestial Seasonings “Morning Thunder” and Colorado honey. You could spend more doing this than you would on highly preserved and processed food, but the freshness and flavor of a local peach is more satisfying than contrived, “peach flavored” anything.

To put a little variety and real freshness on your summer table, try a bit of the local. You don’t have to tell anybody you’re a locavore. Just give ’em a taste.

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