We are fortunate here in Central Texas. There is so much local food available from some great farmers and real food providers. I think about what I buy at the supermarket now and what I buy direct from local farms and am amazed. It really makes a difference in your local community if you support local farmers and food providers. The more you buy locally the less your food is processed and that is ALWAYS a good thing. We probably only go to the supermarket now once every couple of weeks. Instead we frequent many of the local farmer’s markets about twice a week.
My top 5 sourcing tips:
- Buy in bulk and find a local buying club – these groups are amazing buying everything from spices to grains and legumes, nuts and seeds! They find deals on things by buying in bulk for the group and you get to enjoy the savings! I also find that it is very easy for me to make last minute meals (given that I work full time at a corporate job and don’t usually have time to ‘run to the store’ because I am chained to my desk all day!) because most of the food I buy is in bulk and it is already here. We have an extra fridge and freezer in our garage for storage.
- Preserve your local harvest bounty – I pickle/ferment a lot of the vegetables I get from the CSA to enrich their nutrient profile, yes, but more importantly it makes them available to us for a longer period of time without spoilage.
- Ask questions – farmers love to explain the way they grow their vegetables or raise their animals – ask them lots of questions. We buy only soy-free non-GMO eggs and I also make sure they get plenty of sunlight and get to roam around and eat bugs!
- Shop around – I admit it – I do like to shop locally but I do use amazon.com for some staples that I can’t find locally made – things like rice, beans, tomato paste and coconut milk.
- Join a farm through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. You will never have to worry about what you are going to buy at the store again – your vegetables are selected for you. It is a whole new world of creativity as you try new things and new recipes.
Central Texas Local Food Sources:
Beef: Sand Creek Farm veal share (bought a half a veal and store in a deep freezer, I also like Indian Hills Farm (used to purchase from them before the veal share for grass fed beef)
Chicken: Sand Creek Farm (roasting hens and stew hens) – sometimes Dewberry Hills Farm
Lamb: Sand Creek Farm (bought a whole lamb)
Vegetables: Johnson’s Backyard Garden CSA box weekly, supplement with other farms at the Saturday Farmer’s Market downtown
Eggs: Sand Creek Farm (the orange eggs) or Ottmers or Oma and Opa’s Farm (Sat Farmer’s Market)
Milk: Sand Creek Farm
Cheese: Sand Creek Farm
Fruit: seasonal from the Farmer’s Market
Honey: Round Rock Honey
Olive Oil: Texas Hill Country Olive Oil
Hummus: Grandma’s hummus
Mushrooms: Texas Pride
Salmon: Sand Creek Farm
bulk oils: Sand Creek Farm
flax seeds bulk: Sand Creek Farm
bulk salts: Sand Creek Farm
My downsized supermarket list – we maybe go once every two weeks now:
Redwood Hills Goat Yogurt
butter – Kerry Gold pastured
frozen mango and blueberries
corn tortillas (tried making these recently and failed – we like Margarita’s)
other pantry items as needed (baking needs, etc.)
Bulk buys on Amazon or other sites:
coconut oil – Wilderness Family Naturals
coconut milk – Native Forest (by the case)
That’s it folks – everything is homemade from these items – we don’t eat out but once or twice a week now and spend less than we did when eating out all the time and buying more expensive convenience foods. I also have more grab and go items now that are healthier than I did before – things like sauerkraut, pickles, broth, etc.
This post is featured in Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday.