I know it’s not spring yet but thinking about fresh locally grown food gets me ready. If you are a locavore, New Mexico has an amazing variety of locally grown and produced foods from vegetables and fruit to cheese, meat and poultry. Santa Fe has a great network of local food producers along with some excellent outreach programs. Buying good locally produced and prepared food is a guarantee that what you’re eating is tasty, because it was harvested at the height of perfection.
The Santa Fe Farmers’ Market is one of the best known and longest running in the nation. If you spend any time here it’s a great place to shop for locally produced foods. Just visiting? Drop in and check it out to get a feel of the bustle and vibrancy of an active market. It’s a year ‘round market with an indoor venue for winter when markets are held only on Saturdays. Once the growing season starts, the market moves outside and adds markets on Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon. Check the website for the schedule. As you browse, get something to snack on from one of the many booths to enjoy while you visit and you can meet the farmer who grew it.
If you don’t have time to visit the Farmers’ Market, dine in one of the local restaurants that source at least some of their food from either the market, the Santa Fe Alliance Farm to Restaurant program or directly from area farms.This is win/win/win, chefs and diners can can you trust the quality of the food, and it helps local food producers.
Santa Fe also has a few Community Supported Agriculture farms. CSAs offer shares of their produce for sale to the public. Each week during the growing , shareholders get fresh locally grown goodies. What you get is based on what is in season that week. Some CSAs even deliver to your door. The idea of the program is to help the farmers out with their expenses in exchange for a share of the bounty; you pay for the season in advance. The downside is you also share the risk with the farmer. If the crop is ruined by hail, drought or other adverse conditions, your share is smaller.
If you want fresh and local but prefer a store where you can shop every day, La Montanita Co-op, a local supermarket-style store, gets about half of their produce from local sources in the summer. Both members and non-members can shop there. Members get a portion of the Co-op profit at the end of the year, paid as a dividend.
Wherever you live, find ways to connect with local growers near you. Is there a farmers’ market? Are there CSAs? Is there a food co-op you can join? Local farms are a valuable resource and an insurance policy for clean food sources controlled by people like you. It’s healthy; it strengthens the local economy and it’s good for the environment.
Are local food sources in Santa Fe important to you? Do you have any you want to share?
If you have any sustainable Santa Fe dining resources to share with us, we’d love to hear about them.
Note: Read about locavore efforts in Brooklyn, NY from DowntownTraveler.