As far as I can see it’s not a national month long celebration, yet, but, I’ve been seeing lots of news articles about September being declared “Local Food Month.”
Here are a few places that are celebrating local foods this month.
Ann Arbor, Michigan - Lots of special events will take place in Ann Arbor this month including the annual Homegrown Festival where admittance is free and food and drinks sourced from Michigan’s local farms are a fair price.
Humboldt County, California – Local restaurants featuring local foods and a fundraiser that will benefit the counties Farm-to-School program are two of many events that will take place in Humboldt County this September.
Western Pennsylvania – The Western Region of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture has declared September “Local Food Month” to celebrate the bounty of the autumn harvest. For a list of events in the region, click here.
You don’t have to live in any of these regions to celebrate local foods this month, however. Right now local foods are abundant in most regions, but it’s not going to last much longer. Many summer vegetables only have a few weeks left. Here are some ways that you can celebrate local food wherever you live.
- Pick your own – Apple and pumpkin picking season is upon us. Get out in the fields and pick away.
- Go gleaning – There are many groups that have formed that help to pick, or glean, the edible foods from community trees. These are the trees that are usually planted for ornamental reasons and their fruits fall to the ground and rot. The pickers sometimes get to keep a little of the food, but most often the food gets donated where it’s needed most. If you don’t live in a region where that happens, perhaps you can find a senior citizen with a lone apple tree in their back yard and offer to pick the fruit for them so it doesn’t go to waste.
- Plant some fall crops – You can extend the life of your own vegetable garden and continue to share its bounty with your family, friends and neighbors by planting vegetables that can take the chill.
- Keep buying from your farmers market – The corn and tomatoes might wane over the next few weeks, but many markets will stay open. Keep going and support your local farmers through the last week of the market, whenever that may be.
- Have dinner on a farm – Dinners on the farm bring together people in the community with local farmers and chefs for gourmet local meals. The cooler September weather makes for a beautiful evening in the fields.
- Don’t forget the wine and beer – Local wineries and breweries shouldn’t be forgotten when supporting local food. They’re a great way to continue to support local all year round because their tasting rooms are usually open 12 months a year.
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