Heidi Martin and her daughter Emily make eating local “farm to fork” foods especially easy at “Heidi’s Homegrown & Organics,” She offers an amazing selection of in-season produce from 15 local farmers who use sustainable farming practices--all of them within 30 miles. Then there's USDA-certified organic products such as pastas, wheat berries, juices, flours, grains, soup mixes, bulk spices, Tofu, Grass-fed meats, local pure- raw honey, and homemade jams.
Let your children experience a "blast from the past" (if you're old enough to remember the milk man) by ordering milk in glass bottles that you can return to Heidi for the farmers to use again.
Heidi offfers a third party CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) with 15 local farmers. You can buy a share and get 5-10 varieties of fruits and vegetables each week during the April to September 2011 growing season.
Several other business and organizations deserve mention too. Check out the following organizations, co-ops, and markets that are making a significant difference in supporting the message of buying local and being green:
- RealFood Williamsburg Community Co-op (a real co-op), http://www.realfoodwilliamsburg.com/
- Zina's Produce/A Country Affair Farm, one of the first to offer a CSA in Williamsburg area, http://www.localharvest.org/zinas-produce-a-country-affair-farm-M35002
- Off The Vine (local and regional Virginia foods, subscriptions, workshops), http://www.offthevinemarket.com/
- InJoyFoods (a buying club that teaches people about importance of diet; offers classes, events, workshops and offers foods from Virginia farms), http://www.injoybread.com/
Most of us pay a premium to buy out-of-season fruits and vegetables. A fresh pineapple is yummy, but the miles it traveled to Virginia make me cringe. I'd prefer to support a local farmer rather than pay for the jet fuel to fly it to me from Hawaii. Even those juicy South Carolina or Georgia peaches use a lot of diesel to truck it to Virginia. But remember, you can start small.
One of my favorite farmers' markets, however, is the Williamsburg Farmers Market on Duke of Gloucester Street. It's been around for years and the vendors do a fantastic job every Saturday morning from 830-12:30; then again on Tuesdays during the summer, from 10-2.
They even provide a nifty--and humongous-- list of recipes from local restaurants and vendors on their website.