Eight Easy Ways to Find What’s Local

Fresh, nutritious local produce and products aren't that hard to find. As a matter of fact, you probably don't have to go out of your way at all. Here are a few simple tips for finding local goodness. It’s all around you. We promise.

Tip #1 – Stop by a farmers’ market. Guaranteed you’ll find local food fresh from the farm to you. In many cases, the farmers are members or part owners of the market, so more of your money finds its way back locally. For a list of Nova Scotia farmers’ markets, visit our friends at farmersmarketsnovascotia.ca

Tip #2 – Look for roadside stands. When you pass a farm or an orchard, keep an eye out. They’re out there and there’s a pretty good chance the produce you’re buying was harvested that same day.

Tip #3 – Ask at your local grocery store. A lot of folks think big stores don’t carry local products, but that’s just not the case. These stores are carrying more and more fresh local selections every day. A lot of stores are even doing local displays and labeling things grown close to you. If you aren’t sure, all you have to do is ask.

Tip #4 – Join a CSA program. Community Supported Agriculture is growing in Nova Scotia. Basically, you buy a share in the farm and in return you get a share of the harvest. Imagine a fresh box of treats delivered to you right from the farm every week. That’s how it works. Sounds delicious yes?

Tip #5 – Shop the perimeter of your grocery store. You’re most likely to find fresh, local products around the perimeter – dairy, eggs, bread, seafood, meats and produce. But don’t fear the centre aisles either. Just check the label when you pick up that maple syrup, sauerkraut or honey. Chances are you can find a local brand.

Tip #6 – Hit a U-pick. You might be thinking apples, but you can also pick your own pumpkins, beans, peas, raspberries, strawberries and more depending on the time of year. It’s fun and makes a great family outing. Imagine sitting down to dinner with the family knowing you all had a hand in harvesting the ingredients.

Tip #7 – Order local at your favourite restaurant. We all love to let someone else do the cooking every now and then. And local restaurants love using local ingredients whenever possible. Scan the menu or just ask the wait staff what local ingredients the chef is using. They’ll know.

Tip #8 – Know what’s in season. The easiest products to find are the ones that are in season. And in Nova Scotia, there’s always something in season. Need a little help? You’re in luck. We’ve compiled a handy list. Click here.