Over the years that Michael and I have been together our lifestyles have changed dramatically. While always interested in good food, buying local and sustainability, we have drastically increased our support for local farmers, local businesses, and self-reliance. I don’t see ourselves as ever becoming die-hard preppers or living completely off of the land, but we have learned so much about decreasing our footprint and buying responsibly I do not see us going back to our old ways. We also both believe that people have the freedom to choose how they live their lives and get their food and basic needs, but for us it is important to do more for ourselves and limit our support of big corporations, and particularly, the industrial food complex.
I can tell you this did not happen for us overnight. While I was working on my degrees and we were both busy working at least two jobs we were not able to do for ourselves as we do now. But now that we both have careers at great workplaces we have the luxury of getting to make decisions about how we live and shop during our time that we aren’t at work. This is a blessing that we are most certainly grateful for. So we thought we would share some of the ways we have decided to “go local” in our daily lives.
Last year when we moved to the homestead I heard about a food co-op in our community which was still recruiting founding members and working to expand their mission. We proudly joined as one of 500 founding family memberships and we LOVE shopping at the co-op. We shop here for our pantry staples like nuts and seeds, dried fruit, beans and baking supplies. They have recently moved to a new location and are greatly expanding the products available, so we are excited to add many of the supplies we buy like local milk and butter, and even more household staples. You can read more about our local food co-op, the Grain Mill of Wake Forest, here: https://www.grainmill.coop/
A recent addition to our local purchases was joining a local Community Supported Fishery (CSF) offered by the NC operation, Locals Seafood. We know their products are great and have visited their shop at the NC State Farmers Market in Raleigh, but are now going to try a short share, about three weeks, later this month to see if we like it and want to commit to a longer share in the future. For $25 a week you get 2 pounds of fresh and locally caught seafood. Whatever we do not use right away we will plan to stock our freezer with. You can read more about Locals Seafood and their CSF here: http://localsseafood.com/
We are blessed to live in an area and a state where there is a lot of support for local farmers and there are lots of farmers markets. We tend to visit the Wake Forest Farmers Market because it is open on Saturday mornings and is very close to the co-op so I can usually get all of our weekly shopping done at once. There are a few meat purveyors, local cheese makers, and so much beautiful fresh produce, but they also have locally made goods like pottery, soap and hand-knitted items, and even a food truck comes out sometimes. It is a fun place to spend Saturday mornings, and with the fresh air and live music it certainly makes for an enjoyable shopping experience. You can read more about our local farmers market here: http://www.wakeforestfarmersmarket.org/
North Carolina is a leader in the craft beer movement and has more independent local breweries than I could ever count, so we have to send a shout out to our most local brewery, White Street Brewing Company. It is a great little downtown Wake Forest brewery where you can have food delivered, fill up a growler, and watch a ball game. They get area food trucks to visit a lot and it is a great local hangout. http://www.whitestreetbrewing.com/
We strive to constantly improve on how we ‘go local’ in our daily lives. I know we both feel better and share a sense of responsibility in supporting our local economy. Getting food from our own backyard and from other hard-working people in our community is so fulfilling and brings us joy everyday. We hope you find ways to ‘go local’ in your own community.