Local Menu Ideas

Have Fun Eating Local !

Find Sources that  Fit Your LifestyleAsk for local where you already shop- many of the large food chains have added local produce. 

Find convenient farmers market or produce stands near home or work; there are weekday and weekend options. Look for bargains in “seconds” bins for fruit and tomatoes-excellent for sauces and cooking. See freshfarmmarket.org for list.


Identify stores with an emphasis on local, such as, Roots Markets, Food Co-ops, and Whole Foods.


Order on-line for home delivery from southmountaincreamery.com, farmersbuyingclub.com, onthegourmet.com, or the thenakedbee.com. See localharvest.org for other options.


Share the Experience Start a vegetable barter among neighbors’ gardens. 

Build a shared garden plot with friends or neighbors. Determine who has the best sun, soil to grow different crops, assign roles, important dates for prep, planting, maintenance and harvest. Then share the bounty.


Create a local dinner exchange with a group of friends. For example, one month on each Wednesday night, one of the group of four cooks a meal for all participants. Three of the four weeks everyone gets a night off from cooking and is introduced to a new recipe with local ingredients.


Share a portion of a cow or pig with another family through a farm buying club or take turns with bulk pick up of meat or poultry, see polyfacefarms.com, ayrshirefarm.com,cedarruncattle.com. 


Join a CSA with neighbors or friends so you can take turns picking up the weekly harvest shares. CSA (community supported agriculture) is a farm where you buy shares of the harvest. See localharvest.org for CSA options.


Host a food and wine pairing party using local food with wines made from locally grown grapes.  See blackanklevineyards.com a good resource for menu pairing with award winning wine.  See cherryglengoatcheese.com or fireflyfarms.com for guidance for pairing wine with locally produced cheeses.


Create Traditions Plan seasonal family outings to explore new local food sources in the Chesapeake Region, local farms, dairies, orchards.  Call ahead to confirm hours and availability. See marylandsbest.net or localharvest.org for your state list of options.


Involve family members in weekly menu planning by choosing their favorite local foods.  Identify or create new recipes together.


Have kids ask grandparents/elders for their memories of favorite local food recipes of their childhood to add to the family menu book.


Mark the stages of gardening with ritual, take turns breaking the spring ground, dedicate the sowing of seeds with a poem, decorate  with scarecrows or homemade plant markers, give everyone a taste of the first picked vegetable, enter your prize vegetables in the county fair  and at season’s end, host a harvest potluck with family and friends.


Explore your town and surrounding cities for a new restaurants or cafes that use local ingredients a few times a year.


Take an annual getaway with your significant other to a B&B or Inn that serves local ingredients.

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