Buy Local Food First

I pledge to make a farm or farmers market my first choice for eating in season and living a local-sustainable lifestyle. I will choose local food first by visiting a sustainable farm or farmers market weekly to buy the freshest, most nutritious and delicious food grown without synthetic chemicals.

Local food sustains us and our farmers while supporting the local economy and building food resiliency.

Be adventurous and try something new! When in doubt, ask the farmer how to prepare any vegetable you haven’t prepared before. Beverages, cheese, baked goods and more are available at the stands and markets so you can buy everything you need for a complete local meal.

The following Sustainne members are food and farm pros with a strong commitment to people and planet.

Fairfield Farmers Market opened for the season on Sunday, June 12. Vendors including Park City Honey Company and their sister company Evelyn’s Vida de la Granja, which makes delicious, authentic empanadas. Plan a weekly trip to the market, but go early for the best choice and bring your reusable bags for a zero waste shopping experience.

The Westport Farmers Market runs on Thursdays from 10-2. The market sells reusable shopping bags, and has moved to zero single-use plastic cutlery and no plastic packaging for fresh produce to help you go zero waste.

The Greenwich Farmers’ Market runs each Saturday from 9:30-1:00 and features over 14 different vendors.

The Hickories, Ridgefield is a family-owned, Certified Organic farm that sells a wide range of produce, fruit, meats, specialty foods, cut flowers and woolen goods at the farm market and at the Westport Farmers Market.

Sport Hill Farm, Easton is a family-owned, CT NOFA Farmer’s Pledge farm offering produce, fruit, popcorn, artisan and farmstead specialty foods, heritage pork, meat and poultry, fresh cut flowers and herbs. Zero waste products include popcorn and freshly milled cornmeal made from corn she grew last season so BYO jars. Thee farm is a regular vendor at the Westport Farmers Market.

Skinny Pines, LLC will bring their mobile wood fired pizza truck to your location and create a custom menu for your special event featuring local-in-season and other sustainable ingredients. They do not sell bottled water and use recyclable pizza boxes.

Custom Meats is a full-service, whole animal butcher shop in Fairfield that provides the community with locally-sourced, grass-fed and pastured meats. Custom Meats works intimately with small farms that raise their animals on pasture, including Sport Hill Farm. Whole-animal butchery is an excellent zero waste choice because they use every part of the animal.

Sunset Meadow Vineyards is a sustainable, family-owned vineyard and winery in Goshen that makes award-winning, estate-grown wines. Various local retailers carry their red, white, rose, sparkling and dessert wines as part of their Connecticut Grown offerings. Sunset Meadow is a popular destination to enjoy a wine tasting,  a wine and chocolate pairing, wine dinner, and other special events. While you’re there, congratulate them on 10 successful years!

Buy Local Food First

Our local foodshed is a fragile ecosystem by virtue of the fact that the vast majority of farmers in our state are 65 and older. Farming is not a get rich scheme. I have yet to meet a farmer that doesn’t have a family member with an “off farm” job to make ends meet, and sometimes it’s the farmer that has the second job. It’s a wonder anyone wants to farm at all. It’s backbreaking work, and despite employing risk mitigation strategies, a bad storm, drought, prolonged and excessive hot weather, pests and disease can all undermine a farmer’s success. Yet farm they do, and how luck are we to savor the fruits of their labor?

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