Follow local producers online for fresh ideas
Local farms and farmers markets share produce and cooking ideas online for the entire season.
We spend a fair amount of time online and following social media sites of our favorite local growers or farmers market is one way to receive ideas on how to cook with locally grown food.
MSU farms, other local farms, farmers markets and some of the gardens at health care centers and schools have taken social media to a new level by sharing their seasonal produce and recipes on how to use what has been recently harvested or pulled out of the root cellar. Using Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, local producers and sellers share pictures of their harvest, often the day they pick it, and also show what they intend to use it for, whether to sell or cook themselves. When they advertise their daily happenings, and you tune in, that same produce may likely show up at your local farm stand and farmers market, and hopefully on your table too.
Methods for finding social media sites that make regular posts about foods locally grown:
How to find local and community shared agriculture (CSA) farms on social media:
- Start by searching for names of local farms at Local Difference’s website.
- Enter a farm name into Instagram’s, Facebook’s or Twitter’s search box to see if it has its own social media site.
- If they do, start following them!
How to find farmers markets on social media:
- Start by searching for the closest farmers market using a farmers market search engine.
- Enter the farmers market name into an Instagram, Facebook or Twitter search box to see if it has its own page.
- If they do, start following them!
Farms and farmers markets with social media pages:
Michigan State University farms’ social media pages:
- Follow MSU’s North Farm on Instagram and Facebook.
- Connect with MSU’s Student Organic Farm on Instagram and Facebook.
Local farms, farmers markets and community shared agriculture farms’ social media pages:
- CoveyYou Local Farm in Petoskey, Mich. is on Instagram.
- Providence Organic CSA Farm in East Port, Mich. can be followed on Instagram.
- Flint Farmers Market is on Instagram.
Some hospitals, health care centers and schools grow food, but there are limited examples of these sites on social media because these types of gardens are not yet common in Michigan. One of the most active gardens on social media is The Farm at St Joe’s.
By following some of these great sites, you can bring local produce and ideas about how to use fresh produce into your daily life. Daily inspiration can influence the way we live our lives because it reaches us frequently and becomes a part of our daily routine and lifestyle. Research shows that we are more likely to adopt new habits when our environments foster those habits. Seeing and sharing photos of what is in season and ways to cook fruits and vegetables is likely to be one way we can create a more nutritious diet and healthier lifestyle for the long term. For example, there are many ways to improve the nutrition of your families’ lunches by including more local food from local producers.
For those on limited budgets, farmers markets are great places to participate in Bridge Card benefits, Double Up Food Bucks and Market Fresh programs. Michigan State University Extension also provides farmers market tours and education series that help low-income individuals and families become more confident at visiting markets, as well as understand how to use their benefits and make the best use of the food that they purchase.
MSU Extension promotes the multiple health benefits that come from eating a diet consistent with the dietary guidelines. Visit www.msue.msu.edu to locate programming to support health and nutrition in your area.