Shopping local and finding organically grown food/dairy in your area can be challenging, especially if you are new to the area. However, there are ways to make the searching process so much easier! Below we will look at the most helpful websites that will help you know how to find local farmers in your area.
When I first got married I struggled with…well, everything. Long story short, I struggled specifically with my health which led me on a journey to finding a more healthy lifestyle. One of the ways this has manifested in our daily lives is in our food. Finding organic locally sourced food transformed my health. My standards for food shifted, I was no longer willing to buy just any milk or meat at the grocery store.
Becoming more intentional with my food meant I had to search out the best places to buy our food from. I did not know how to find local farms in my area and that was a bit overwhelming to me. So if you have found yourself in a new city or even just in a new season of life, I pray this post helps you feel more equipped to provide the very best for your family. My goal is to try to give you what I wish I would’ve had 2+ years ago.
Ok, enough about me, let’s get into why you clicked on this post…
The 6 BEST websites to help you find local farmers:
If you are new to an area or you are just beginning to try out buying locally, you might not have a wide network of people to reach out to. So where do we go when we need answers? I don’t know about you but I go to google.
There are great websites that are designed to provide you with information about farms local to your area. The websites listed below are all sites I personally used that helped me locate farms I still use today!
This website is part of the Weston A Price Foundation and it has a map full of farms that have some source of raw milk whether that be cow or goat milk. To use this website head over to the button that says “Raw Milk Finder” and you will be taken to a map of the US. Zoom into your area of the states to see what farms are in your area.
TIP: If you do not have any farms near by, check out farms that are a little further away. For example, my local dairy delivers to locations 1-3 hours on a scheduled delivery day. So if you do not see anything close by don’t fret, there may be a farm that does drops near you.
The Get Raw Milk site is very similar to the site above but I have found farms on this site that were not listed on the other and vice versa. Searching for local farms does take some up front research but once you have found some farms to check out, it just becomes a part of life.
One thing I really like about this site is that it is worldwide! Once you click on the map you can find farms in many of the continents.
Now lets look at a site where you can find everything from eggs, to beef, pork, and more! Eat Wild is a pretty popular site among local farmers. Much like the sites listed above, there is a map you can use to help narrow down your search.
When you first go on the site select the tab on the left menu that says “Shop for local grass-fed beef, eggs and dairy” to find the map.
Each local farm with have a short description of what they offer. Here is an example of a farm you might find:
“American Beef Shop offers all-natural, free-range, grass fed, beef with a mouth-watering aroma, full-bodied flavor that makes tenderizers, marinades and sauces unnecessary. It is a healthy source of high-quality protein and essential fatty acids.” (web address if available) (farm location).
Using the Eat Wild website will help you find local farmers quick and give you critical details about how the farms are managed and what they offer.
Local Harvest is very similar to Eat Wild. I have learned that Local Harvest is not as up to date as some of the other websites but it definitely has the most farms listed and a wide range of areas.
At the top of the website there are two search boxes. In the box that says “near:” enter in your city and hit enter. This will bring up all the farms surrounding your area. The Local Harvest results show you ALL the farms. You will see search results for vegetables, meat, flowers, fruit, u-pick farms and more!
If there is a website associated with the farm that is listed you can usually find the link here.
A word of warning, just because a farm says it is “organic” on the Local Harvest site does not mean it actually is. You will still need to do your own research to determine the quality and care of the farm. Do not rely on these sites, rather, treat them as a starting point.
The homepage of Find Local Food is a map which is really nice. You do not have to go searching for it! This site is great for finding local farmer’s markets, and food co-op’s that might be selling locally sources items in their co-op.
Farmer’s markets are a great way to meet people in the community, ask questions, and learn about resources you might not find online. It is not uncommon for farmers to not have a website.
The USDA Local Food Directory is a great farmer’s market locating tool. As I mentioned before, finding farmer’s markets can turn out to be a gold mine.
You can be as specific or vague as you want with this site to get general markets or specific items.
Alternative ways to find local farmers:
Sometimes farms are not listed on the sites mentioned above because they really embrace the idea of living off the grid. It is inconvenient for us but we can still find them! Below are some ways to seek out information locally:
- Ask for specific products at farmer’s markets. Farmer’s are typically some of the most helpful people and very resourceful! If you found a guy that sells eggs, ask him if he knows someone that sells dairy. I bet he will!
- Look for road signs, I know this might sound silly but I actually found a local farm that I buy eggs from because I saw their sign out by the road. Don’t be afraid to follow the sign and check out the farm. Even if you choose not to buy anything, you’ve still discovered a potential option. Remember, this is a process.
- See what your friend groups know. If you are new to an area this might be challenging but when you make new friends, ask if they know of any local farmers. Sometimes friends surprise you!
- Search on Facebook. I do not know why, but making farm facebook pages is a thing and it can be very helpful! I recently discovered a new dairy in my area from a facebook post.
Always, always, always, remember why you are choosing to find local farmers. Prices and quality will vary so it is very important that you know what you are looking for and why. I hope you find at least one new farm to try products from with these resources.
TIPS AND TRICKS:
- Don’t be afraid to ask the farmer’s questions about how they do things. If your goal is to get the best quality food for your family, don’t be shy about finding it!
- Come up with criteria when searching for a farm. Do you want organic? Do you want the farm to be regenerative? What kind of environment do you want the animals to be living in? High standards are ok, don’t feel bad about them.
- Go visit the farm! A lot of farmer’s are happy to give you a quick tour and show you a bit of their process. This is a great way to make an informed decision.
- Remember you are paying for quality. Locally sourced quality food is going to be more expensive than the grocery store but I would rather spend more money on quality food and less on doctor/hospital visits! This topic could be a whole post by itself but for now we will leave it at that.
Comment below which website you found the most helpful!