Mark the market Most regions have a farmers’ market. These are great because they cut out the middle man and allow you to buy a crunchy carrot or a smelly cheese knowing that it’s come straight from where it was produced. To get even closer to the source, visit a farm and have a chat.
Question dine Ask your favourite restaurants where they get their produce from – if they support local farmers, frequent them! Not only will you be supporting the farm and the eaterie, but you’ll be doing yourself a favour because the food will probably taste better.
Get growing There’s nothing more local than your own backyard! Plant lettuces, herbs, tomatoes and chillies in pots to make your cooking taste more delicious (and cut your grocery bills).
Know your neighbourhood It’s a good idea to do some research to find out what grows well in your region. Some areas have online resources to help you discover whether your locality produces great grapes or superb spuds.
Release the feast Challenge yourself to prepare an entire meal for friends using all local produce. Ask each of your gourmet guests to bring a locally-produced beverage to accompany the meal. Trust us – both dinner talk and what’s on your plate will improve!
Get a fresh eye It’s useful to know how to select the freshest produce; for example, grab apples with firm, smooth skin and avoid really large ones with a musty smell. Choose asparagus with closed, compact tips and a vibrant green colour.
Providore adore Can’t be bothered to source local produce? A local food store or providore might have done the hard work for you! Next time you visit a shop packed with jellies, cheeses, meats and bread, find out where they came from and, if they’re local, fill your basket!
Make the most At the end of seasons, buy lots of local produce and spend a weekend making tasty treats to keep in your pantry – ideal preserved foods include apple sauce, tomato chutney and strawberry jam.
Get season savvy You should only buy what’s in season – do your research and soon, picking up the most seasonal (and best tasting) produce will come naturally.
Hunt and gather Find out about native, uncultivated produce in your region, such as wild mushrooms, berries or honey. Just make sure that a) the food is not poisonous and b) that you’re allowed to take it!