It’s pretty simple, really. Local foods are the foods we grow, produce or process right here in our own communities. However, there is no hard and fast definition as to how far away a food can be grown and still considered local to you – does it have to be in in a 10-mile radius? In your county? In your state? For our purposes, we consider all products grown or raised in North Dakota and sold directly to the end user to be local foods.
Agriculture is North Dakota’s leading industry. With that in mind, it’s easy to understand why there are many people and groups involved with our local foods. The ND Dept of Agriculture has driven the local foods movement since August 2008, with great support and partnership from farmers markets, Farm to School initiatives, specialty crop groups, and numerous rural communities.
Local foods directly connect growers and producers with consumers. This connection helps us all understand the community and economy we live in, as well as what we are choosing to eat.
Whether you join a CSA, start shopping at an area farmers market, or grow your own food in a home garden or community garden, there are many easy ways you can eat local. Our Online Local Food Directory Map is a great place to start looking!
There are many ways to get your local foods to market, whether you want to sell from your farm or directly to a larger distributor. There are also certain laws and regulations you should know about depending on the type of food you sell. To learn more, read our Farm to Market Guide.