The summer fruit and produce is gone it’s true, but it has been replaced by fall’s bounty. Cooler temperatures invite us to turn on the oven to roast some vegetables and bake some apples. Have you taken the Eat Local Challenge yet? It’s simply and invitation for you to find fun and delicious ways to add more local foods to your family’s weekly menu. Read on for a few FRESH ideas.
1) Pick from your own backyard garden. Do you have some broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale or lettuces still growing? Add them to any meal to make it a CT Grown feast.
2) Go foraging for free food! Does your neighbor have an apple tree in their backyard that’s full of ripe fruit? Offer to help them pick it in exchange for a share.
3) Shop at a local farmers’ market or farm stand and stock up for the week. Fairfield’s Greenfield Hill and Brick Walk farmers’ markets run on Saturdays and offer a wide variety of CT Grown produce, fruit and artisan made foods. The Double L Farm Stand in Southport offers an eclectic mix of produce and fruit. Visit the Fairfield Green Food Guide’s Buying Guide for hours and locations of all Fairfield County farmers’ markets.
4) Shop at a farm and vote local with your dollars. Sport Hill Farm in Easton sells their organic produce, eggs, Wave Hill bread and honey at the farm on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10-6 through the first frost (closed 10/24 for a private party). Sherwood Farm on Sport Hill Road in Easton offers a wide variety of just-picked produce from their fields and fruit from CT orchards at their four-season farm stand that’s open seven days a week through the first frost. Free-range eggs will remain available through the winter. Visit the Fairfield Green Food Guide’s Buying Guide for farms in your area.
5) Visit a farm to pick-your-own. It’s apple picking season and Beardsley’s Cider Mill and Orchard in Shelton is a great place to pick-your-own because they grown over 25 types of apples, some of which are heirloom varieties. Their farm- made fruit and pumpkin pies, cheesecake, cider donuts, cookies and cider are available for purchase in the store. Bring cash or a check for the pick-your-own apples.
6) Buy from a local specialty or independent grocer that makes it a point to carry locally grown and produced food. Palmer’s Market in Darien, Fairfield Cheese Company and The Pantry in Fairfield, and Walter Stewart’s Market in New Canaan carry local fruits, vegetables, breads, cheeses, honey, artisanal and prepared foods.
7) Dine at a restaurant that sources local and organic ingredients. Health in a Hurry in Fairfield, The Dressing Room and the newly minted Le Farm in Westport, Bloodroot in Bridgeport, Cobbs Mill Inn in Weston, David’s Catering and Napa & Co. in Stamford, and Woodway Country Club in Darien all cook with the seasons using fresh, local ingredients.
8) Buy CT Grown foods online for home delivery. Order online from CT Farm Fresh Express by noon Tuesday for a Friday home delivery. You pick what and how much CT-grown food you want from their online store and they deliver it to your door. No minimums, no membership fees and no ongoing commitment. Leave a cooler with ice packs on your doorstep if you won’t be home to receive the delivery.
9) Join a winter CSA (Community Supported Agriculture program). Gazy Brothers Farm is offering a 6-week winter CSA, which is a share in the farm’s late fall and early winter harvest, and is available for pick up at the Greenfield Hill farmers’ market on Saturdays as well as other Fairfield County farmers’ markets where they are a vendor.
10) Buy some Connecticut wine directly from a winery or wine shop that carries local wine like Harry’s Wine & Liquor in Fairfield. Some standouts from the Connecticut Wine Festival were Sharpe Hill Vineyard’s Ballet of Angels, the award-winning wines of Hopkins Vineyards, Miranda Vineyard’s Seyval Blanc and Woodridge White, Land of Nod’s Bianca, Taylor Brooke’s Traminette and Connecticut Valley Winery’s Chianti and port-style Black Bear.