Moving is one thing military families do a lot and most have it down to a science - how to find the right schools, neighborhood, doctors, dentists, workout gyms - it is truly a talent.
Having grown-up overseas and then marrying a man who served in Army for 8 years, I thought I was used to the whole moving thing until this past summer, when our family moved across the country from Virginia to Colorado. I thought this would be a piece of cake!
When we arrived in late July we jumped right into all Colorado had to offer – hiking, biking and rock climbing – it seemed it was all working out perfectly. Until I started to realize I wasn’t sure where to get my real local food?! Yes, food. Most people would say they missed their hair designer or trainer or house but no, I missed real local food! Back in Virginia I had a whole network of foodies that included local farmers and gardeners as well as our own home garden from which we would get fresh food everyday! Not to mention all the farm to table restaurants!
You may ask why is food so important? About 8 years ago I dedicated my life to eating healthier, feeding my family healthier and doing the best we could to eat in season and local. We had a garden in our backyard which took years to establish but seeing both my boys pick carrots right out of the ground or snap peas and gobble them up – was true happiness to me! Teaching our children how to nourish their bodies is one of the most important lessons we can teach and quite frankly a passion of mine. Over the years, I have seen as a Nutrition Consultant how food can really change lives and how food right from the source is packed with all that needed nutrition! I also have found that buying from our local farmers and growing the food ourselves supports our efforts towards a healthier earth. So that is the reason I was on my quest for real local food in our new town.
It wasn’t that Colorado didn’t have farmers, gardeners and ranchers or that it didn’t offer local food but I wasn’t sure where to find it. I also wasn’t sure how to garden since elk and deer were in our yard eating everything in sight and we didn’t have that rich Virginia soil!
But I knew there must be a way but how?
I started to do some research. I found a small grocery store, Natural Market, right in our neighborhood that sold organic food but not always local as well as a Whole Foods about 30 minutes away. But again I still missed the connection and nutrients of fresh local produce and the thought of supporting our local farmers.
So I continued my search. There are a few great websites I used.
www.localharvest.org - CSAs, Farmers, markets
www.eatwellguide.org - restaurants, stores, CSAs, Farmers, Community Gardens, Co-ops
www.eatwild.com - find farmers or ranchers near you
www.westonaprice.org – CSAs and raw milk
www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/farmersmarkets - farmers markets
After researching on all these sites and finding some resources I thought would work, I started to contact them. I also contacted our local chamber of commerce to see if there were any local sustainable groups or organizations in our area as well as community gardens since those are usually the people who are in the know! I am happy to report that I haven’t found all the delicious foods we had in Virginia but I am slowly finding my way to cooking up real local food and sharing it with our new friends.
First published in MilitaryOneClick on February 9th, 2015