Eating fresh and local

Fix Your Plate by Tara Reeves

Summer in Prince Edward Island boasts an abundance of fresh, local food. But beyond the burst of flavour that comes with seasonal produce, there are compelling reasons to choose food grown or raised right here on the Island.

First and foremost, buying local food supports the hard-working farmers and producers who cultivate our food. It’s a chance to invest directly in the people who nourish our community. This investment goes beyond economics; it fosters a connection between consumers and the source of their food. Visiting farmers markets allows you to meet the individuals who grow your vegetables and raise your livestock. This connection fosters a sense of appreciation for the effort that goes into bringing food to your table.

Local food also offers a distinct health advantage. Produce picked at its peak ripeness retains more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than those shipped long distances. By choosing local, you’re ensuring your meals are packed with the essential nutrients your body needs.

It goes without saying that opting for local food significantly reduces your impact on the environment. Locally produced food travels shorter distances, minimising reliance on long distance transport. Additionally, many local farms employ sustainable practices that protect soil health and biodiversity, contributing to a healthier environment for everyone.

The impact on taste is undeniable. Locally sourced fruits and vegetables arrive at the market or your table at their freshest, resulting in a more vibrant flavour profile. This freshness translates to a more enjoyable eating experience and a deeper appreciation for the abundance of foods grown right here, at home.

Now that you’re convinced of the benefits of buying local, how can you find fresh, local food on PEI? Here are a few tips:

Farmers Markets 

PEI boasts a vibrant network of farmers markets throughout the summer and fall months. These markets offer a wide variety of fresh produce, meat, dairy products, and baked goods directly from local farmers.

Community Supported Agriculture

Consider joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. CSAs connect you directly with a local farm, and you receive a weekly or bi-weekly box of seasonal produce throughout the growing season.

Farm Stands

Many farms on PEI operate farm stands where you can purchase their fresh produce directly. Look for signs along rural roads or visit local farm websites for information on farm stand locations and hours.

Local Community Gardens

Many communities across the Island now have amazing community gardens available for public use. Connect with your local community to find out how you can get involved with growing your own produce close to home, for free.

Choosing local food is a win-win for you, your health, your community, and the environment. By supporting local farmers and producers, you’re not just getting delicious, fresh food, you’re contributing to a more sustainable and vibrant Prince Edward Island. So the next time you’re planning your meals, take a moment to seek out locally grown and produced products. Your taste buds and your local producers will thank you for it!