Fun in Your Backyard: Adventuring Locally

At the beginning of this summer, my husband Jay and I moved from what we like to call a “food desert”. We use that term differently from, say, the northern parts of the Adirondacks, where it is sometimes literally difficult to come by fresh produce; where we came from, it was difficult to find fresh, local, non-chain food establishments. We like food to mean something– to local businesses, to the chef, to the consumer.Thankfully, we moved into an amazing town, Blacksburg, Virginia, with an emerging emphasis on buying and eating locally. Drive 45 minutes southeast of here, and you can even find grass-fed, organically raised bison. I feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to eat locally, and to purchase my foodstuffs from folks who really care about their quality. In this post, I’d like to showcase some of the local businesses that Jay and I love.In order to share with you, I spent an afternoon wandering our local farmer’s market (within walking distance of our new home): 

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Idyllwood farms had some awesome produce for sale:
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Jay and I try to shop here weekly, and have purchased everything from yellow squash and zucchini to pickling cucumbers and kale. The produce is always gorgeous, and the conversation flows easily.
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Birdsong Farm sells honey and wax-based products, as well as dried-flower wreaths:
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 The farm is a labor of love, run by a local schoolteacher and her husband. I have lip balm from Birdsong that I wear every day, and the tiny bear-jars of honey are perfect to add to tea.
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Griffin farms, below, is where Jay and I like to spend the majority of our grocery money. As the only 100% grass-fed beef provider in the farmer’s market (others grass-finish only), their stock seems to sell extremely well (and quickly)! I really enjoy my conversations with Marilyn, and their products are gorgeous.
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Armed with a new butcher and perfect packaging, the cuts are begging to be used. (You may notice that the slow-cooker beef stew recipe I posted used their meat!) I’m really looking forward to the day that they have expanded enough to offer share-sizes.
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Finally, Native Spring Farm offers a variety of hand-crafted soaps and bath products, along with homemade ice cream.
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They also sell the MOST AMAZING grapefruit “soda” (which is really carbonated grapefruit juice– perfect on a hot summer day).
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If you have places like these near you, be sure to enjoy them and purchase from them as much as you can! It’s truly a treasure. I’m sure I’ll be sharing more in the near future, so thank you for reading!-Kaitlin
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