On March 20th, the Vernal Equinox arrived, it is the marker of Spring in our slice of the world. Some years, Spring shows up and the ground is still covered in snow. The crocus bulbs have barely forced their way through the frozen earth. But this year felt very much like Spring. In fact, it was like it came on cue. The flower buds swelled, the baby lambs arrived, the sun shined bright, and air warmed, just as the day arrived. I realize that we can’t bank on every year being a “storybook” Spring, but I will take this one!

Spring is a busy time for farmers. After spending the Winter crop planning, ordering seeds, and making plans for the upcoming season, they finally get to put it all into action. The Spring crops are coming in, fields are being prepped, and farmers are promoting their offerings. Where would we be without their efforts? I wouldn’t want to imagine!

Now is the best time to find your farmer. Supporting local agriculture not only supports your health and wellbeing with nutrient-dense food, but it also supports the farmer and our local economy. Some studies show that for every dollar spent locally, the resulting economic impact doubles. That’s a win-win for all!

Now is the time to look for a farmstand or CSA offering close to you. Many farms even offer online ordering and delivery. The outdoor farmers’ market season has arrived too! Many community markets are opening now and Countryside’s Howe Meadow Farmers’ Market returns May 1st.  Many retailers also purchase locally and have purchasing standards that show they care about their community and the environment. Many of these options also take SNAP/EBT, making them accessible to everyone!

There are so many ways to conveniently shop local these days. When you invest in a farmer, you’re investing in yourself and your community!

Click here for a list of the farms in Cuyahoga Valley National Park and see which have farmstands and/or offer community activities.
Click here for a list of the vendors at Countryside Farmers’ Markets and see who you might be interesting in purchasing from.

Not in town? Check out this directory for an extensive list of farms and markets near you.

Have a happy, healthy Spring,
Tracy, Countryside CEO

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