Here are some ways to get involved to support and contribute to a healthy local food system:
- Learn more about gardening and food. To learn how to start a garden, Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City and Wyandotte and Johnson County Master Gardener programs in Kansas offer classes and opportunities to network. To expand your knowledge of food, check out the Master Food Volunteer program, which is offered in Kansas City, Wyandotte County, and Johnson County. The community group Food Not Lawns KC also offers learning opportunities and chances to meet others with similar interests.
- Learn how to preserve your own fruits and vegetables. Resources are available through University of Missouri Extension offices or ask a farmer or relative if they have any experience preserving food and would be willing to teach you. Although canning fruits and vegetables is not difficult, it can be time-consuming so gather a group of friends and family to share the fun and harvest.
- Shop at farmer's markets. Talk to the farmer for cooking and growing tips. It is a great way to meet people who care about the local food system while supporting your local farmers! Find a farmer's market near you.
- Start or join a community garden. A community garden is a great way to get to know your neighbors and share gardening techniques. It is also a good alternative for those who have yards that are too shady to grow food or have no yard at all. To learn more, go to the Kansas City Community Gardens website or call them at 816-931-3877.
- Join a local food buying club. The Squash Blossom Food Buying Club offers Kansas City residents an outlet to buy local food during the winter months. You can enjoy delicious (and local) spinach, various types of squash, sweet potatoes, and other tasty surprises. Sign up now to receive email updates about what is available and how and where to order.
- Host a potluck featuring local food. A local food potluck is so easy and fun, you might want to make it a monthly event with someone new hosting each month. The potluck is a great venue for talking about what's going on in the garden and share your latest find at the farmer's market. And you can challenge each other to use as many local food products as possible in each dish.
- Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. Buy a food share from a farmer in the winter and come spring you will have a weekly bounty that will last until fall. There is a weekly pick-up spot for all the best produce the season has to offer. It's a great way to get fresh vegetables (sometimes meat and cheese, too) and get a better understanding of what grows when throughout the season. Check out the Kansas City CSA Coalition or Local Harvest to find farms that offer CSA programs near you.
- Volunteer at a local farm. Talk to the farmers at the farmer's market about volunteering on their farm. Not only will be helping the farmer, but it will be a great opportunity to learn various farming techniques.
- Tell your local grocery stores and restaurants that you want local food. They need to hear from you that you want local food.