Save Money: Eat Local Produce

You know I love Farmers Markets.  You can get some of the best prices on produce if you find a great market.  But, part of getting the best prices on produce is knowing what to buy and what time of year to buy it.  Not only does it save you money by buying in season but it also saves the environment.

The most popular fruits and vegetables, such as bell peppers, tomatoes, blueberries and more are shipped via air from different countries around the world for us to purchase throughout the year. Not only does this take a toll on global warming emissions but it also is more expensive to purchase.

Right now in NJ, for instance, you can get fresh, locally grown, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cheeries, collards, lettuce, peas, snap beans, spinach and strawberries. As late as the beginning of December you can get locally grown cauliflower in Ohio. Each state produces different crops at different times of the year. A great resource to find out what is locally grown in your area is the Natural Resources Defense Council. The NRDC is an environmental action organization that helps to protect the planet’s wildlife. They have compiled a comprehensive list for each state and each time of year in the Eat Local section of their website. To find out what is fresh in your area you can visit their site here.

Even better for saving money & the environment is a pick your own fruits & vegetables farm.  Here is a list of NJ Pick Your Own farms and when they are available for picking.

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  • Susan Z

    Excellent article!

  • Vicky

    Hey Cindy, Another good way to make sure you eat locally and keep farms producing is to buy a share of a farms crops through a CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture). A usual CSA has you receive a share of produce once a week for x amount of months or season (usually may/June – Sept/Nov). I found a few in my area at, but you can ask your local farm stands and they might offer it as well. It also lets you try newer healthy veggies and fruits you wouldn’t normally buy and are usually very well priced, better then shopping for produce at a supermarket.