Local Food Systems
What is a Local Food System?
Our core local food system includes all of the food producers, processors, distributors, retailers, and restauranteurs who operate in Lane County. The wider local food system includes FOOD for Lane County, other governmental and non-profit hunger relief programs, OSU Lane County Extension, school food programs, and other food and farming organizations. Finally, the food system includes each one of us because we eat food.
While much of the food we eat in Lane County comes from all over the globe, we have a tremendous wealth of food grown right here. Berries and hazelnuts are two of Lane County's major crops. Lane County farms provide everything from tomatoes, peppers, and chicken to more unusual foods such as kohlrabi and goat cheese. Various foods are processed in Lane County as well. You can support the local economy, as well as your taste buds, by enjoying both locally-grown and locally-processed foods.
Ten Ways to Support a Healthy Lane County Food System
Shop at your local farmers markets.
A great way to meet the farmers and take your pick of Lane County's abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Join a CSA.
Community Supported Agriculture - Buy a share in a farm and receive fresh produce throughout the season.
Buy locally-grown produce at the grocery store.
Some stores have "grown locally" labels. If you're not sure, ask your grocer.
Choose locally-made processed foods.
Lane County has an amazing array of quality food processors. Chips and dips, salsas and sauces, pies and pastries, pickles and pasta, bread and bagels, tofu and yogurt-you name it, there's a local company making it!
Look for locally-grown meats, poultry, and eggs.
Smaller scale local farms tend towards more humane and sustainable methods of raising livestock.
Eat at restaurants that use local ingredients.
Many of the area's finest restaurants thrive on locally-produced ingredients because of their quality and freshness.
Grow your own veggies at home or in a community garden.
Not only can you provide fresh food for you and your family, you can plant an extra row for the hungry and donate the produce to FOOD for Lane County or a food pantry.
Educate yourself about our local food system.
Become familiar with the growers, processors, and organizations involved in supplying and distributing your community's food.
WFFC's Locally Grown Guide is the perfect place to start!
Teach your kids where the food they eat comes from.
Take advantage of opportunities to visit local farms and businesses. Learn where your food comes from and what's involved in getting it to the table.
Become a member of the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition.
Learn more about food-related issues in our community-get involved!
Buy local food. Sustain local farms.
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