Absolutely, and it likely depends on the product. If you live near a very agrucultural area, you can easily purchase locally grown produce from weekly farmers markets. The key is to try all sorts of fruits and vegetables and build your tastes for what is in season. If you live in a climate that can support a year round growing season, such as Southern California or Texas for example, you will be able to buy locally grown produce year round. Conversely, there may be some other manufactured goods or services that are easier to buy locally in other larger and more industrial cities like Chicago or New York maybe. However, most cities do have local farmers markets at least in the fall, check one out in your neighborhood.
Interesting question. In terms of agricultural products the answer is rather counterintuitive. In towns in the midwest that are surrounded by farmland–primarily wheat, corn or soy– you can hardly buy any foodstuffs grown locally, as it all goes to export. In places like southern California that grow an enormous amount of food, in cities where there is not a culture for farmers markets, you can buy locally grown fruits and veggies but they are mostly available in the grocery store, and likely come from largescale growers. It seems that it is the cities that are surrounded by a diversity of farm sizes and types–such as in New England, northern California, the Pacific Northwest, perhpas even in the Great Lakes region. Certainly large metropolitan areas, such as New York City and San Francisco there are enough people to make it economically profitable for regional growers tomake the trek and bring their goods into the city.
Local Harvest is a great resource for finding farmers markets and other sources of locally grown food near where you live.
During the summer Madison, WI is home to a huge farmers’ market that completely surrounds the block where the capital sits each Saturday. Local growers of fruits, vegetables, honey, etc. come to sell their goods. This is an excellent way for people in the area to purchase from local vendors.
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