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Why Going Local Matters: Support Small Farms!

Andrea Leyerle

Posted on May 30 2018

Why Going Local Matters: Support Small Farms!

During the process of developing Andi Lynn’s Pure & Custom Formulary, I was really interested in working closely with local farms and farmers. I knew relationships with local growers would help me get the freshest ingredients, and ensure organic and locally grown ingredients.

But recently, I started thinking: I should share what I’ve learned over the years - as a previous co-op manager, a mother, and a business owner. Buying and eating local is a huge passion for me. So let me break down why “going local” is such a positive health step:

Supporting Local Farms

Our state is a super producer of … produce. Currently there are 28,093 farms in Louisiana, 80 farmers markets, and the combined economic impact of $3.8 billion a year. The agriculture sector ranks among our state’s top three industries, alongside the petrochemical industry and tourism.

Back the to the initial mention of produce: Louisiana provides 25 percent of the nation’s seafood, while also producing high numbers of rice, corn, sugarcane, and soybeans, peaches, strawberries, melons, as well as cattle.

Approximately 60 percent of Louisiana’s agriculture income is generated by crops, the remaining percentage provided by livestock and livestock products.

Not all farms are created equal in size and their piece of that $3.8 billion pie. Which is why we should support our local farmers who invest their money and hearts into their work. Supporting local, small farms also helps us control our budgets … and your grocery list flavors!

Saving Money, Bigger Flavors

When food is grown closer, it doesn’t have to go through the lengthy process of packaging and distribution. It’s picked when it’s just about to be ripe or just ripened during its growing season. So you’re able to purchase your groceries when they’re perfect!

Foods that are out of season also have to go through the same process of packing and distribution, when they have less flavor due to their lack of ripening and forced growth.

Farms that produce meat offerings often have cleaner, healthier alternatives, due to their smaller structure and ability to monitor and respond to quality control procedures. Cleaner conditions and healthier animals lead to better tasting meat.

Again, packaging and transportation can play a big portion of costs that directly affect consumer prices. When you choose smaller, local farms, you reduce transportation costs and packaging costs. Score for your wallet!

Food Diversity

When you’ve determined that you’re going to only eat in season, you’ve determined to play spin the bottle with your ingredients list. You’re adding flavor, reducing packaging and transportation - AND - presented with produce that you’ve probably forgotten about.

The wonderful local supplier, Southside Produce, has a great chart you can refer to, in regards to determining produce seasons:

So go crazy, experience new things, and try out that recipe you’ve never shopped for. You know, the adventurous one that you’ve avoided.

We’ve put together a list of local farmers markets that you can visit in your communities. If you have any other suggestions, let us know! We’d love to hear from you!

Related links:

Baton Rouge

  • Main Street Farmers Market, Monday-Friday, 7 am- 3 pm, Saturdays, 8 am -1pm, Downtown Baton Rouge, 5th and Main Streets
  • Redstick Farmers Market, Market Schedule Year Round: Thursdays 8:00am–12:00pm, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, 6400 Perkins Road
  • Saturdays 8:00am–12:00pm, Main Street Market, 5th and Main Streets
  • Seasonal Markets, Tuesdays 8:00am–12:00pm, EBRP Main Library, 7711 Goodwood Blvd; Thursdays 9:00am–12:00pm, Exxon Mobil YMCA, 7717 Howell Blvd

Lafayette & Surrounding Areas

New Orleans


  • Saturdays, June 2 through August 25 (excluding June 16); Fall Market October 27 through November 17, 7 a.m. to Noon, 101 Crockett Street, Shreveport, market details

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