In July 2020, Sustainable Connections and Eat Local First announced a new resource to bring farmers and consumers together. The Eat Local First Washington Directory allows food lovers across the state to keyword search for specific products, markets, community supported agriculture (CSA) locations, restaurants and breweries, and even u-pick fields.
As a valuable resource for residents across the state, this directory is great starting point to connect find local food and events for the whole family! With awareness of local farms, it also ensures that with consumer support, farmers will continue to protect and restore the lush farmland across the state for years to come.
The directory was originally created for Whatcom County farms, known as the Eat Local First Food Atlas, and was available for Whatcom residents to find and purchase local food. Now with the collaboration of several food system organizations, it has expanded to include the entire Washington State.
Yet, this project of the Eat Local First Collaborative did not merely come out of a desire for finding local food. As the Covid-19 pandemic progressed, suddenly more people seemed to become aware of the drive for eating local, and during these challenging times, the Collaborative wanted to make it easier for consumers to connect with their local farmers.
“We know in these unprecedented times that Washington State residents are looking for local farm products more than ever,” said Sustainable Connections’ Food & Farming Director Sara Southerland in a recent press release. “This comprehensive platform will connect you with local food, farms, and farmers markets, no matter where you live in Washington State.”
The partners with Sustainable Connections and Eat Local First have made this directory extremely user friendly in a means to make finding local food easier than ever. Users on the website can explore food within a certain radius of their home or pursue options that may be available on their weekend vacation on the other side of the state. With over 35,000 farms and 170 farmers markets across Washington State currently listed in the directory, there are certainly plenty of options to explore.
Farmers not listed on the directory can also apply to be included as a location for consumers to visit or purchase local products. The Eat Local First Collaborative also welcomes new members to become a part of the partnership working together to connect farmer and consumer.
This opportunity to connect with local food provides a new and unique experience to support the wide variety of farms in Washington State, and is a perfect opportunity for residents and visitors alike to give back to the local community and economy.
Find the Eat Local First Washington Directory here to explore farms near you, add your farm to the listing, or become a member of the Eat Local First Collaborative: https://eatlocalfirst.org/washington-state/