Eating Local in SLO County
Living on the Central Coast of California has many advantages – not that you haven’t heard all about how wonderful it is to live in and visit the Central Coast. One of the very best parts of living in temperate California, with its fertile land and long growing season, is the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables available year round. I can’t hardly imagine having grown up in a place where strawberries in May weren’t overflowing from the grocery shelves and filling road side farm stands. I can’t imagine living in a place where the January rains (the little rain we were lucky to get each year) turned the golden hills a brilliant emerald green. I can’t imagine knowing a place where the residents love of good food and wine didn’t seep into every fiber of a region’s blood.
But, lucky as I am, I don’t have to imagine any of that – I have lived it all! As summer rolls around and the heat starts to turn the green hills to gold once again, all I can think about is the fresh produce and my appreciation for all the incredible local farmers whose hard work and dedication to artisanal food production go into making San Luis Obispo County the food and wine haven it has become.
One of the best ways to really take advantage of all the local fruits and vegetables is to head out to the farmer’s markets and support the farmers directly by buying their goods straight from the source – there are even some farms that you can schedule visits to or pop in for a hello. Secondly, some amazing restaurants have popped up recently that use locally sourced produce. By eating at and supporting these local institutions, you can indirectly support the farmers and their farms. And thirdly, in addition to supporting the farmers both through these direct and indirect means, you can educate yourself and others. Learn more about the “locavore” diet, take a walking tour with Central Coast Food Tours and let Laura or Jules tell you all about the food history of SLO, start buying local wherever you are and whenever you can.
It’s such an incredible experience to know where your food has come from – especially when it’s come directly from the hands of a farmer into your salad or pasta sauce or burgers.