This article was written by past Local Food Program Director, Steve Russell. Temperatures are cooling down outside, and it is officially fall season. With Halloween and Thanksgiving coming up, we are all starting to think about buying those essential fall items, like pumpkins!
--- In 2011, Americans spent $113 million on pumpkins alone [ref], making this a great place for your family to make their 10% shift. For 5 tips on going local for Halloween and 29 spooky Halloween events, check out some of the other great posts from our blog. ---
This season, when you think about where to pick up pumpkins for carving or making delicious treats, think local and shift your money towards Arizona businesses, which will pump 2-4 times more money back into our community. Here are five ways you can do just that!
[Tweet "We're going #local for our #Halloween pumpkins this year! See how on the @Localfirstaz blog:"]
Mortimer Family Farms is a family-owned farm in the Dewey-Humboldt area, which is dedicated to celebrating the value of farming, ranching, and gardening to their local communities and society. They are located about a half hour east of Prescott, and the farm opens every weekend to offer the family a great opportunity to pack up the kids, get out of town, and have a day of fun at their weekly pumpkin fest and corn maze. Families pick pumpkins straight out of the field for their jack-o-lanterns and treats.
The Simple Farm takes great pride in being a small farm smack dab in the middle of Scottsdale suburbia, thus offering an easy to get to place to purchase goods locally with ease. At The Simple Farm you will find produce, goats, chickens, fruit trees, gardens, and you simply cannot miss their annual Halloween Pumpkin Patch on October 17th. Take this opportunity to buy your pumpkins locally, and experience a treasure amidst the chaos!
The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix has been serving the valley for over 75 years, helping to build the connection between people and desert wildlife. Their annual event, from October 23-26, offers patrons the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities, enjoy live entertainment and take a pumpkin home.
With over 130 locations statewide, the Bashas' Family of stores supplies the valley with pumpkins at reasonable prices all season long! As Arizona's largest locally-owned grocery retail chain, a pumpkin purchased here results in more money recirculating in the Arizona economy.
Your neighborhood Farmers' Market
Don't forget to make the trip to check the vendors at your nearest farmers' market! Farmers Markets build community, and they offer local growers some of their best profit margins, helping small growers stay competitive in the local food economy. For a list of LFA Members' farmers' markets, visit http://goo.gl/2MjhO7.