When someone says November, I immediately think “Thanksgiving.” What could be better than a holiday that revolves (for the most part, anyhow) around food? Not to mention the food is Earth-shattering in its deliciousness. From the turkey to the mashed potatoes to the stuffing (all of which get slathered in gravy in this household), I can’t get enough. And the desserts!
Thanksgiving began in the 17th century as a celebration of harvest. It’s unlikely they had quite the same menu that Americans gravitate toward nowadays (turkey, for one, came later). But you can bet that the foods the Pilgrims and Native Americans ate were all local.
This month, as you begin planning for Thanksgiving (22 days!), you can keep the environment in mind by also looking locally for your produce and bird. Local foods travel far fewer miles to get to us, burning less fossil fuel and requiring less energy to keep them cool in transit. (SustainableTable.org has great facts on food miles.) In fact, some foodies now argue that buying locally is more important than buying organic food.
Whether you agree with the “local over organic” claim or not, there are plenty of places in York County to find both kinds of produce and poultry.
Two great places to look for produce are Central Market and Sonnewald Natural Food. I’ve been a Central Market advocate since I moved to York City in the summer, and Dave Dietz has been more than patient in explaining the intricacies of raw milk and antibiotic-free turkeys. In fact, I just reserved my turkey through Dave last week. As for Sonnewald, I stopped by the store last Friday for the first time, and was sincerely impressed with its easy-to-read produce labels that clearly show which products are local, regional, organic, etc.
Central Market can be found at 34 W. Philadelphia St., York, 848-2243, centralmarketyork.com. Its hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Buy Fresh, Buy Local partner Dietz Produce will have local potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips and garlic as well as locally produced milk, butter, cheese and eggs. There are several other farm stands in Central Market as well — if you are wondering if a certain piece of produce is local, simply ask the stand operator or look for the Buy Fresh, Buy Local logo.
Sonnewald Natural Food can be found at 4796 Lehman Road, Jackson Township, 225-3825, sonnewald.org. Its hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Co-owner Willa Lefever and produce manager Rich Burrill said they should have a variety of local sweet potatoes and white potatoes, apples, butternut and winter squash, and pumpkins. They might also be able to stock beets, turnips and onions, depending on their suppliers.
I spoke with Dru Peters of Sunnyside Farms about her turkeys earlier this month when I saw her stand in Central Market, but I also saw on Twitter (@sunnysidedru) a few days ago that she only had 10 birds left.
Here are a few other places to check out:
Eberly Poultry, 1095 Mount Airy Road, Stevens, Lancaster County, 336-6440, eberlypoultry.com. Eberly offers free-range organically grown and natural-raised poultry. Organic turkeys are $3.89 a pound and natural turkeys are $2.79 a pound. Receptionist Melody Eckenroth recommends that customers call to pre-order their birds to ensure you get the size you want.
Strock Farm Fresh Meats and Catering, 729 Williams Grove Road, Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, 697-2824, strocksmeats.com. The Strock family has been raising turkeys for the past 80 years, said Kent Strock, and they’re one of the few places in central Pennsylvania where you can buy a fresh-dressed turkey. Birds range in price from $38.50 for a 12- to 14-pound bird to $87 for a bird more than 30 pounds. Strock said you can stop by the farm to pick up a bird or call ahead to take advantage of their drive-through service.
Of course, this is not an extensive list of local sources for produce and poultry. In fact, you can check your mailboxes the week of Nov. 14 for the newest issue of Smart magazine, which has a few more suggestions. Another great source is the York chapter of Buy Fresh, Buy Local.
If you have a different place where you shop for local produce, meat or dairy, let us know in the comments. I’m always looking to try new places and report back!
Tips for a ‘green’ wallet is a feature that runs the first Wednesday of each month. In it, we explore how to spend your hard-earned dollars with the environment in mind. We’ll focus on seasonal holidays, events and topics that require some spending on your part, and offer tips on how to make the most environmentally friendly purchases. If you have suggestions for future months, leave us a comment!