Buying directly from local farmers cuts out the middleman and hundreds of transportation miles, so sometimes local produce prices are comparable to similar products in the grocery store. The added benefits of local (fresher and tastier!) can make the difference more worthwhile. Growing your own food is also a great way to get your hands on fresh affordable food on a tight budget.
Buying locally or directly from farmers can dramatically increase a farmer's incomer while dramatically decreasing the amount of CO2 expending in planting, tending, growing, transporting and storing your food. And it helps circulate our food dollars in our local economy.
There are many farmers in Northeast Ohio who actually grow produce using organic methods, but they are not certified because the administrative costs of obtaining and maintaining organic certification outweigh the benefits of certification. The great thing about local food is that you are often buying directly from the farmer, so you can ask him or her questions about growing methods that are most important to you.
With hoophouses and greenhouses, farmers in our area are able to grow produce well before spring and well after we've pulled our winter coats out of storage. And products like meat, honey, eggs, maple syrup and preserves are available year round, so eat up and enjoy!