Have you ever wondered how to be a locavore in Naples, FL? Or maybe you’re just looking to step out of the conventional food system. Well, Southwest Florida is quickly becoming a great place for a locavore. The area is alive with locally grown fruits and vegetables, wild caught fish and shrimp, homegrown mushrooms, from-scratch kombucha and a large variety of locally brewed beer. It’s not too hard to be a locavore here in Naples if you know where to look.
There was a time in my blogging career where I loved covering the local restaurant scene. I got invited to all the openings of new restaurants and I got to wine and dine new menus for free. It was lovely until I realized that as much as I love food, I love a specific kind of food even more: locally grown food.
My journey to become a Southwest Florida locavore began as soon as I tasted the difference in locally grown food. Once you taste a vine ripened locally grown tomato or strawberry, you’ll never be able to go back to the out of season stuff.
What is a locavore and why would someone want to be a one?
A locavore is someone whose diet primarily consists of locally grown food. Most locavores consider a 100 mile radius to be local.
I’d like to devote an entire post to this at a later point, but for now I’ll focus on the 3 main reasons why I decided to be a locavore.
- First off, local food just tastes better. Local produce is fresher and typically is allowed to ripen in the field longer since the journey to your house is shorter. Most traditional produce gets picked before ripening and then ripens during transportation to grocery stores. Produce allowed to ripen naturally just tastes better. And is usually more nutrient dense!
- I chose to be a locavore for environmental reasons. I started my journey as a locavore shortly after reading three important food books: The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Unprocessed, and Eating on the Wild Side. Supporting local food systems is good for the environmental because food that doesn’t have to travel far is lighter on greenhouse gas emissions.
- Local food is often less expensive. It may seem to good to be true, but I’ve found that local food is often less expensive than food in big box stores. Sure, it takes more time and energy on my part to shop local, but I almost always save money.
My Ongoing List of Ways to Support the Local Food Movement in Naples/ Southwest Florida
This probably isn’t a comprehensive list of locavore food in Southwest Florida since new local food producers are popping up daily. I tend to stick close to Naples and only frequent a few farmer’s markets.
Please comment if you want me to add another producer to the list! I’d like to keep this current and filled with as many local food producers as possible.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Programs in Naples & Southwest Florida
Non-CSA Local Produce
- SWFL Produce *my personal favorite
- Southern Fresh Farms
- 12 Seasons Farm
- Naples Fresh (look for the hydroponically grown lettuces in grocery stores!)
- Naples Citrus
- Calusa Farms (also has edible flowers and micro greens)
- Oakes Farm/ Food & Thought/ Seed to Table
- Chakra Microgreens & Kombucha
- Farmer Mikes (while a CSA program is available, you can still buy produce without the CSA membership)
- Inyoni Organic Farm (while a CSA program is available, you can still buy produce without the CSA membership)
Where to buy sustainably raised and humanely slaughtered meat in Naples & Southwest Florida
- Pineshine Farm *my personal favorite overall
- Circle C Farm
- Florida Cattle Rachers—> purchase through SWFL Produce
Where to buy local grass-fed beef in Naples & Southwest Florida
Where to buy local dairy in Naples
- Sunny Florida Dairy
- Dakin Dairy *my personal favorite/ found at Sprouts
- Food & Thought often has unpasteurized milk
Where to buy local mushrooms in Naples & Southwest Florida
Where to buy local caught seafood in Naples & Southwest Florida
- Dilly’s Fish Co / Dilly’s Facebook *my personal favorite
- The Fisherman’s Daughter
- Trico’s Shrimp
- Captain & Krewe
- Captain Jerry’s in Oake’s Market
Where to buy local eggs in Naples
Restaurants that support local agriculture
Shops that support the locavore movement & local artisans
- The Farm Stand
- Oakes Farm/ Seed to Table/ Food and Thought
- Multiple farmers markets throughout SWFL offer local goods
- Hand & Harvest
How to drink like a locavore in Naples & Southwest Florida
- Chakra Microgreens & Kombucha
- Narrative Coffee Roasters
- Kunjani Coffee
- Botanical Brewing Company
- Multiple local breweries
- Natural Wines Naples
How to buy local herbs and plants
Supporting local businesses is good for your local economy!
My absolute favorite reason to support our local food producers is to keep money in our community. Data shows that local retailers return 54% of their revenue back to the local community as opposed to chain retailers who only return 14%.
More than just keeping money in our community, eating like a locavore fosters a strong sense of community. One of my sons goes to school with our favorite farmer’s kids. I have nice conversations with my local mushroom grower. And I know my kombucha lady’s adoption story. My kids have watched Dilly filet a fish, and they’ve seen the shrimp boats come in a Tico’s. We may not be best friends with our food producers, but we know them. And we know where our food comes from. Seriously, why wouldn’t you want to be a locavore especially when we have such great food grown in Southwest Florida.
Don’t forget to compost your local produce scraps!
I no longer compost professionally, but the compost business that I started is still up and running. Contact Naples Compost to get started.
Want more information on composting and how-to compost in your own backyard? Head to my sister site, The Compost Culture for all sorts of details.
Check out other posts about live in SWFL
- Where the Locals Eat in Naples Florida | Date Night Edition
- Free Things to Do With Kids in Naples, FL
- Affordable Things to Do with Kids in Sarasota
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