SOUTHERN COLORADO — Stocking up your kitchen from local farms and ranches is one of the best ways to support your community. But finding fresh food grown near you can be a challenge.

A new Local Food Guide is making it easy to eat better and support local. It’s a comprehensive, regional guide to local food producers throughout southern Colorado.

From Salida to Rocky Ford, the free guide is a one-stop shop to discover farmers, ranchers, and farmers markets where community members can shop directly for in-season produce and products. It also includes recipes, an overview of the history of agriculture in our region, self-guided bike tour, and producer profiles.

“They’ll have vegetables, they’ll have meats, they’ll have eggs, milk, honey. They have everything that you need to be a healthy person. But it also keeps the money in the community,” said Will Frost, Farm Manager of Frost Livestock Company.

Frost Livestock Co. is one of the many local farms and ranches highlighted in the guide.

“We run a CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and essentially that’s just a farm share. And so every week we harvest on Saturdays and then you can come pick that up Saturday morning through the afternoon,” said Frost.

Palmer Land Conservancy, a regional land conservation champion, launched the Local Food Guide, a first of its kind here in the region.

“And that’s really important for farmers like us that don’t have the time to run our own public relations campaigns or advertising so these types of guides and these types of organizations are the people that have our backs,” said Frost.

“We saw empty shelves on grocery stores. For the first time, we’ve seen how supply chain disruptions can lead to things like baby formula shortages,” said Dillon O’Hare, with Palmer Land Conservancy.

The new Local Food Guide is a critical piece of the food security puzzle helping to connect people to their local food resources and strengthening and fortifying relationships between community members and the region’s agricultural producers. Buying local and direct strengthens individual and family health – and the local economy, community, and connections.

“We’re purchasing food that is literally healthier for us and better for the environment. So when you think about effective ways to spend your dollars, spending a dollar on local food is a way to create a win for the environment, for your family’s health and for your communities,” said O’Hare

“We are all, all of the people that are doing this type of agriculture, are trying to do a better thing for society,” said Frost.

Locations where you can pick up the guide in Colorado Springs, Canon City, and Pueblo can be found at palmerland.org, along with a downloadable copy. It will also be available at these upcoming events: