Sustainable Gainesville: Food Waste and Farms Pt 1

I’ll just come right out and say it: Food waste has been and continues to be one of my biggest challenges in the journey towards a low to zero waste lifestyle.

I do really well one week and the next I’m throwing out half of my fridge.. not to mention my neglected compost has turned to dust. No that’s not true, I’ve never had rich compost (it’s just worse now).

BUT I still have a few graphics and local businesses that have helped me, so I want to quickly share them with you!

Helpful Graphics are helpful.

#1 Check out this cute, yet very informational, illustration that floated across my instagram feed recently… give Emily’s page a follow if you’re on The Insta.

#2 Zero Waste Chef has a plethora of wisdom tidbits and thoughtful ideas, perfectly buttoned up into simple pastel graphics (but really so much more).. and her whole message is centered around zero waste and food… so yeah – you should follow her too.

Local Farms:

This is a very incomplete list, there are obviously way more than two local farms in Gainesville, FL and I encourage you to seek them out and show them love and support. I am featuring two here because this is a quickie post, also because they are the two farms that I am most familiar with, but *mostly* because they both do such an amazing job of connecting us with our food (outside of growing it ourselves).

*Please note since it is summer, both farms are between seasons… but already planning for fall and/or accepting CSA signups.

#1 Swallowtail Farm 

They offer a CSA, farm-to-table events, greek and cream top yogurt (in glass jarswith a return discount), eggs (you can take back the egg cartons for reuse), fresh flowers, and I have always enjoyed their produce.  You can even apply for an apprenticeship and get hands-on farming experience. 

With the CSA, one of their pickup locations actually includes Thornebrook. So if you’re looking for a reason to visit Life Unplastic more often, I’m just saying…

    • Other pick up locations include the downtown and Haile farmer’s markets.  #options
    • If you’re unsure what I mean by CSA – basically you prepay for the crop and then get a bounty of produce each week or every other week throughout the growing season. You don’t really get to pick what you get, but it’s a great way to branch out by trying new recipes and hone your preserving skills.

#2 Mt Citra Farm

They are Certified Organic and are located in Citra (so you Ocala folks can take advantage too).  They offer organic produce as well as free range chicken and heritage pork.

What I really like about them, besides what they are raising and growing, is how active they are on their social media. The passion they feel for the work they do and the farming industry as a whole comes through very clearly and I have learned a lot from their posts.


Local Composting:

Finally, we have discovered the perfect composting solution for our many orange peels from the OJ machine in Beaten Path Compost.

They have a food drop off on SW 4th Ave, downtown.  It can be a little bit confusing to find the first time, but once you find the compost cans, you’re golden. Hopefully this little photo montage will help.

I hope these suggestions are as helpful to you in continuing to lower your personal waste stream as they have been for me.  As always, best of luck on your low / zero waste journey.  

– joy