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Make Yourself at Home With Local Food

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Discovering the flavor of your new hometown

by Kim Place-Gateau, Navy spouse 

We all have our well-worn strategies for making connections and becoming part of our new community after a military move. Maybe it’s through kids’ schools, church, sports, a new job or by joining a neighborhood organization.

But what about the farmers market, the pick-your-own strawberry patch, or the local brewery? Places like this play a vital, vibrant role in communities everywhere, and they’re perfect places to start new friendships, make connections with your new neighborhood and—a bonus!—find healthy, local food for you and your family.     

You don’t have to be a foodie to want the best-tasting honey in town, or to crave delicious, fresh apples grown in your region. Who doesn’t want food that tastes great, after all? It isn’t just about good food, though; part of the reward of finding a terrific local brew or a source for goat milk is the conversations you’ll have with your new neighbors and local merchants. These conversations that can reveal shared interests that bloom into new friendships.

 

Find Local Treasures

So where do you start? How do you begin to find these local treasures? The investigation and discovery is half the fun, so let’s get started.

Start your scouting mission at your local library, city hall or community center. Look for a public bulletin board; they’re often a bonanza of local gouge, including the time and location of the farmers market, which kitchen stores are offering cooking classes and who’s having a yard sale (a terrific place to snag canning jars, cooking implements and more scoop on the local scene). And don’t forget your local paper—online or from the newsstand—hit up the ads, scan the local stories and check out the classifieds, too. Does your new city have a Facebook page? How about Twitter, Craigslist or baseguide? A little online detective work and you’re ready to explore. 

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