Why local?

Local food is food that has been produced and sold within a given area. Benefits of enjoying local food include superior nutritional value and freshness, less environmental impact, and strengthening the economy where you live. Besides great taste, local food means local jobs and livelihoods for farmers, butchers, chefs, and more! Elkhart County is rich with a variety of local food industries that contribute to our economy, health, and quality of life.

Get to know food and farming in Elkhart County!

Northern Indiana is host to an agriculture both historic and evolving. Traditional indigenous crops and practices, grain farms, tidy Amish farmscapes, and even urban lots turned to community gardens tell stories of people on the land and how they eat.

Here in Elkhart County, you can find chicken and duck production, fields of corn and soybeans, dairies, vegetable and fruit crops, beehives, even a farm where indigenous crop varieties are trialed and bred to adapt to climate change. You can purchase fresh meat, cheese, vegetables, and bread at a farmers market, or shop at a co-op where local produce is sold alongside national brands. Farmers sell produce at auction. Chefs create mouthwatering delights from local goodness. Schools start gardens and the cafeteria becomes a classroom. Greenhouses allow production year-round, and a vegetable farmer applies principles of a Toyota factory to his business!

All of this and more is part of the story that is food in Elkhart County. Be a part of this story! Venture into a farmers market and ask for a taste. Shop your local butcher, not just the grocery store. Get to know the vibrant food culture that exists right around you, and you’ll be helping to build a food economy for the future!