Cross-posted from the D.C. Food for All Blog
“Eating local” is nothing more than a turn-of-phrase without defining the word “local.” Although some corporate natural foods stores label blueberries from Northern New Jersey as local to D.C., most agricultural advocates define local as grown or otherwise produced within 100 miles of the buyer. This range is often referred to as a region’s “foodshed.” Thankfully, we here in the D.C. Metro region have a plethora of choices for local agriculture, whether produce purchased from a nearby farmer or grown in a community garden. To help people in the region find options near them, Ecolocity D.C. maintains the D.C. Foodshed Map
, last updated on July 20.
The D.C. Foodshed Map is an easy-to-use resource based in Google Maps that covers sustainable food resources within 100 miles of NW D.C. It lists a variety of resources, including both distribution channels and sources of food. Categories include:
- Farmers’ markets
- Community gardens
- Local farms, especially those that have Community Supported Agriculture programs
- Grocery co-ops
- Food justice and sustainability organizations
- Gardening businesses and resources, such as sources of mulch
- Restaurants with a focus on sustainable and local food
Although the D.C. Foodshed Map is an invaluable resource to D.C. residents, it also provides a wealth of information to those in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs. It even includes resources as far out as Baltimore and Pennsylvania. To serve people of all income levels, it also provides information on food banks and which farmers’ markets accept WIC, SNAP and other food stamp programs.
Users can browse the map in multiple ways. You can click and scroll into your local area to see the nearby resources. You can also scroll through the list of entries, which are sorted by organization and in alphabetical order. If you save the Foodshed Map into My Places on Google, you can look up a particular address and view the surrounding points of interest. Users with Google Earth or other mapping software can even download the data as a KML file and view it in that platform. If you have your own local food website, you can even embed the map
If an organization or place is missing, users are welcomed and encouraged to add to the map. There is a form on the Food Map page
on the Ecolocity website, where users can enter in the name, type, description, address and much more about the organization. The entry is then uploaded the next time the administrator (me) updates the map, which is approximately once a week. If there is a correction needed, please message me to fix it. As the map has a database back-end, I can also add large numbers of entries at a time, such as government data. Please let me know if you have access to such data sets.
If you are interested in learning more or helping with the map, please message me!