Do you already shop at your local farmer’s market, compost your kitchen scraps and have a small garden in your backyard?  If so, you’re on your way to completing a Feast-Sized Challenge in NOFA’s NY Locavore Challenge!

The Locavore Challenge is a free, month-long campaign taking place during September to educate and encourage people to eat more local, organic food and get more involved in where their food comes from.  Run by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, the Locavore Challenge includes Bite-, Meal- and Feast-Sized “Challenges,” made up of different activities or events that support the local, organic, sustainable food movement.

For example, there are multiple categories of challenges that each include a list of activities from which to choose.  The more you do, the bigger your challenge!  Categories include: Grow, Cook, Eat; Join the Movement; and Take Action.  Other challenges that count are the “250-Mile Diet Challenge” and either hosting or attending a local, organic potluck dinner with your closest friends on Sunday, September 25.

Register for the NOFA-NY Locavore Challenge

Here’s where your local co-op comes in!  If you’re already a member–fantastic!  You’ve scored your first point in the Locavore Challenge!  Also, your co-op can help you find local farms and also works hand-in-hand with your local farmer’s market to provide you with as much local, organic food as possible.

Consider hosting or attending a potluck dinner.  Grab a friend or two and plan a couple dishes, then shop together at the farmer’s market.  If you don’t feel you’re up for hosting, there are opportunities to attend organized potluck meals in the Buffalo area–click here for information about the meal in Buffalo.

We’re still in the throes of summer, so it isn’t hard to find local produce of all kinds.  Here’s a list of seasonal produce available here in Western New York:

-tomatoes, arugula, beets, broccoli, melons, carrots, chard, eggplant, escarole, plums, radicchio, summer and winter squash, turnips, zucchini, brussels sprouts, green beans, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, leeks, nectarines, parsnips, peppers, pumpkins and spinach

Here are some links to sources of local produce:

Don’t forget your local co-op! The East Aurora Co-op’s Mini-Market is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Thursdays from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., and the Lexington Co-op in Buffalo.

Here are some quick, easy recipes that feature local, seasonal ingredients:

Zucchini and Yellow Squash Gratin

Summer Borscht with Tzatziki Sauce

Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Soup

Yellow Pepper Soup

Plum Nectarine Buckle

If you plan on hosting or attending a potluck, please let us know!  (And don’t forget to take pictures!) We’d love to feature photos of our friends and co-op members enjoying good company and good food in support of the Locavore Challenge!


Holly R. Layer received a B. A. in Journalism from Penn State and served four years in the U. S. Air Force before deciding to go back to school to become a Registered Dietician.  She loves running, reading, fine stationery, colorful kitchen gadgets and ALL things food-related.  She is currently living with her husband, Andrew, an East Aurora native, and their giant dog in a hotel while they house-hunt in the area.  You can find her at