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Throughout the years peoples' buying habits have been formed by many different factors. Whether it is driven by fad and fashion or necessity, people's purchasing preferences have defined where and how they get their food.The simple joy one can get from supporting the area's local farmers, getting the freshest product, and sharing that experience with friends and family can truly satisfy the soul.

It once was the norm to take a sunny Saturday morning stroll to the central market to procure this week's meats and produce.As technology and infrastructure changed, most Americans began to flock to the brightly lit aisles of supermarkets, and then the big box stores. More recently a more conscientious public has rediscovered the art of buying locally.

In the past, CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture) and farmer's markets have been reserved for the realm of the epicurean and professional chef. As times have changed, more and more everyday consumers have found that buying locally can enrich their lives as well as help preserve the environment.

On a recent trip to northern Michigan I was directed by a friend to visit their local CSA. As I pulled into the driveway of Providence Farms, my eyes were treated to a scene that could only be described as a chef'’s dream. The fields of carrots and brightly colored chard gave way to a well built pen that held some of the finest examples of organic swine I had ever seen.Needless to say I knew what was on tonight's menu.Maple and walnut glazed carrots, rainbow chard with Providence farm's pork belly, and herb-crusted applewood grilled pork chops.As that night's guests finished their meals, I was witness to what drives every chef to pick up a knife and every foodie a fork; a home cooked meal.

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