Ask any chef – a great meal starts with great ingredients. Whether you’re perfecting a complicated recipe or whipping up the simplest of snacks, quality matters. So what kind of foods lay the foundation for peak deliciousness? In my opinion, the best ingredients (by far) are local.

Eating locally has countless benefits. Fruits and vegetables from nearby farms are typically fresher, seasonal, and still packed with nutrients. They’re better for the environment than faraway foods, since they don’t have to be shipped thousands of miles. By eating locally, you can also contribute to your community’s economy – and get advice on the best ways to use ingredients from farmers, who know their product inside and out. Have I convinced you yet?

If you’re ready to eat locally, you’re in luck. Fort Worth and the surrounding areas have a bounty of fresh, delicious produce. Below, I’ve listed some of my favorite places to get summer ingredients. This is the insider scoop, y’all!

Farmer’s Markets

Weekends are the perfect time to visit local farmer’s markets. Grab some friends and make a day of picking out the best summer produce, straight from the source! For an easy win, head to the Farmer’s Market Fort Worth, located on East Belknap Street. Here you’ll find local food products like fresh honey, old-school candy, snacks and farm fresh eggs.  My FAVORITE local market, however, is definitely the Clearfork Farmer’s Market on Edwards Ranch Road. Here, I can find ingredients hard to locate anywhere else, like Russian kale and micro beet greens. What can I say – sometimes, I’m feeling fancy.

Local Farms

Going to local farms is one of my favorite summer activities. It’s so interesting to see where your food comes from and learn about the growth process. Plus, at many farms, you can hand-select the best ingredients straight from the vine. There’s nothing quite like cooking with foods you’ve picked yourself!

By far my favorite local farm is Wild Berry Farm in Dallas. Here, I get delicious berries to use in summer treats, like this Paleo Mixed Berry Crumble. You can even pick sunflowers and zinnias while you’re there! You can also get fresh jellies and jams at Bob’s Farm Place in Kennedale – yes, please!

In the busyness of life, nutrition and food quality is often the first thing to fall to the wayside. Eating local produce can elevate your meals and help you eat more nutritiously without sacrificing taste. You can also try Savor’s custom meals, delivered directly to your door, to help you get fresh, high-quality food in the chaos of the day-to-day. Enjoy summer, and enjoy local foods!