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Island Food Circle aims to make finding local food easy

food.circle.logoFarmers markets are the most consistent purveyors of locally grown food, and they’re flourishing in Kitsap.

Local produce is also cropping up in restaurants and grocery stores. A new initiative on Bainbridge Island aims to make local food as easy to find on weekdays as it is on Saturday mornings.

Island Food Circle, a project of Sound Food, has created an online guide to local food sellers on and around Bainbridge. The list is broken down by category (veggies, meat, dairy, etc.) each with a list of sources.

Food Circle is also distributing window decals to the sellers so shoppers spot them on the street.

The initial group of 18 stores, farm stands and restaurants were nominated by island farmers. The membership list will be renewed regularly.

“It’s the farmers saying these are people who are buying local on a consistent basis,” project coordinator Carolyn Goodwin said.

The Food Circle maintains another list of local food producers it makes available to store managers and chefs.

Some types of foods, like dairy, are hard to find on Bainbridge, or even in the county, Goodwin said. For those, the Food Circle expands to include regional producers.

Goodwin said Food Circles could be organized in other communities using the same model.

“There could be a Kitsap Food Circle,” she said. “I think that would be great.”

For more on the Food Circle, see www.soundfood.org.