My friend Michelle just introduced me to a great website called the Eat Well Guide. I spent this morning looking it over well and decided that it was definitely worthy of a complete post. This is a great tool and I would love to see the word get out so that more vendors and consumers could find each other.
The site has many great features, but let me tell you about a few...
If you go to the home page, you are immediately given a search page. You can enter your zip, city & state, or keyword and do a search. I searched my zipcode for the default 20 miles and the site presented me with local wineries, caterers, farmer's markets, stores, butchers, farmers, restaurants, etc. that meet their criteria To meet their criteria the vendor must be sustainable and organic. Check out their FAQ page for more information on what meets their criteria. This is a great starting point for those just starting to look for organic food or for those trying to put a coop together. After you do your search, you can click on areas of interest and save them into your own notebook to reference later.
Another really cool feature is their Plan a Trip feature. I entered the city I live in and and another city about an hour away and the site listed every listing along the way. You can set it to search specifically for restaurants if you wanted to find a place to eat, for stores to drop into, or for farms to check out. How fun! There are also Local Guides for large metropolitan areas so for instance I can just print off the Phoenix guide next year if we travel out that way.
As I was looking through my local places, I noticed that an organic flour mill that I am familiar with wasn't listed. There is a Suggest Listing tab to suggest local places to add. This is a nice feature to help them round out their site and get local vendors more exposure.
The site also has a blog titled The Green Fork which has a variety of newsy posts about what is going on in the world of organic food. They also feature farms and vendors from across the country. I found it very interesting and look forward to reading more about what is going on around the country.
There are many more neat features and things to discover on this site and I highly recommend taking a few minutes and finding out the awesome resources right in your back yard.