Adding Some Local Flavor to your Thanksgiving Meal

Reporter: Lauren Compton l Videographer: Steven Smith

Lynchburg, VA- Many of you have seen the "Eat Local, Buy Local" bumper stickers. There's even a name for people who only eat or buy local, they're called Locavores.

A lot of people don't jump on the locavore movement because they think it's expensive or inconvenient. ABC-13 News found some ways to inject some local flavor into your holiday meal.

Randolph College professor and a practicing locavore say the best way to get started is to start small.

"Start with something you can conceive of with your own hands and is manageable," said John Abell, economic professor at Randolph College.

And be prepared to shop around.

"Buying local is to be an investigator. Look around and check and find what's available," said Judy Barnes, co-owner of Morris Orchards.

You can also find great local food at community markets and farms. If you would like to receive local produce on a regular basis, consider joining a community supported agriculture group like Lynchburg Grows. For a monthly fee you can get a bag of seasonal produce each week.

"Right now we have lettuce, arugula, spinach, onions, and any type of squash," said Dereck Cunningham, president Lynchburg Grows.

It took a little hunting to find a local turkey, but we found a farm in Gladys with turkeys you can buy with a reservation. Auburnlea Farms says none of their meat has antibiotics, hormones additives or preservatives.

Another tip: base your meals around what's in season. Right now, that is butternut squash and sweet potatoes.

Executive Chef Dave Wasson at Randolph College Dining Services took these ingredients and whipped up some tasty dishes for our Thanksgiving meal. All of the recipes were quick and easy to make.

"Thanksgiving you got to keep it simple ya know," said Wasson.

With the produce in season he whipped up a Butternut Squash Mash, Sweet Potato Stuffing, and Apple pie.

Learn more about local foods from Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Get recipes:

Apple Pecan Tart

Roasted Butternut Mash

Curried Butternut Soup

Sweet Potato Stuffing