Where Does Your Food Come From? {Giveaway}

Now that I am more educated on my nutrition, I care more about where my food comes from.

Have you ever gone to your fridge, looked at the label of your produce, and noticed that it wasn’t even grown in the U.S.??? When I did that, I don’t think there was one piece of produce grown in the U.S.


That was when I knew it was time to make a change. Logan and I started to buy local, and organic when possible. Even though it’s a little bit more pricey, the price is worth it to me. You know where it comes from!!!

The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance has created a new website where we can all go to talk about where our food comes from and educate ourselves on this growing problem (pun intended). 😉 It’s called FoodDialogues. They also have a facebook page where we can go too!

With this challenge to know where your food comes, I decided to take a trip over to Columbia’s in-town sustainable farm, City Roots. Don’t all these veggies look delicious!?!?

Not only do I want to know where my food comes from and how it’s regulated, but I wanted to be able to become a little home farmer for myself. So, my husband and I built these above ground garden beds.

We typically just grow small tomatoes and herbs, but it’s amazing to watch them grow!

Do you have a garden?

Anyway…back to farming.

If you want to learn more about how your food is grown and raised in the U.S., Food Dialogues has a bunch of great educational videos interviewing real farmers.

And I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel good about what I’m putting in my mouth, when I know where it is coming from. So, join in on the conversations at Food Dialogues and learn where your food comes from!

In the meantime, how about a giveaway!?!?

Giveaway Closed.

Winner: Athena R

Giveaway Prize:

We’re giving away a prize pack valued at $68:

Main Entry (REQUIRED):

How to Enter: Leave a comment on this page telling me if you have a garden, if so, what do you grow? Or do you have any tips for gardening? Or do you want to someday have a garden? Or do you buy groceries that were grown/raised in the U.S.?

Deadline: April 6, 2012 at 11:59pm EST


Extra Entries (Leave a Comment for EACH extra entry!):

You have a total of 6 chances to win! 😀 Yay!


No purchase necessary to enter. Prizes will only be shipped within the United States. Winner will be selected at random by chocolate & carrots using Random.org. All entries received after the giveaway closing day and time will not be considered. Entries that do not follow the entry requirements will not be considered. Winners will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to confirm receipt of the email. If the winners do not reply within 24 hours, another winner(s) will be selected. Giveaways will be mailed to the winners’ address.  This giveaway has been sponsored by USFRA and the One2One Network. I received monetary compensation for this sponsored post. My opinions are my own.



  1. I live in an apartment, so I don’t have a garden, but I DO buy local. We have a market down the street that I frequent daily. I love it there!

  2. My mom and I grow tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and cucumbers. Some advice for new gardeners: pick a sunny spot for your garden! We have so much shade that some plants simply don’t work at all… like last year’s very flowery pumpkin plants that never made a single pumpkin. We also have a “spice box” that sits on the windowsill outside the kitchen with basil, oregano, chives, thyme, parsley, and many more. Someday I’ll have a garden too.

  3. I live in an apartment so I can’t garden, but in the spring and summer I go to the Midwest’s biggest farmer’s market every weekend to support local farmers!

  4. I LOVE city roots! My husband is a USC student and he is actually doing a project/community work with city roots this semester (he’s actually going there today!).
    We love to garden, but currently we don’t have enough yard for a garden and our two dogs…so I just buy locally from city roots and the all local farmers market. We hope to move soon and THATS when I get my big garden and my chickens! (I love all produce AND meat AND dairy to come from local farmers!!)

  5. I just followed you on pinterest and pinned a picture of the garden with the chickens to my (someday…one day…) board!! 🙂

  6. We currently have no outside living space (we are in an apartment) so I can’t have a garden. It’s one of the first things I want to do when we have a house in a few months!

  7. We have a 6′ x 15′ raised bed garden and a 2′ x 10′ ground level bed. I grow asparagus, rhubarb, and cucumbers in the ground level bed. The cucumbers grow beautifully climbing our chain link fence. In the raised bed, I grow carrots, spinach, mesclun mix, green beans, peas, and tomatoes. We also have 25 black raspberry bushes that my mother got for my husband for his birthday several years ago. This spring, we’re also putting in two dwarf apple trees, all in our suburban yard.
    I try to do some of our produce and meat shopping at our local farmers’ market, or find “local buys” at our grocery store, but I’m not always successful in this endeavor.

  8. I put your link as my status update this morning! (I’m serious about this giveaway, even if it is random…) Ü

  9. And… drum roll please… I’m following you on Pinterest. You should check out my board for Food… GLORIOUS FOOD!!! There are several pins for square foot, pallet, and container gardening. I’ve been into small (3×5) gardens for a few years now, but with our upcoming move I’ll have the opportunity this fall to have a full blown 30×80 foot garden!!! I’ve also started to put a “mobile garden” together where I work. As soon as it’s done I’ll share some photos with you. I think it’s great that you’ve discovered sustainable buy-local opportunities for your family. Keep it up!!! Ü YOU ROCK, Caroline!!!

  10. I love seeing where our food comes from! I have a small balcony garden. Lots of herbs in little pots, two tomato plants and a cucumber one. I hope they grow! Whenever I buy a house, I really would love to have a garden in those raised beds and expand what I grow!

  11. We don’t have outdoor space for a garden but absolutely love going to farmers markets when the weather gets warm.

  12. Yes, I do! But since I live in an apartment, I don’t have room for much. I have a small herb garden (rosemary, mint, and basil), and two types of peppers.

  13. I have an herb garden and plant tomatoes in pots on our deck. My parent’s plant a HUGE vegetable garden, so we get to reap the benefits of their garden 🙂 I love fresh, local veggies. I also shop our Saturday morning Farmer’s Market for fresh fruits.

  14. I have had a garden for over 40 years. Now I pretty much mix my vegetables and fruit plants in my flowers instead of a big vegetable only garden. I have a raised bed just for lettuces.

  15. We live in a condo, so sadly don’t have gardening space. But I am thinking of buying a few indoor herbs for the summer at least!

  16. awesome giveaway! we try to grow a lot in our garden. this year, we have 4 different types of tomatoes, jalapeños, rosemary, thyme, parsley, oregano, sage, mint, strawberries, + even a fruit-bearing peach tree! =) we don’t have a slow cooker either (we’re the only ones in the world apparently), so i’d love to win this giveaway!

  17. I love growing things and the deer love to eat everything I plant. I do have a small area that is closed in and i plant parsley (simply cannot live without that) sage, basil (at least 6 plants), tomatoes and I have a lovely grape vine. I plant potatoes in my larger deck pots under the flowers and enjoy a dinner of home grown potatoes each fall. Would love to grow much more but just don’t enjoy anticipating picking something just about ripe and finding an animal has beat me to it. Ah, the pleasures of living in the woods.

  18. I have a garden. Right now I’m starting tomato, pepper, eggplant, basil etc. in the basement. In a week or two (though it’s still early in MN) I’ll put in my trellis and plant peas and beans and my kale and chard. Due to our unusually warm spring, my chives and oregano are up and away already, and a couple of asparagus tips are poking through. I’ve put my rosemary pots on the back porch. Cukes and zucchini, radishes and carrots will go in too. Just don’t want to jump the gun when the danger of frost is still here. And if I had more room, I’d try to grow more.

  19. I have some herbs growing, and I just recently got a tomato plant and bell pepper plant. I plan to do a few more container gardens soon. This will be my first year growing in containers so I’m nervous and excited.

  20. We just moved into an apartment. We are looking into patio gardens to try for next year so we can grow our own tomatoes, herbs and lettuce. We try to buy organic as much as possible. We are learning about our local options!

  21. I get your blog updates via email! I need to try gardening but have not done so yet. I do get most of my veggies from a farm stand instead of the grocery store…

  22. What a great post! I wish I had a green thumb because I love fresh herbs and fruit and vegetables. Someday! For now I wait patiently for the farmers market to be in full swing again 😉

  23. I don’t have a garden because I live in a tiny apartment. 🙁 But we do have a farmer’s market every Thursday where I buy all my fresh veggies and fruit! It’s closed for the season still but opening this month again!!! Can’t wait!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. I love this – whenever I see people talking about eating local I get so excited 😀 I have a garden and grow things like tomatoes, peas, carrots, squash and greens and some herbs. I’ve been doing it for a few years but I still feel like a newbie when it comes to gardening! I shop a lot at the local farmers market when it’s running. It takes some getting use to and some work to shop around for good prices from certain vendors – but so worth it to know it was grown close to home and responsibly, without a ton of chemicals.

  25. Not yet, but hope to get it up and running soon. Last year was our first attempt — with a full southern-exposed backyard, tomatoes, zucchini (the size of my forearm), peppers, lettuce, radishes and strawberries flourished!

  26. I used to have a back yard garden and I helped out with keeping it clean. However, because I live in queens the soil wasn’t so great and I was never home all the time to water it and keep it nourished. The soil was always dry and it was hard to grow corn. Easy things to grow were herbs such as fresh mint, basil, cilantro, green onion. we also grew string beans and tomato. When I move out and graduate from college as a Hospitality Management major, I want to have my own little garden to grow fresh herbs. I think fresh flavors definitely gives a nice kick in the meal!

  27. Great post, Caroline! I love it when people share what they are passionate about! I am more focused on eating less processed foods right at the moment but do try to buy local produce when possible. We live 2 blocks from our farmer’s market so it’s very easy to grab produce there on the weekends!

  28. I can’t enter but wanted to say that it’s my dream to get a nice house just outside of Portland or Seattle and have a huge yard with all kinds of fruit trees and berry bushes and even some vegetables! This dream came about after all these food scares we’ve had in Germany. I don’t know if you heard, but we couldn’t eat eggs and pork for several weeks, and then it was cucumbers and lettuce for weeks and on and on and on. If I grow my own, I can eat whatever I want. Woohoo!

  29. I don’t have a garden, though I’d like to someday! I did sign up for CSA this spring and summer. I’m super excited because it’s an urban farm that provides jobs and training to individuals by growing organic vegetables!

  30. I would love to have my own garden but have no idea where to even begin. I tried a couple of tomato plants last year and that didn’t go so well, but I blame the lady at Home Depot who steered me wrong. I just joined an Organic produce club and get amazing prices on tons of produce, so still debating whether I will try to do my own garden.

  31. I dabbled in gardening last year, since living in an apartment makes it difficult to do have one, and this year I am going to put aside any doubts that an apartment cannot contain a garden 🙂 I am currently sprouting some green beans but I hope to have strawberries, blueberries, and cucumbers as well. I just obtained a pallet as a garden box for my porch (an idea i got from Pinterest…aka my best friend in this gardening endeavor!). We shall see how it goes!

    As far as eating local, I am lucky enough to live within two blocks of the NC Farmers Market. Let’s just say they are lucky they don’t carry a reward card… I would be cashing that in all the time:-) There really is the biggest difference in taste as well as a huge feeling of relief knowing where your food is grown and managed.

  32. I rent so I technically don’t have the right yet to plant a garden in my yard, but I dream of someday having one. I would love to pick fresh veggies from my backyard! In the meantime I scoop up as much of each week’s produce at our local farmers’ market–it feels great to support local (especially organic) farmers!

  33. I try to buy as much organic and local food as possible. I also just started a garden. Right now I have some herbs, sugar snap peas, and peppers.

  34. I garden! We live on a farm in the middle of nowhere so I have 2 gardens. We also raise our own chickens for eggs and meat, beef cows, pork, and we hunt. I like to know where my food came from. I am growing 17 varieties of tomatoes this year, kale, spinach, giant pumpkins, potatoes, onions, raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, currants, 3 colors of carrots, pickling cukes, zucchini, watermellon, tomarillo, shall I go on? I get carried away….

  35. we live in an apartment so we experimented with a container garden on our balcony last year, but this year we’ll stick to the All-Local market in Cola 🙂

  36. We’ve had a garden for the last couple of years. This year we decided to scale things back and just stick with a few favorites – peas, beans, carrots, tomatoes, and our one “adventure” is brussel sprouts. Everything else that we eat I’ll try and pick up from local growers.

  37. I live in a townhouse, but we do have a little garden in back. I’m growing cucumbers for the second year to make pickles later in the summer. I’m also attempting to grow jalapeños and onions.

    I couldn’t agree with you more when it comes to knowing where your food is from! I try to buy local and organic every chance I get.

  38. I live in the city but my sister and her family have started gardening a bit, my dad dabbles a little and my granddad always had a big garden when I was growing up. I’d really like to try growing a few herbs this summer.

  39. My family has a garden that we use in the summer to grow various types of tomatos, green peppers, and occasionally cucumbers. My dad also tried growing strawberries one year. Being in college now, I can’t exactly have a garden (I have a mint plant…close enough). Eventually when I have my own home I’d love to have a large garden. Home-grown food just seems to taste better. 😀

  40. Yes, we do plant a garden. we grow tomatoes, various kinds of peppers, cucumbers and sometimes green beans.

  41. I would love to someday have a garden of my own. When I was little, and still lived in Russia, my family had a little summer house in the outskirts of the city. We had a little yard for gardening, and it was my responsibility to collect the berries we grew. I was the least patient with the strawberries, which were my favorites (and hence my nickname “klubnichka” – strawberry, in Russian). My grandmother would always give with first ripe strawberry to me. 🙂

  42. i don’t want to enter, but i did want to point out that this group/website is backed and supported by Monsanto, who budgets millions of dollars each year to seek out and shut down family farms in order to grow their own business. if you haven’t seen Food, Inc., there’s more info about them in the documentary.

    whether or not it’s telling you about your food and where it comes from, it’s always always better to buy locally, buy from companies that you support and value their business ethics, and get informed about the choices you’re making with your money.

  43. I live in an apartment so growing a nice garden is sadly out of the question. BUT we are moving in a few months and I will finally have a yard and I fully intend to start a garden. Maybe start with some easy veggies and plant a fruit tree. Then basically branch out to the things I buy most at the store!

  44. I would love to win this crockpot and the reusable bags! I live in an apartment and recently started a very small herb garden with a pot of chives and a pot of cilantro. Since reading more about clean eating, I’ve become much more cognizant of where my food comes from and what ingredients are included. Hoping to also do a pot of tomatoes and strawberries.

  45. I currently don’t live in a place with a backyard, but my dad does a lot of gardening. I hope to one day be able to as well.

  46. I do not have space for a garden but grow rhubarb, tomatoes and peppers and herbs along side the back of the house where we were supposed to have shrubs. I try to buy everything I possibly can at farmer’s markets.

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