Alabama Locally Grown Product
The 2007 USDA Farm Census reported that Alabama had approximately 48,753 farms and the average number of acres per farm was 185. Of those farms, 1,603 showed that they raised vegetables for sale, there were 1,897 orchards, 56 organic farms and 260 CSAs in the state.
Synopsis of 2007 USDA Ag census for Alabama
|Classification||Number of farms within the State||Top five counties with the greatest number of farms in each type of classification|
|Farms with Vegetables harvested for sale||Cullman||Blount||Barbour||Jackson||Morgan|
|Number of Orchards||Baldwin||Mobile||Barbour||Covington||Geneva|
|Blackberries and Dewberries||Madison||Baldwin||Cullman||Chilton||Lauderdale|
|Poultry and egg production||Cullman||DeKalb||Marshall||Blount||Franklin|
|Dairy cattle and milk production||Baldwin||Butler||Calhoun||Blount||Covington|
|Beef and Cattle ranches||DeKalb||Cullman||Marshall||Lauderdale||Lawrence|
|Aquaculture or other animal production||Lauderdale||Cullman||DeKalb||Madison||Morgan|
|Farms that collect Honey||Madison||Calhoun||Jefferson||-Morgan||Baldwin|
Organic farms in Alabama
Interestingly, the 56 farms reported as organic represent more than a 100% increase over the prior year (2006). Many of the new organic farmers are returning to family land after a period off the farm. Some grew up on farms, but others have had little agricultural experience prior to the "return to farming". Additionally, many traditional farmers also are transitioning from conventional production. The number of organic farms reported Alabama for the next USDA Ag Census will exceed 100.
Many of these organic farming operations grow a wide variety of crops that go beyond the standard summer vegetables: gourmet lettuces, salad mixes, and other greens, heirloom tomato varieties, root crops such as beets, carrots, radishes and turnips, culinary and medicinal herbs, and cut flowers. Extending the season and types of crops allows the grower to market over a longer time period and provide a wider variety of produce. Because most of these crops are marketed directly to the consumer, growers can teach their customers about new crops and breeds and encourage them to experiment.
How to find Alabama Growers and producers
For more specific detail on what local fruits and vegetables are available (and when), please check out our Alabama availability guide or go here to see all of the Locavore Network growers near you. In addition to fruit and vegetable growers, we have listings for wineries as well as numerous beef, poultry and dairy producers located throughout the state.
Additional Alabama Locavore information
- Every state has a Cooperative Extension System. Regional offices offer location specific advice on a broad array of topics (including gardening), and may be able to provide you with contact information for growers who are not yet registered on our site. Most have gardening hotlines and offer informational fact sheets, soil testing and pest identification for free or a nominal cost. Often the help is provided by Master Gardeners who are trained to assist the agriculture agents with home gardener's needs. To find contact information for your local County Extension Office – Alabama County Extension Offices.
- If you would like to ask questions of fellow Alabama Locavores, discuss tips, share recipes, stories, pictures or any another great “Slow Food” discovery, please post it in our Alabama forum by clicking here: Alabama Locavore Forum
- State sponsored “Locally Grown” program - Grow Alabama
- Alabama County Fair Schedules – This link provides schedules for County Fairs within Alabama as well as many other local festivals – Alabama County Fairs