At home I serve the kind of food I know the story behind.~Michael Pollan
Can you hear it? No I haven’t jumped ahead 8 months and hear Jingle Bells. What I do hear is the emergence of fresh fruits and veggies, bursting forth in this glorious Spring, ready for the picking and eating.
Spring cleaning can also apply to your eating habits and what better time to make some changes and clean up your diet. In the next couple of weeks, farmers markets everywhere will be opening up and selling their first round of fresh produce.
Yes I know the grocery stores keep produce in stock year round but did you miss my words, “fresh produce”. Not put on a ship or trucked thousands of miles to a destination far, far away. These are your neighbors, your local farmers who are working hard to grow the best produce and bring it as close to your door as they can. And the taste, there is just no comparison between a red bell pepper grown in my North Carolina soil and one grown in Mexico.
So what is the issue in supporting our local farmers? I think the answer lies in convenience, it’s easy to stop by the grocery store and pick up what we need quickly. (Let me add a little sidebar here, yes grocery stores are doing a better job in buying more local produce so I didn’t want you to think I’m against grocery stores.)
To go to the farmers market requires a little more time and planning but the rewards are wonderful.
Last year it was my Saturday morning adventure, stocking up at the farmers market. What I quickly gained, besides the great food I bought, was a weekly relationship with all of the farmers and vendors at the market. I knew where their farms were, what they were planting, how they tended their crops and what I could look forward to next week. I got some great advice, good conversations and really got to know the people in my community. And most of all I got really fresh food!
This year my husband and I decided to join a CSA (community supported agriculture) where 5 farms have joined together to bring their best to their CSA members.
Plateful CSA consists of farmers who raise and harvest their own vegetables, fruits, meats and eggs while taking care of the Earth. Each week we pick up our share comprised of a meat, 1 dozen eggs, veggies and/or fruit. These farmers are part of our community also and we want to support them along with the farmers at the market.
What about the cost? Well I can tell you from my own experience that each Saturday I would spend approximately $20.00 at the farmers market and have at least two bags full of produce. The cost of our CSA share each week averages out to $35.00. For the total price of $55.00 per week we eat much healthier, keep our money in our community and help keep our family farms alive.
Now what are you waiting for?
Do something for yourself that will improve your eating habits, which in turn will improve your health while supporting farmers in your community. Join a CSA or make weekly trips to the farmers market, knowing that you are making a difference in yourself, your community and Mother Earth.
Spread the word, tell your friends about supporting local farmers and start your own “food story”. Get to know your farmers, how they raise the food that goes on your table while taking care of the Earth. The story makes the food taste so much better.
I would love to hear about your trips to your farmers market, the CSA you belong to or comments about your favorite local farmers. Bon appetit!
photo credit: Chiot’s Run via photopin cc