The ranchers know that feeding your family is a gift; the restaurants know that good, made-from-scratch cuisine is cherished and admired; and the stores know that knowing your neighbors opens a friendly door to all kinds of welcome.
The best gift we can give ourselves is to buy locally-grown, ethically-produced food, whether it’s fresh from the farm or the grocery store.
The differences begin even before we get to the farm. Where do farmers get the seeds? And where did they grow them? It’s important to get to know the people who grow our food. Our local farmers have family relationships with each other that are as closely held as any wedding vows. While many farms may lose people to retirement or economic pressure, others may see opportunities for greater longevity. These past few years have also brought more land back into farming because of a growing desire to produce more food, while reducing climate-related impacts.
From the crops, we get clean, nutritious foods. Adding vitamin A to oranges helps defend them against growing bacteria that would otherwise kill them. Adding vitamin E to tomatoes is another way to protect them from the harmful effects of sun exposure. Almonds offer a variety of vitamin D, iron, and calcium, while macadamia nuts and pomegranates offer various benefits including good heart and bone health.
Related Image Expand / Contract Almonds are one of the highest-quality, naturally-derived fats. (Brendan Hoffman)
Most important, from the farm to your plate, are clean, safe, and abundant supplies of both fresh and pesticide-free produce. Being able to go to a farmer’s market is often free, easy, and fun. There are more than 15,000 farmers markets in the United States, with the largest being held in California, where there are more than 30,000 open to the public. The next largest is Illinois, with 20,000 open markets on the map. Other states also have large markets, and several states have several hundred markets, including states like New York and Wisconsin.
Wake up the kids, and head on down to the farmers market to see all this fresh food!
This post has been shared on Facebook by Searchable Farm Pickles and is republished here with permission.
Enjoying all types of great food and beverages, Kirsten Marshall is passionate about all things food and beverage. Married to Nate Marshall for 14 years, she started Searchable Farm Pickles because she and her husband love local food and wanted to give something back to those most affected by the food system, and to help educate people to make better choices for themselves and their families.