Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Eat Local

Not only is eating local food better for the environment by burning less fuel, it’s also better for your health. The produce is more flavorful and contains more nutrients as it has less miles to travel. You are able to support the local economy and can truly find out about your food, simply by asking the source directly. Local food also supports the Ayurvedic principal of eating seasonal foods. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables helps you keep your body in sync with the cycles of Nature. Here are a few ways you can go Local.

It's almost that time of year again to sign up for your local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). A CSA is a system where a farm offers a certain number of "shares" to the public or local community. One share consists of a box of seasonal vegetables. Usually you can sign up for a Full Share (weekly), or a Half Share (bi-weekly), for around 22 weeks, depending on the farm. Sometimes other farm products may be available such as eggs, homemade bread, meat, cheese, fruit or flowers

This helps farmers to sell their produce in advance, receiving payment early in the season, which helps with the farm's cash flow, and gives an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow.

Advantages for consumers: 

  • Produce is the freshest you can get, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits.
  • Introduction to new vegetables, and new ways of cooking.
  • A relationship with the farmer and knowledge of the food source.
To locate a CSA near you, go to: www.localharvest.org

Farmers Markets / Farm Stands
Of course if you are unable to nab a CSA share, then your local Farmer's Market or Farm stands are more accessible and equally great! Support your local community and get to know where your food comes from! To find Farmer's Markets near you, go to: www.localharvest.org

Get the kids involved and go to a farm to pick your own produce! It's a great day outdoors and fun for everyone! We usually come out at the end of the day with much more than we need, but the kids get to see how to use an ingredient for a lot of different recipes (apples are a great example), which really gives them a hands-on Farm-to-Table experience! To find out what is in season, and locate farms that have pick-you-own produce, go to: www.pickyourown.org

Grow Your Own Food!
Ultimately, growing your own vegetables is a fun and an incredibly rewarding experience! Even with a few flower pots to grow a few herbs, (or If you are lucky enough to have even a little patch of land) the benefits are great. Not only do you reduce your environmental impact, you save money, waste less food and enjoy the accomplishment of nurturing your own nutrients, and with no question of chemicals and processing! The kids love it too! :)

Click here for 7 Secrets for a High-yield vegetable garden  

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