One of the best ways to connect with the cycles of nature is to support your local Farmer’s Market. It gives you a chance to meet the farmers and buy the produce at the peak of freshness. Strolling in and out of tents enjoying the color and chatting with growers brings us back to a simpler time. Last week I came upon a booth titled Grateful Farm. What a terrific name! Then I started a conversation with a woman selling pottery for her sister. She said she used to tell everyone, “It’s My Sister’s Pottery.” and soon that became the name of the small company.
Another way to get the best fresh produce in your area is to join a CSA or Community Supported Agriculture. There are over 4,000 CSAs in the United States. Here’s how they work. Farmers offer a certain number of shares to the community. The consumer purchases the shares sometimes as early as January or February, allowing the farmers to have more cash flow. Each shareholder receives a bag or box of produce every week during the growing season. This arrangement allows you to try fresh and unusual fruits and vegetables while helping support local agriculture.
Whether at a Farmer’s Market or a CSA, I find that the customers are friendly and polite, browsing the booths in search of the best carrots or kale, no one seems to be in a hurry. This is much more fun than pushing a cart up and down a cold grocery store hoping to find that one peach that isn’t hard as a rock. Don’t you sometimes wonder how long the store-bought apples sit in a refrigerated truck before they end up on your kitchen counter? I certainly do and anyway the taste is proof enough for me! Most food found at Farmer’s Markets is not processed or genetically modified. Treat yourself and your family to a vitamin rich salad without pesticides or buy a jar of organic honey and notice the difference when you drizzle that over some locally grown strawberries.
Trust me, you’ll be GRATEFUL!