Our family has subscribed to a local CSA for this season and I can't wait to receive our first basket in a few weeks. I am a little bit unsure what I will do with lots of early season greens since I can't eat them once they are cooked ( I gag-literally) but I am guessing that there are ways to put them in soups and lots of yummy salads. Food always tastes better when it is fresh and local.
I've found that belonging to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group is the easiest way to get fresh local food and get introduced to new veggies I might not choose in the store. Every other week I get a box of locally grown produce supplemented in the winter with organic items from as close by as possible. It has been amazing to me how tasty, moist, and quick-cooking truly fresh food can be. It also helps support local farms, motivates the farmers to try new things, learn ways to store their harvests, and keep the land in agriculture rather than lose it forever under tract houses and parking lots.
I love to use fresh produce in the summer. I am even considering a small garden of my own this year. As I was reading the article, I thought, what about winter time. Then along came this idea. "Keep in mind the principle that foods which take longer to grow are generally more sustaining than foods that grow quickly" This is new to me and I am glad to know. Another supportive idea for a winter of soups like I just did.
If this article strikes a chord with you, be sure to read Barbara Kingsolver's novel, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It's main focus is about eating local and/or trying to grow what you need. Her family did their best to live off the land for 1 year, and it's a really interesting book!
3/28/2010 8:08:53 AM
I love to "grow my own" and buy local whenever possible. But I live in New England - short growing season and longish winters - so have to import fruit and veg for 6 months of the year or so.
I can local produce, too, when it is fresh, so that I can enjoy it in the winter.
This article is absolutely right. There is no comparison in terms of taste -- tomatoes from my garden taste immeasurably better than ones from the market. However, I'm not sure it's so cheap -- we've spent a lot on seedlings, pots, soil, fertilizer, tomato cages, and similar each year!
I enjoyed growing fresh veggies and fruits in my garden. It's so relaxing and stress free relieved to go in your garden and pick whatever you want. this summer I have sour orange, lemon, lemon grass, sugar cane, green bell pepper, thyme and cilantro, hot pepper, and cherries tomatoes. thank you for this article.
I'm growing a garden again this year and love to go pick fresh corn, squash, onions, peas, and soon, tomatoes. It tastes so good to pick it, bring it in and prepare it immedialely!
8/3/2009 7:09:00 PM
I live in a rural area. Plenty of people garden which includes me. There is very little seasonal produce sold here. The grocery store doesn't even sell zucchini in the summer. I can buy peaches and melons off some guys trailer for a few short weeks. I buy frozen veggies because it hasn't been traveling for a week. The fresh produce here in MIssouri, is dismal and expensive compared to California which is where I moved from. What's more, everything is wrapped in plastic to further limit your choices.
I agree for the most part, except about the cost being lower .I live in a area where a lot of berry's are raised, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry. corn, as well as a lot greenhouses exist. And it may surprise you but they are very expensive when they first come out. I understand that costs have gone up and pickers are for the most part not available so they must be machine picked, But it is not true that they are less expensive than those from 1000 miles away. Yes there is a huge difference in fresh over warehouse products and I am sure nutritional wise, but my income demands that I get the best bang for the buck, and so if an imported product is less expensive than I go for it
8/3/2009 12:04:10 PM
Living in Berkeley, we tend to eat fresh and locally as a way of life. However...and I really hope this is just a regional quirk - the farmers markets in this area are super expensive. It's crazy, off-the-hook expensive...to the point that I really have to be careful about what produce I choose to buy there.
For example, the only tomatoes offered at the farmers markets are organic Heirloom tomatoes and they are $4.99 a pound. Ridiculous, right?
Such a well written article! I tend to eat the foods that are in season, but never made the connection with our nutritional needs for that season. Just this morning I realized I was out of bananas, but told DH I wasn't going for them because we have strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and peaches to eat. What fortunate people we are!!! My hubby and I spend winters in FL so have an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits grown there year round. I buy wonderful red peppers for .50 each all winter long. Strawberry season starts in January and by the time we go north in mid April, the season is starting there. Just talked to our daughter in Columbus, OH who lives in the city but always has a small garden. Yesterday she pickled banana peppers and she told how one Roma tomato plant will probably have about 2 bushels tomatoes on it. She will make her own salsa, gazpacho, etc. That makes me very proud because I always canned a lot of foods. We are all such blessed people!!!
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