Today I want to share with you the importance of buying local food. Local food supports local economy, sustainability, and local farmers. My goal in feeding and nourishing my family is to try to seek out the most nutrient dense foods possible. Did you know that produce begins to loose nutrient density by large amounts once it’s harvested? Imagine your food picked, then trucked hundreds of miles then sitting in the grocery store for who knows how long. The nutrient density of local produce is much higher because it cuts out the middle steps and gets it to your table much faster. My kids seem to instinctively know the difference in farm fresh food verses what I’ve picked up from the grocery store. They are generally not picky eaters but They will more readily eat the fresher produce. In fact most days in the summer they come in with their breath smelling of garlic chives, onions, mint, or sage. We rarely get strawberries in the door, because they pick and eat them while they play outside-which I love!
Another benefit of buying local, is that you have the opportunity to meet the farmer that grew your food. Not only does this increase accountability, but it also increases community, and a sense of belonging-who doesn’t want that?? You get to speak with them first hand about their farming practices and why they employ certain strategies. They can teach you about biodynamic farming, no till methods, water conservation strategies, why it’s important to avoid sprays, and what they use in lieu of that…all of which you may find so interesting that you start to utilize it in your own backyard garden!
This is a picture of last years’ garden! I love having a garden because it teaches my kids how to grow and care for plants, as well as a sense of responsibility for a living growing plant. They enjoy watering it! They love going out and picking and eating what’s growing there!
Another tradition my family and I have thanks to my husband’s grandma is that we go to pick and pay farms in the fall. We dress warmly, and take a lunch and sometimes some friends and we go out in the fields and pick! Tomatoes, pumpkins, squash, peppers, onions, cabbage, eggplants. It’s a tradition I encourage you to begin as well. It’s such fun memory making family times! It also helps to decrease food waste in a community. You can use what are called “seconds” aka blemished, or hail bruised produce in fermenting! Also a future post! We have been doing this since the boys were very little. I will be highlighting some of these farms in future posts as well as letting you know how I preserve what we gather!
I find it very enjoyable to take my kids to weekly farmer’s markets in the summer. We get to walk around in the sunshine and fresh air, and see what our local community has to offer. It’s so inspiring to see all the handmade items, homegrown produce, and meats, and fresh breads made from ancient grains. We come home with arm loads of produce so pretty it’s begging to have it’s picture taken!
I truly believe in supporting your local community by spending your food dollars on the freshest food possible. It strengthens community as well as local economy, and provides food security for your family and your community!