Local Food

This summer has been great for my healthy goal of eating more fresh, local foods.

For those of you wondering why foods being local makes a difference in health…  Local foods travel fewer miles, meaning they are often fresher and bonus–less emissions for transporting them, which is better for the environment.  Better environment=healthier us.  I’ve heard that many types of produce lose their nutrients quickly after picking and often the local foods are picked much more recently than your grocery store finds, meaning we are getting more of the good stuff.  It makes sense, although I need to really look into that claim more…

We were going to originally take part in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program to get some local goods, but decided against it after seeing how much we would be out of town for the summer.  We also live in an apartment, so gardening is not an option.

However, our local farmer’s market has really blossomed over the past year.  We have great new facility and a consistent showing of farms and other local producers.  Bonus:  much of the food, in addition to being local is also organic.

In honor of Virginia Farmer’s Market Week, here are a few of my favorite farmer’s market finds:

  • Arugula!  I *love* this stuff.  Love it.  I put it on everything.
  • Honey.  Local honey is supposed to be good for allergies, but we just got it, so I’ll have to update you later on my experiences.
  • Edible Flowers.  How cool are these?  I wouldn’t know which flowers are ok to eat or not and these are beautiful and hopefully delicious.
  • Basil.  I love pesto and fresh basil on pizza.  One day I might have a garden of just basil…
  • Squash blossoms.  I didn’t buy any because I didn’t have a plan for them, but I’ve always wanted to try them!

I’m kind of concerned about winter though.  I could self can (without BPA), but I’m not really equipped with the right tools or space to do so.  Freezing is also an issue at the moment because of the small size of our freezer (although I did freeze some of my parents surplus peach crop).  I’m not even sure what grows well here in the winter, so it will be a learning experience as my awareness grows.

To find some local food near you, try checking at this website:  http://www.localharvest.org/.

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