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Keeping it Local with Farmer's Markets

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I grew up in NJ - the "Garden State" - and now live in Iowa, where yes, I've heard every corn and cow joke known to man.

However, it wasn't until I lived in the Midwest that I began to really look at where the food I was feeding my family was coming from. My move out here coincided with my crash into the gluten-free Whole Foods lifestyle we now live and it seems like the timing was almost perfect in a way.

In order to reduce the artificial ingredients, hormones, and pesticides going into our bodies, we began buying grass-fed meat, local farm-fresh eggs, and organic produce.

We also began to support local farmers and merchants and began doing most of our weekly shopping at the farmer's market where we could. We can get everything from free-range chickens to salad greens to fresh goat cheese to homemade jams and salsa to hand-knitted scarves and hats and - my favorite - the coffee truck.

Our children love coming with us and on the warm spring and summer days, we sip tea or lemonade as we walk up and down the aisles, talking to the farmers who grew the food, eating local fresh fruits and veggies. It's such a great learning experience and they learn what Real Food is, where it comes from, how to make healthy choices, and support local agriculture.

I know that these products can be more expensive and I understand that not everyone can always afford these options.  But there's also some products like strawberries and apples that I think should be bought organic whenever possible due to the way pesticides can leak in through the porous fruit or sit on the skin we eat.  When in doubt on which organic produce is the most important, I refer to The Dirty Dozen - a list of the 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide content.

I've also found that simply by meeting and talking with the local farmers, you can learn their farming practices, and though they may not be "certified organic" (a process that is very rigorous), they may use organic farming practices. This is another great reason to get out to the farmer's market when you can!

Do you have a local farmer's market that you visit? Do you buy organic or local products from your supermarket? Do you teach your kids where their food comes from?

by on Apr. 6, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (21-30):
by on Apr. 6, 2012 at 9:40 PM

we do have several stands around here when they start to pop up.. 

i really need to start our own garden though.

by Carissa on Apr. 6, 2012 at 10:07 PM
We love farmers markets, we have one right in town. We do buy organic at the supermarket as well.
by on Apr. 6, 2012 at 10:43 PM
I normally go to the local produce stand. Its usually cheaper and fresher.
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by on Apr. 6, 2012 at 11:39 PM

I found a farmer's market near me that I will check out when in season, but I never buy organic from the store except for my kid's apple juice. I never knew where it came from but if I knew it was local organic products, I'd buy more of it.

by on Apr. 7, 2012 at 12:24 AM

We have a few local farmers markets that we visit every spring-fall.  We do buy organic when we can and my girls do know where most of their food comes from.

by Ruby Member on Apr. 7, 2012 at 8:51 AM

We don't have one in our area. It would be a drive. I need to talk my DH into making. Walmart carries some organic items which I buy, like apples, sugar and a few others..Other than that I can't afford to go to our health food store and buy organic from them.

by on Apr. 7, 2012 at 10:46 AM

 Yes i try to go to the local farmers market and our grocery store also carries local produce.

by on Apr. 7, 2012 at 3:13 PM
They have a cute little stand in Town.
And the park down the street holds farmers markets. It is really fun
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by on Apr. 7, 2012 at 7:09 PM

We have a local farm here that we go to and get some of the freshest veggies and fruit and it's always so good.

by on Apr. 7, 2012 at 10:24 PM

We do also.

Quoting TheBabyFactory4:

I normally go to the local produce stand. Its usually cheaper and fresher.

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