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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 (41-50):
ceciliam
by on Apr. 9, 2012 at 10:11 AM

I live in a town in NJ where there are lots of farms. I look forward to the farmer's market every Spring and recently I have started buying my honey locally, from a farm down the road.

ceciliam
by on Apr. 9, 2012 at 10:13 AM

I should add, that I am always educating my son on food and what is healthy and what is not. In fact, next Saturday, I am taking him to a kids cooking class, where the kids will plant their own mini vegetable gardens and learn how to prepare some meals from the produce that will be in their gardens.

Madelaine
by Member on Apr. 9, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Love farmer's markets!

MamaBear2cubs
by Bronze Member on Apr. 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

My sister gets to buy her produce direct from a farm, I feel so envious of her.

alliesmom112
by on Apr. 10, 2012 at 12:08 PM

I love how local farmers market and until I had dd I made and sold salsa at our local market. DD loves to come down to farmers markets with me. There are 2 we frequent one on Wednesdays and Saturdays and one Fridays. I love haveing fresh from the farm produce, meats, and eggs in the house.

When we can't get to farmers markets we do try to buy local and organic produce from the grocery store. I will also buy our meat from the local butcher shop instead of national grocery stores because he buys from local farmers and I like the idea of supporting local businesses

alliesmom112
by on Apr. 10, 2012 at 12:10 PM

what a great way to teach him about food and where it comes from

Quoting ceciliam:

I should add, that I am always educating my son on food and what is healthy and what is not. In fact, next Saturday, I am taking him to a kids cooking class, where the kids will plant their own mini vegetable gardens and learn how to prepare some meals from the produce that will be in their gardens.


TheBabyFactory4
by on Apr. 10, 2012 at 12:48 PM
We also have strawberry farms around here. My kids go on field trips and get to pick their own.
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Bmat
by Bronze Member on Apr. 10, 2012 at 1:21 PM

The guy down the road who sold produce passed away a few years ago.  I miss both him and his produce. It is a good idea to not just assume that the produce at the markets are pesticide free.

Bmat
by Bronze Member on Apr. 10, 2012 at 1:22 PM

I love to pick our own strawberries as a family, then come home, and I make a nice shortcake from scratch and we have strawberry shortcake for supper that night.

Quoting TheBabyFactory4:

We also have strawberry farms around here. My kids go on field trips and get to pick their own.


Bmat
by Bronze Member on Apr. 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Fresh produce is the best. We used to belong to a coop that brought in fresh butter, bread, eggs, spices, - it was the best I've ever had.

Quoting alliesmom112:

I love how local farmers market and until I had dd I made and sold salsa at our local market. DD loves to come down to farmers markets with me. There are 2 we frequent one on Wednesdays and Saturdays and one Fridays. I love haveing fresh from the farm produce, meats, and eggs in the house.

When we can't get to farmers markets we do try to buy local and organic produce from the grocery store. I will also buy our meat from the local butcher shop instead of national grocery stores because he buys from local farmers and I like the idea of supporting local businesses


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