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AndreAnnaRose
Keeping it Local with Farmer's Markets
April 6, 2012 at 12:00 AM

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?


Replies

  • lalasmama2007
    April 6, 2012 at 10:37 AM
    I live in PA in a farming town, so we have lots of local farmers markets nearby. In the summer we have our own garden, so that's where most of our veggies and some of our fruit come from.
  • daerca574
    April 6, 2012 at 10:39 AM

     We garden organically at our place.  When we need fresh fruits and veggies we do go to the farmers market if there is one close.  Living in rural KS, sometimes there is no market open.   We do purchase fruits and veggies from the supermarket as well, but very minimal. 

  • dusky_rose
    April 6, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    I wish we had a farmer's market in our area. We really can't afford to buy organic produce, but I am thinking about gardening this year and growing some of my own. I think it will be a good experience for my youngest son to see how a garden grows and have him help me with it.

  • MamaBear2cubs
    April 6, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Jim goes to our local Farmers Market once a week and stocks up. We love their fresh organic produce!

  • elijahsmama09
    April 6, 2012 at 12:37 PM
    I live near many Amish farmers, who grow everything organically and I buy a ton from them.
  • Samanthamommy
    April 6, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Yes, we love the farmers markets.

  • MamaMandee
    April 6, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    We love to go to the farmers market plus a lot of small farms will put out a table in their yard to sell fruits and vegges too!

  • Wish2Be
    by Wish2Be
    April 6, 2012 at 2:26 PM

     I love going to the farmers market ! I get watermelons for just $1-$3 each depending on t he size....when the grocery store wants $6+ for it. Works like that for most veggies and fruits too ! :)

    I got a sack of potatoes for about $2 last weekend. Love it !

  • Wish2Be
    by Wish2Be
    April 6, 2012 at 2:31 PM

     

    Quoting daerca574:

     We garden organically at our place.  When we need fresh fruits and veggies we do go to the farmers market if there is one close.  Living in rural KS, sometimes there is no market open.   We do purchase fruits and veggies from the supermarket as well, but very minimal. 

     Gosh I sooo wish I had a garden ! Lucky you !

  • Wish2Be
    by Wish2Be
    April 6, 2012 at 2:32 PM

     

    Quoting lalasmama2007:

    I live in PA in a farming town, so we have lots of local farmers markets nearby. In the summer we have our own garden, so that's where most of our veggies and some of our fruit come from.

     What do you grow?

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