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The notion that in order to eat organically you need to have the surname Kardashian or Aniston, shop at Whole Foods or the organic aisle at your local supermarket is not true. The best place to get fresh local produce is your nearby farmers’ markets. For those not living in areas that have farmers markets I’ll get you in a minute.
In many cities throughout the states, downtown areas will host farmers markets through the spring and summer months once sometimes twice a week. This offers you the opportunity to buy delicious- locally grown fruits and veggies which in turn directly supports your local economy and keeps the farmers in business. Also, you might be able to find a local farm which many times allow you to purchase direct- a wonderful way to get learn about what and where your food is grown, get recipes and meet the farmers.
It’s also just as important to buy what’s in season as it is to buy locally. Ever wonder why you see tomatoes at your local grocer in the dead of winter? Often tomatoes are picked green and stored with the use of chemicals to “ripen” them up giving them their traditional red color. However they’re usually bland lacking the delicious, sweet, crisp taste as it would if allowed to ripen on the vine. Yet stores stock it because consumers are used to getting tomatoes year round despite being a seasonal fruit.
Now if you’re in an area that lacks a farmers’ market or you find buying organically at the supermarket is too pricey, which I’ve honestly experienced, start your own garden! Sound overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. Many people think you need a large backyard in order to have a garden; however you can turn your porch, patio or balconies into a mini market. All you need is some flower boxes, soil, water and sun. Stop at the nursery and get tomato plants, bell pepper plants, herbs, whatever you like, and begin to enjoy the benefits of eating really fresh food and saving money. You’re also keeping it green by not driving to the store, using bags and all that good stuff.
So check out the farmers markets, or start one of your own. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things, that’s what life’s all about. Check out LocalHarvest.org for farmers markets.