Saturday, July 2, 2011

Eating Local: Farmer's Market

We have this garden, see? And I don't like to use anything that isn't healthy for the garden. We bought organic seeds as much as we could, organic dirt with compost and used untreated wood for the beds. If there are problems, we try to handle it with natural remedies (like the soap and water with the caterpillars.) And now that we're getting chickens, I've been thinking more about eating healthier with no pesticides, growth hormones and the like.

The problem is, I was reading this book. Two books actually: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and the other Year of Plenty. Now I want a farm!  But seeing as we can not move to a farm at this time, I'm thankful for the room we have in the backyard. But it got me thinking about all the foods we DO purchase that are not pesticide free and are not local. I mean, do we really know where our food comes from? I live in Missouri and my cataloupe is from Florida, strawberries from California and the tomatoes are from Chile. I mean really... CHILE?  We do have gardens here.

(trucked in fruits from who knows where)

So today we went to the farmers market. It's a bit of an eye opener when you're used to frequenting Wally World and most everything is so cheap. Some things were a bit more, but I think this just made us choosier, hopefully we'll waste less food (did you know American's throw away about 253 lbs of food per person, a year? I bet most of it's produce!) They did have part of the farmer's market for non-local produce. It just seems so wrong to go to the farmer's market to buy the same trucked in, pesticide sprayed goods I can get at the grocery store. I tried to buy as much local as possible.

I was excited to see there were a few meat farmers who raise grass fed cattle and chickens with no growth hormones, no pesticide ridden feed. We didn't buy any meat at this time but maybe sometime in the near future we'll try it out. I like the idea of going to farmer's market and purchasing my foods for the week. You can really get to know the farmers if you chose, they always say 'come on down to the farm' so you could actually SEE where your food is from. What an opportunity, especially for us homeschoolers, to be more conscious of what we're eating. To learn why our local farms are dying and where our money for food goes. '85% of every food dollar goes to the processors, marketers and transporters. Only 3 nickels per buck go back to the farmers.' (quote from: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, p.13)

In the excitement of being at the farmer's market, and the fact that it was the July 4th weekend and everyone and their mother were at the market today... I didn't get many pictures taken. None of vegetables. But the flowers and herbs were so beautiful! I wanted them all.

I brought home local: tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, rhubarb, beets, blackberries, eggplant, lav ender plants, pepper plant starts. Hubby didn't get the idea really, and bought blueberries... from New Jersey! lol Oh well, it's a start in the right direction. I'd rather support local farmers than big business money makers. Just sayin'...


Our Side of the Mountain said...

I agree! We've be gradually changing to a more local and homemade or grow diet. There's a reason why kids are having more difficulties with allergies and adults are getting cancer at alarming rates. (I know ALL of it's not food, but it's a place to start!) We have a small garden and I've been making most of our bread for a year. We pick berries from untreated "wild" areas on property family owns - I have TONS of bluebrries, raspberries, strawberries, zucchini, and rhubarb in the deep freezer right now. And a Farmer's Market started just last week in our area for the first time! Thanks for stopping in my blog!

melyssa said...

How cute is your blog?? I don't remember how I got here...someone's blog whose led to someone's blog who led Anyway. Went to a farmer's market yesterday. Didn't buy any produce (ours had zero like yours pictured) but did snarf down a lunch for a mere two dollars from a Uzbekistan vender.

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