It's Springtime! Time to get my garden on.
This past week my new man and I (oops, did I let that slip?) started planting our garden. Can I just stop a moment and say how much fun it was to share this with my man? I even looked at him and said "Oh, I got me a farmer!!!" And laughed. We even took a drive out to one of our local farms to pick out a few heirloom tomato plants and some other items to transplant. You guys should know by now that whole foods and organic produce cranks my tractor (See what I did there?) And having someone to share this with is superb!
Being able to grow your own produce is such a wonderful experience. To take a seed and watch it grow. To nurture it along the way and then to have it wind up in your dish and on your plate to me, is a wonderful thing!
However, some of us cannot nor will not be able to or choose to dive in and that's okay! This is where knowing your farmer comes in! This is key because your farmer is the person who grows and cares for the food you eat; he/she is also the person you can talk to about it.
You can ask the important questions of whether or not it is organic. Have they used pesticides? What produce comes in what season? After all, they're not only making a living (hopefully!) off of the food they're making but they're usually passionate about it. Passionate producers not only can answer questions about what goes into your food, but they'll have the answers to questions a grocery store can't.
Supporting your farmer will also strengthen your local economy and revitalize your community. You're putting your money back into your local community, get it?
Eating locally and regionally cuts down on transportation and storage costs. Buying directly from your farmer or through your local farmers' market is generally cheaper than the grocery store in the long haul and most importantly, returns more profit to the farmer than when you purchase indirectly. And yes, you should care about these issues!
Studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally owned business, rather than a nationally owned businesses, more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers AND FARMS which continue to strengthen the local economic base of the community. You see? It comes back around to benefit you! In more ways than one.
Let's face it, farming is hard work! It's not for the faint of heart. It's physically demanding, dependent upon the weather (which can be as temperamental as a lot of people I know), and it's not particularly lucrative. But talk to a farmer and you'll understand the passion they have for the job! And without their passion and know-how, we wouldn't be able to eat sustainablely. And THAT is crucial. This should be of utmost importance. Making sure you and your family stay healthy and eat healthy to fight off disease should be on your top list of priorities.
If we ever want to take back our food system we have to support small food business owners. The biodynamic and medicinal farmers, the dairy farmers, the local honey farms, the organic meat producers, sustainable butchers and all those in between are imperative to our food system.
Get to know your local farmer! Support local. It will all come back to benefit you in the end, in more ways than one.
This post was written by Susan Avello, Personal Chef at Lean Bean Chef Personal Chef Services in Dothan Alabama - offering Healthy Meal Prep, Meal Planning, Private Cooking Classes, Private Dinner Parties and Education on Healthy Eating.
by Chef Susan Avello
Here I'll share menu's, food I love, what I'm cooking up in the kitchen and hopefully, some useful advice!
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