Saturday, February 13, 2010

Finding Local Produce

If you are going to eliminate processed foods and sugars, you need to add something back into your diet to eat! Easing your family into fresh fruits and vegetables is about the easiest course of action. While the most finicky eater may not like all veggies, you can usually like something that they will enjoy. It takes time to change one's palette, especially after years of poor quality food consumption. 

One thing that will help is finding really good fruits and vegetables. Have you noticed that grocery store produce lacks flavor? Sure it looks great, but the taste is definitely lacking when compared to a home grown item of the same variety. 

If you need help finding a source of fresh fruits and vegetables, try Local Harvest. You can go to their site and enter your zip code to find local farmers markets, farms, CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture where you purchase a membership or subscription to receive produce from local farmers), Grocery Co-ops, and more. By shopping locally for produce, you'll most likely be eating what is currently in-season and at it's peak in terms of flavor and nutrition. You can read more about this here.

For those of you in the Tehachapi area, Tangleweed Farm is an excellent source of organic in-season produce. And if you're already familiar with Laurie's farm, you might be pleased to hear that she is extending her hours and opening a little earlier for those who have places to go, people to see, and things to do. 

Her new hours are Wednesday and Saturday 9:00-4:00 through the winter. When warmer weather arrives, she is open more days a week.  Right now Tangleweed Farm has a large variety of Cal Organic produce that she is bringing in due to the cold weather. This is actually fairly local as well since it is raised just a stones throw away in the San Joaquin Valley. This includes a variety of greens, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, beets, tomatoes, and more. In addition, she carries grass fed J and J meats, Soledad goat cheese, organic coffee, oils, vinegars, and more. To contact the farm, just call 822-0819 or better yet, visit her website. There you will be able to subscribe to receive updated information as the spring season approaches.

You may find that purchasing organic produce is slightly more expensive than conventionally raised produce. Keep in mind that it used to be even more expensive than it is. But consider these points...

• As your health improves, you'll be making less trips to the doctor and perhaps take less supplements (hopefully).

• Eliminating processed foods leaves some room for new items in your food budget.

• Sugary treats leave you hungry for more; fresh, living food satisfies. You'll be eating less in the long run.

• Eventually you could plant a garden and really decrease your food budget!

Be brave and get to know some farmers in your area. Most don't bite and are very grateful for customers who appreciate what they raise. They are actually looking for ways to connect with you! Thus the reason groups like Local Harvest have sprung up. They're trying to get the word out that they are there!

Eat fresh and be blessed this weekend!


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