For the love of local
Guest post by Wendy Sult, one of our wonderful Triad Coordinators for The Produce Box
Aside from a failed attempt to grow brussel sprouts, a few sprigs of garlic trying to survive, and chicken-pecked lettuce leaves, my garden has looked pretty empty and bleak since last summer. I know it is important to eat seasonally and from local food sources; however, I do not have the time or patience for a large garden that would provide all of the produce we would need. (Can I get an “Amen!” from all of you who can relate?)
- You know exactly where it is coming from and you can often have a connection to the person who actually grew it.
- Studies have shown local produce has a higher nutrient content due to staying on the plants or in the ground until they are ready to eat. You know, the way nature intended it to work!
- And the flavor. Oh my goodness, the flavor of perfectly ripened strawberries or tomatoes just simply cannot beat by those truck-ripened produce imposters.
- One last reason to note – and it is a BIG one. Eating local supports the local economy. I know I personally prefer to give my money to the farmers here and across the state who grow produce to help support their families and, by extension, the local economy.
Now that I have hopefully convinced you to hunt and gather some local produce, what should you try to find this time of year? Friend, I have good news. The bounty of the season is just beginning to reveal itself! Strawberries and blueberries will usher in the abundance of local fruits we will have available in the coming months. Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, and a vast assortment of lettuces and other greens are also available now.
Cucumbers and summer squashes won’t be far behind. There is absolutely no reason why you should refrain from committing to the use of locally grown produce in your meal prep.
Happy (Healthy) Eating Wishes To You!