I know I'm spoiled to live on California's central coast. The weather is temperate. The views are phenomenal. And, then, there's the food. Fresh, gorgeous produce abounds. And we're lucky enough to have farmers' markets all year round, multiple days of the week. Additionally, many local farms offer CSA programs.
I read a newsletter from one such farm and was disheartened to hear about a larger company, essentially, hijacking screen space on a search engine. Less savvy consumers sign up, thinking that they are supporting a local, organic farm. They are not. Click to read High Ground Organics' newsletter from this week: here.
So, here's my plea: Whether you go to farmers' markets every week (or multiple times a week) or you subscribe to a CSA, please, please, pretty please, support local farms and eat seasonally!
Why Eat Local?
People define 'local' differently. I've heard it as 'within your state', but California is a large state. I mean, we drive over nine hours to visit my in-laws and we're still in California! I've also heard it defined as 'within a 100-mile radius.' That's slightly better. But, for me, if I can, I try to support people within my county and within my city when possible. And, better yet, if I can meet the farmer and visit the farm, I do! Not only do I want my kids to know that food doesn't just appear in the grocery store, wrapped in cellophane; I want my kids to know the faces and hands behind the food that we eat. Local food nourishes my family and bolsters the community and local economy.
Why Eat Seasonally?
About eating seasonally, I've heard people object that "it's in season somewhere on the globe." Refer to the first part of my plea - please eat local. So, when I urge you to eat seasonally, I mean in season in your area.
Seasonal produce tastes better. Nothing is worse than mealy tomatoes, pithy apples, or limp greens, right? Because it's naturally ripened and harvested at the proper time, in-season produce has richer flavor and more nutrition.
A Summery Salad
During the summer months, I love to make quick salads with whatever fresh produce I have. I pick three or four items with varying colors (yes, I cook by color!). If I have fresh herbs, I'll toss those in, but they aren't necessary. This is easy, seasonal, local, and delicious.
- lemon cucumbers
- freshly ground salt
- freshly ground pepper
- olive oil
Wash produce and slice or cut into bite-sized pieces. Place in a serving bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.