The sun is shining! It’s time to shed the sweaters and coats — and maybe a few extra pounds too! What better way to do it than with a visit to your local farmers or produce market.
When you become involved in the "buy local" movement, you’re supporting farmers and families in your community and your local economy. It’s also an opportunity to go green and refresh your healthy eating habits. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Find what’s local. It’s as easy as typing "farmers market" into a search engine. You’ll find markets plus nearby farmers who sell their products, locations where you can pick your own and information on CSAs. What’s a CSA? It stands for community supported agriculture, and it’s an arrangement with local farmers for weekly deliveries of produce. Want an even easier first step? Next time you hit the grocery store ask if they feature local produce.
- Pay a visit. Get up and go — to the farm, the farmers market or even a roadside produce stand. You’ll find fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, poultry, meat, cheeses, eggs, syrups, honey, and even flowers, soaps and crafts.
- Make a plan. I scope out the products and then plan my meals. Just this past weekend, I found salad greens (leaf lettuce, spinach, romaine), onions, herbs and tomatoes. I also picked up some eggs. We have a local baker too — so I bought some great whole-grain bread.
Using local foods inspires me to prepare healthy, plant-based meals that are low in calories and high in nutrients. I also feel good about supporting people in our community who make their living on the land. It’s a win-win. We eat healthier — and help our local farmers, economy and environment.
Remember to bring your reusable bags for easy shopping! I use these bags and love them!