“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to faster it’s renewal is our only hope.”
Everything my mother put on the kitchen table growing up was pretty much organic. We planted a huge garden every Spring. My mother had six children and everyone got to pick a few items that we wanted to plant. My favorites were sweet peas, corn, strawberries and pumpkins.
I remember one year I wanted to grow pumpkins. My mother warned me that pumpkins have never grown bigger than an apple in our garden and not to get my hopes up. I was determined to take care of those pumpkins so I could have a big Jack O Lantern for Halloween. I watered them daily and made sure they had plenty of room to grow. By the end of summer I had about 30 huge gorgeous pumpkins and shocked everyone.
As a child, if I ever got hungry, my mom would tell me to go grab some peas, strawberries, or raspberries from the garden. It was the best treat ever.
I try to be as healthy as possible with my own children, but I have to admit it is hard. There is more junk food than ever at grocery stores, and I haven’t been able to grow my own garden. My goal is to start a garden in Spring 2014.
I love farmers markets because they remind me of the fresh produce I would get from my mother’s garden. Everything looks so colorful and tastes so fresh. It is never too late to teach your children the importance of eating healthy. They will thank you. Your body will be happier too.
Here are some tips on how to shop at your local farmers markets and teach your children to crave good wholesome food.
FARMERS MARKET TIPS
1. Get to the market early. The best stuff goes fast. Last weekend I was at the market waiting patiently in line for the most delicious berries. They were sold out within about an hour of the market opening.
2. Bring your own wagon, baskets or bags. Most farmers markets don’t supply bags. And if you are planning on purchasing for the whole week, it is best to come prepared.
3. Bring cash. I have learned this the hard way. I have had to find an ATM many times and they only give you big bills which make it hard for vendors to make change. Small bills is the best. Don’t rely on the vendors to take credit cards.
4. Ease into organic. If it’s your first time going to a farmers market and you don’t know what to get, just pick a couple of fruits and vegetables to try out once a week and then add something new to your list weekly. Eventually you will be a farmers market pro.
5. Get the whole family involved. Have your children help with the weekly list by having them find each item on the list at the market. This teaches them at a young age to eat healthy.
6. Do your homework before you go to the market. Know what is in season where you live. And don’t be afraid to ask the vendor what fruit or vegetable tastes the best.
Here is the dirty dozen. A list of fruits and vegetables that have the highest amount of pesticide residue. Try to buy these organically if possible.
Try to find a local farmers market to support and keep your food investments in your own community. There is no point in shopping at a farmers market if it is just importing produce from the local super market. Check with your state’s website or Department of Agriculture to see if your state certifies farmers markets which only sell locally raised produce.
Organic is a little bit more expensive than non organic, but worth it if you are concerned about additional pesticides. Going organic is going to be cheaper if you buy at a farmers market rather than a grocery store because the fruit hasn’t traveled from miles away. If the vendor doesn’t have an organic sign, don’t be afraid to ask them.
Some states offer certifications for markets that sell only organic produce. Check with state’s website or with your local market to make sure that you are buying certified organic produce.
What are your favorite items to buy at farmers markets?
Ashley was born and raised in Boise, Idaho and now lives in Henderson, Nevada. She studied in Germany and created a hand knit hat business in 1998–Mutze by Ashley (meaning hat in German). She is obsessed with her Husband, three daughters, fashion, coconut desserts, and garden gnomes.
Read all of Ashley’s posts.