Category Archives: food

5 Reasons to Attend Green Festival

Green Fest Banner NYCWhen we think of festivals, we oftentimes think of a community celebration – typically centered on music, food, or art. So it’s apropos that the “largest and longest-running sustainability and green living event” in America is the Green Festival®. Attendees enjoy music, food, and art as well as education and “green” products/services. Over the past 13 years it’s grown into more than a festival – it’s Festival Plus.

Green Festival visits five U.S. cities each year: New York City, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco. Chicago’s Navy Per is the next stop, with more than 250 businesses showing their wares over three days. We’ve attended several times in Washington.

Here are the five reasons it’s worth going.

 1. Green Festival Exhibit Floor DCSustainable Stuff. I’m always amazed at the range of exhibitors and presentations as well as the quality of the food and products in the marketplace. On the exhibit floor, there’s everything from Ford showing its latest electric and hybrid cars to a small natural soap maker called The Fanciful Fox. You’ll see brands you know, such as Clif Bar, and many you don’t. We talked with some of the vendors who were still operating out of their homes. And there are many free samples!

2. Ideas. The event is also a great chance to learn new things about living sustainably. The upcoming Chicago event, for example, has almost 50 speakers – including authors, filmmakers, politicians, musicians, and scientists. Ralph Nader spoke at the Washington event. There were 83 speakers at the recent Los Angeles festival. Topics range from gardening to yoga to solar power.

GFCommunityAward3. Awards. Green Festival offers a Community Award at each location – a $5,000 grant awarded to a deserving local non-profit, chosen by the public on-site at the festival and online. Selected at the Washington D.C. event was The Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, which is dedicated to creating a more equitable and sustainable local food system in the Washington, DC area.

4. Low Cost. Admission is reasonable and family friendly at only ten bucks per person (16 and under free, discounts to seniors and students). Volunteers enjoy free admission.

Kids Activities NYC5. Children and Adult Friendly. There’s a play area, puppet shows, dancing, plus plenty of products geared to children. And with kids (and adults like me) it’s always great to have a ready source of inexpensive and tasty food (some spicy!) nearby. Plus fashion shows, musical performances, and more for the grownups.

Green Festival is a fun way to learn more about sustainable living, through food, music, art, shopping, and discussions.

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Green Festival DC – Sustainability Show Off

Washington, D.C. 2013 Event Guide
See sustainability in action at the Green Festival DC.

We’re excited to be attending the upcoming Green Festival DC, at the DC Convention Center this coming weekend. It’s the ninth iteration of the festival which we’ve attended the last few years. What is the Green Festival? It’s a place to see and learn about sustainability from economic, cultural, and environmental perspectives. Like we often say here, there are many aspects to living with a sustainability mindset rather than one of blind consumption.

There’s yummy organic food and interesting speakers including iconic Ralph Nader. And a Green Kids Zone as well as an eco-fashion show. So the festival has something for almost everyone, with a focus on sustainability. There’s also lots of food samples, free Ford electric-car rides, and hundreds of vendors. We know from experience that the festival is fun and informative!

This year, there is an expanded emphasis on food, and who doesn’t like food? Food highlights include:

  • Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food and Water Watch and author of the best-selling book Foodopoly, who will speak about food policy
  • DC-based FRESHFARM Markets (FRESHFARM Markets FoodPrints Program) who will present special sessions on “Eating Healthy On A Budget”
  • An Organic Food Court and a Sustainable Beer & Wine Garden
  • Workshops on raising backyard chickens, composting, growing herbs and other sustainability topics.

According to its organizers, Green America and Global Exchange, tickets are $10 for a one day pass and $20 for a full weekend pass when purchased online at www.greenfestivals.org, or $15 and $25 at the door. (All tickets provide access to exhibit floor, all workshops/yoga classes, speakers and films.) And there is FREE admission for anyone who rides a bike to the event and parks with the Clif Bar bike valet, youth under eighteen, union members, volunteers and Green America and Global Exchange members.

Location: Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place N.W. Hall A, in Washington, DC. Hour are Saturday, September 21st 10am – 6pm and Sunday, September 22nd 11am – 5pm.

The Mindful Consumer will be there, tweeting from @mindfulconsumer. Let us know if you’re going and we’ll try to meet you. Of course watch Twitter and this blog for our perspectives and announcements from the festival.

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Green Living is for EVERY Body

I’ve been a vegetarian for 12 years. I recycle, garden, worked at a farm, and am an advocate for greener living; I’m also fat. There is a perception that the ecofriendly community looks a certain way, lives a certain life, votes a certain way, and fits into a neat category of people… except they don’t. Ecofriendly people are old and young, democrat or republican, all races, all socioeconomic levels, and all sizes. Some people are surprised when they meet me that I’d rather chomp on turnip than cheese hamburger, or that I am a strong worker who can be in the farm dirt all day long. I am an advocate for Health at Every Size (HAES) which supports actions to make bodies healthier rather than just focus on weight loss. Here’s a link for more information http://www.haescommunity.org/

 

We cannot judge how people live, or what choices they make just by looking at them, or assuming that if they fall into one category, they are automatically excluded from another. Oftentimes my body makes me an outsider to many traditionally ecofriendly avenues. When we go to Greenfest (or other conscious style shopping places) I know that there will probably be no clothing that fits me. Oftentimes various organizations that promote vegetarianism or veganism use weight as a way to persuade people into a vegetarian lifestyle; in fact many times a fat body is shamed to promote vegetarianism including this advertisement by PCRS which uses both sexism, ageism and body shaming to promote veganism: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIzngoAUoNM&list=PL-s1fMMoG8xVt7vMKGzskiAiRBtQ-GSqp&index=1 In order for a greener movement to be possible, we cannot continue to exclude people based on things like looks. ALL people matter and ALL actions are important.

The truth is that any step a person makes, whether a person does meatless Mondays occasionally, uses reusable bags at the grocery store, carpools, recycles, buys used, or ANY activity to make less footprint is imperative to creating a sustainable community: we are all neighbors on Earth. There is no way to know a person’s choices just by looking at them. Instead of assuming a person lives a certain way based on how they look, or who they vote for, understand that people who make earth friendly choices may not just be your hippie aunt with dreadlocks drinking kombucha but maybe your republican boss, the bodybuilder at your gym, your shy neighbor, or your heavy writer at TheMindfulConsumer.com.

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What’s Growing? Urban Container Gardening

photo (11)
My container garden bursting with delicious vegetables- only a 5×13 foot space 
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A deer cruising my backyard, wondering where the deer salad bar (aka my garden) is.

It is June, and we have been enjoying all our fresh vegetables from our local CSA  and lots growing in our garden. I am doing a container garden this year, as our backyard is a major deer thoroughfare, and I have yet to build the maximum security garden cages needed to protect my precious harvest from becoming a deer salad bar. Right now I am growing tomatoes, carrots, celery, plum, peas, basil, lavender, oregano, mint, Meyer lemon, lettuce, lemongrass, raspberry, strawberry; all in urban garden style containers on my patio in a 5 foot x 13 foot patio space. There is even a little fountain in there that adds pretty sounds and a nice visual effect. I am also growing 30 corn plants out in the “deer zone” and am hoping the netting will keep them away until I can put something more permanent. I was thinking of doing a “three sisters” garden out there where you plant corn, let it grow about a foot, plant beans and let them use the corn as a trellis, and plant squash. The beans give the corn nitrogen (corn is a heavy nitrogen feeder) and the squash leaves help retain moisture. It is an indigenous American gardening technique. Sounds like I need to get to the seed store!

Corn growing in preparation for my "three sisters" garden bed
Corn growing in preparation for my “three sisters” garden bed

So besides the corn, my entire garden is in containers- I use a “big bag bed” on a shipping crate, and various pots and containers to grow everything. I use my hanging plants above other plants, so as they drain, the plants below can get the water. For the gardener who may neglect their gardens, mine on the patio means I walk by it every time I go in the house, so I can keep an eye on it and remember to water, check for pests, and harvest anything that looks ready before the wildlife gets to it. Container gardens are also easier to weed, and it means less time bending over, and more control over the soil.  Although I am far from an expert gardener, through trial and error, a sense of whimsy, I’ve been able to grow some of my own food. My biggest advice for gardeners just starting out is to plant more than you think you’ll need (like the old timey farmer adage: one for the blackbird, one for the crow, one to wash away, and one to grow). The other tip is to have fun, enjoy yourself, and even one small pot with one tomato plant still has the spirit of a thousand gardens.

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Happy Green Year!

14472145-new-year-2013-on-the-beachIn this new year, about half of adults make resolutions; many of us have resolved to lose weight, exercise more, and otherwise make improvements in ourselves.

According to history.com, the practice of making resolutions began about 4000 years ago, with the ancient Babylonians. They figured resolutions to pay off debts and return borrowed equipment would help them fare better with the gods.

The blog 43Things shares that, “a University of Washington study found 47 percent of the 100 million adult Americans who make resolutions give up on their goals after two months. This figure has grown to 80 percent in the past decade, according to recent research completed at the University of Minnesota.”

How can we keep resolutions? One of the Washington study’s lead researchers suggests:

  • Have a strong initial commitment to make a change.
  • Have coping strategies to deal with problems that will come up.
  • Keep track of your progress. The more monitoring you do and feedback you get, the better you will do.

Of course, there’s also an app for helping you keep resolutions.

And you are likely to fail when you are:

  • Not thinking about making resolutions until the last minute.
  • Reacting on New Year’s Eve and making your resolutions based on what’s bothering you or is on your mind at that time.
  • Framing your resolutions as absolutes by saying, “I will never do X again.”

What about green resolutions? None of these will change the world, but we can all help. I scoured the Internet for decent green resolutions, but none of the lists caught my attention. I’m not big on making resolutions – I try to live every day in a mindful way as much as I can. It’s better to do a little bit than nothing at all. So here is my reluctant list that I think is reasonable for about anyone to easily achieve in 2013:

  1. Grow something. Plant a tree or a tomato plant. It’s simple. Of course plant the big garden if you can; the food we grow ourselves is the best food we can eat.
  2. Educate yourself and others. Maybe you worry about climate change. Perhaps your passion is organic food or fighting GMOs. Learn something and teach others; you will benefit and so will others.
  3. Eat less meat. Better for the planet and for your health.
  4. Think of water as gold. Water is the key to our survival yet many of us take it for granted. Related to this – ditch bottled water because the plastic used for them is staggering.
  5. Buy less. What can be easier than not doing something?
  6. Of course, you have to buy some things. Buy fair trade and local. Go to the farmer’s markets and Join a CSA. And bring your own bags to the store!
  7. Read this blog.

Start whenever you want. Let others know what you’re doing. Let us know about your progress at themindfulconsumer [at] gmail [dot] com or on facebook.com/themindfulconsumer.

 

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Patch Up Your Relationship with Pumpkins

2012 pumpkin

This time of year pumpkin moves to the front of our collective consciousness, not only because of their inexorable association with Halloween and Thanksgiving, but because they just seem to be everywhere. From the pumpkin pies to pumpkin donuts and bagels, to the pumpkin iced lattes to pumpkin-scented candles, we are bombarded with these funny-looking orange spheroids until we are out of our gourds.

One media outlet shouts, “Pumpkin is the New Bacon” lamenting the growing ubiquity in food and drink.

Of course we also decorate with them. Many of us carve or paint pumpkins before displaying them on our front porches in a seasonal ritual, their toothy grins and triangle eyes flickering in the darkness of Halloween night. Pumpkins and gourds are in the Cucurbita family and thus are relatives of cucumbers, cantaloupes, squash, and watermelon.

According to the Cooperative Extension Service The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, gourds were probably one of the first plants domesticated by humans and were used for utensils as early as 2400 B.C.E. And come in sizes up to more than 2,000 pounds. A man in Rhode Island grew on to 2009 pounds this year, according to the Pumpkin Nook. The smallest are generally decorative Jack-o-lantern pumpkins range from 10- to 25-pounds.

According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center at Iowa State University, in 2011, pumpkins valued at $113 million were harvested from 47,300 acres in six states: Illinois, California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Most pumpkins end up in canned pumpkin pie mixes. Nestlé Food Company’s Libby’s® pumpkin processing plant cans more than 85 percent of the world’s pumpkin each year.

It turns out that pumpkin is pretty good for us to eat. Self Magazine says that pumpkin, cooked, boiled, drained, and without salt is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. Of course we often then add sugar, salt, eggs, and milk to pumpkin in our recipes.

You might be getting more than pumpkin when you get them, so know your source. Cucumber beetles, squash vine borers and squash bugs go after them. Says Planet Natural, bacterial wilt (spread by cucumber beetles), powdery mildew, downy mildew, and anthracnose are common plant diseases affecting pumpkins. Many pesticides are applied to fight these maladies. You can grow your own pumpkins organically, if you have the space; they can need 500 square feet for a single plant. At the very least, try to find your pumpkins at a local farm, rather than buying one shipped in from another state or county. After you finish carving and using the pumpkin, add it to the compost pile.

Think about that pumpkin

  1. Grow them yourself — or buy local and organic, if possible
  2. Eat the edible parts – they’re good for you
  3. Compost the parts you can’t otherwise use
  4. And this final tip from Sara — Do NOT put your wife in one’s shell!

 

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We Love Composting

 

There are many websites explaining the basics of composting, but we wanted to add our personal experience with it. While I am more of the gardener, and Ron is more of the maintenance/yard work guy, and we are both the chefs in the kitchen so composting is something that we can both do and benefit from together.

Composting is a great way to reduce the waste that goes in landfills, add beautiful dirt or mulch for your garden, and once you get it set up the price is minimal. Instead of buying those $10 bags of dirt from your local nursery, you are making nutrient rich stuff yourself. When we moved from an apartment to a townhome we were really able to take advantage of composting for two reasons: we actually had yard waste and grass clippings to add, and the space available to really compost the way we wanted. Our county gave free composting bins, it was an adjustable plastic wall that you curved in to a tubular container and added your compost. When we started composting I noticed that a lot of my kitchen waste was now able to go in to the compost bin:

Our first composter- simple design, and held a lot of compost. Inside you can see leaves, grass, food scraps, papershreddings, etc.

 

Stuff from the house:

veggie/fruit peels, cores, rotten bits

paper shreddings

egg shells

hair

paper towels

coffee grounds

nut shells

dead flower arrangements

really every organic thing in the kitchen besides that on the “no” list.

Things you do not add from this category are meat, fat, oil, or dairy.

 

We were also adding stuff from the yard: grass clippings, leaves, animal bedding, tree clippings, hay, farm animal manure (horse, cow, chicken).

The things you do not add from this category are: dog/cat/people waste, weeds that have gone to seed, chemicals, metal, plastic.

 

 

We used this cylinder composter through fall, winter, and spring. We quickly realized we needed something to collect the kitchen scraps, and bought a cute little pail with a lid that we throw scraps in to carry to the compost pile. It fills up every few days, depending on what I am doing in the kitchen.

This container sits on our counter and collects the scraps to be carried outside to the composter. The lid has a filter, so it does not smell or attract fruit flies. This little tool is vital for becoming accustomed to composting.

So now we are coming around to spring and are realizing a few things.

 

One. We make a lot of compost a week and with our recycling and composting, our trash creation is shrinking exponentially.

Two. At some point, you need to stop adding to the pile so that way everything can break down. We had one compost bin, and we added to it every week.

Three. With an open top, all sorts of furry animals may become interested in the compost. We had a squirrel invasion. We bought cayenne pepper in bulk, and it seemed to deter the little guys from it.

 

 

After these three lessons were learned, we decided to invest in a dual tumbler. The county got us hooked on composting, and now we needed to upgrade from the entry level to the luxury edition composter.


This dual tumbler would fix all three of our realizations: lots of room for compost, two bins- so while one is finishing, we can add to the other, and three, no little squirrels could get in it. I will spare you the agonizing details of building a seemingly easy apparatus, but 6 hours later, we had something I was so proud of, I hardly wanted to fill it with rotten stuff. The greatest benefit to date, is both getting that beautiful black gold to put in my garden, and the major reduction of trash for the trash man each week. 

We love composting because it reduces landfills, adds to the garden, and it is just plain neat to watch your trash turn in to treasure. Happy composting!

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Listen Up! Living Green Podcasts

Like many people, I spend a lot of time in the car. Which means lots of time to listen to things, if I so choose. Sometimes that’s radio or music on my MP3 player. I’ve also grown fond of podcasts, and listen to a lot of them around the topic of sustainability, green living, and environmental science. So when I’m not anxious to hear the latest weather or my favorite Aerosmith classics, I’m likely listening to a discussion of organic farming or the latest energy projects. But finding podcasts that aired regularly and had substance took time!

If you haven’t listened to podcasts, it’s fairly easy whether on your smart-phone, audio file player (iPod), tablet, or computer; a good overview is “How Podcasting Works.” I use my smart-phone, which like an MP3 or iPod player does better with a podcast player application. You can use iTunes or the standard media players on the devises they support. I’ve tried the media players and several of the free podcast applications for my Galaxy S phone and prefer Car Cast. It’s easy to use and I appreciate the big buttons when driving.

Some of the podcast directories are a waste of time – I found much of their material dated, so that many of the search results are discontinued podcasts. All of those listed here have ongoing content, with regular episodes ranging from weekly to periodically on a less frequent schedule. If you want more, look at your favorite Web sites to see whether they cover your interests with podcasts. They are interesting and fun!

I listen to these Podcasts

Earth Eats

Earth Eats is a weekly program of real food and green living hosted by Chef Daniel Orr. The program explores local food and sustainable agriculture with recipes you can make at home, interviews with local farmers and Chef Orr’s musings on food, history and culture.” From Indiana Public Media.

If you like food and care how it gets to your table, this podcast offers interesting discussions.

Quick reports on the science of the environment and the future of energy from Scientific American.

 

More Hip Than Hippie

Dori and Val tell you everything you wanted to know about living a green lifestyle that is more hip than hippie. It’s upbeat, informative, and at times rather funny. (Yes, we shave).” Recent topics include food swapping and how to be car-free. This is one of the longest running podcasts I found around living green. Podcasters Dori and Val might appeal more to a female audience, but the content is interesting to all. Of course this is two women talking, so some might think there is some extraneous banter, but it’s all in fun 🙂 Besides a green lifestyle, they review beer and chocolate, thus adding some flavor for listeners. There is regular mention of the greenfeet.com online store, which Val founded. It’s a fun listen and educational too.

Here on Earth

Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders is a live one-hour weekday global cultural affairs program with a focus on the future. We offer breakthrough stories that entertain, inspire, and provide insight to people who are genuinely fascinated by the breadth, difference, and complexity in the world.” From Wisconsin Public Radio.

This podcast offers a wide range of topics, some of which are related to sustainability.

 

 

Podcasts I don’t yet listen to but appear to be promising

Living Green Podcast

Texas Public Radio’s Dan Skinner explores a wide range green activities and issues in San Antonio and beyond. Topics include alternative energy, energy conservation, environmental conservation, community gardens, parks, transportation, and more.

TreeHugger Radio
“TreeHugger is the leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream. Partial to a modern aesthetic, we strive to be a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information. We publish an up to the minute blog, weekly anddaily newsletters, weekly radio interviews, and regularly updated Twitter and Facebook pages.”

The EnvironMinute
Each EnvironMinute feature contains solutions-oriented information that encourages listeners to make informed choices about their health and the health of their environment. The EnvironMinute has been a success since its launch in 1991.

The Organic View
The Organic View Radio Show” is a unique, live, interactive, internet talk-radio show that features key leaders, innovators and educators who work within industries that involve organics, environment, politics, living green and sustainability. Host, June Stoyer, explores the background and mission of each guest. Questions are taken by the audience via Twitter, Skype, Facebook and email. Listeners are encouraged to call (917) 932-1068 to ask questions or send an email to questions (at)theorganicview.com”

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Raised Bed Gardening: The Good, the Bad and the Buggly

Raised Bed Gardening: The good, the bad, and the buggly- Sara’s first foray in to raised bed gardening

In fall, most gardeners are happy to end their gardens for the season. Tomato plants are winding down, squashes giving their final fruits before the frost, and pumpkins are sitting patiently. Of course, when gardeners are winding down, I am getting started in trying to push through a small harvest of fall veggies before the winter comes. We recently moved to a place with a yard big enough to grow more food, and I could not resist getting something in the ground, even though it was September. Cool brasilica plants, like cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts have a fall harvest, so off to the store I went to get things ready for my first raised bed garden.

We bought a ceder raised bed from home depot for about $30 bucks. It is 4×4 and was fairly easy to build, with help from Ron’s drill.

The raised bed constructed, but not installed. Thanks Ron for your handiwork!

 

When deciding what to fill the bed with, I discovered this really neat compost called leafgro, created by the Maryland Environmental Service from composted leaf and grass clippings. We mixed that with dirt, vermiculite, and planted our plants. Here’s a photo of me filthy dirty, and smiling wide at my first raised garden.

A good smile for a job well done

 

 

 

The plants were growing well, and I prematurely started bragging about all the brussel sprouts everyone was going to eat in a month or so. As I sat outside and watched the beauty of my garden, I also small small white butterflies dancing around the plants. How beautiful, I thought. How wrong I was. Soon my plants started looking like swiss cheese and within days, the crop was almost ruined. Cabbage worms had invaded in full force, and although I hand picked every one I saw, these little buggers had an appetite like none other.

Oh the humanity! The left over cabbage after the cabbage worm invasion.

 

I had used EcoSmart http://www.ecosmart.com/ bug spray for inside the house at this summer’s ant invasion with positive results, but even with deliberate and often applications to the cabbage worms who were feasting on my garden did not stop. As I watched my hard work go up in worms, I thought about the mass spreading of pesticides in large farming. I was going to do it the natural way, or not do it at all. I googled other natural ways to stop cabbage worms, and discovered that many use flour, which the worms eat, bloat and die. So I took my flour to the garden and sprinkled it over everything. Either the worms were done feasting on my garden, or the flour worked, because the invasion seems to have ended. The holey remains of my garden and still left, with many plants chewed beyond recognition. I am going to remove the plants who made food for bugs rather than humans, and plant my next crop, garlic, to harvest for next summer.

 

I made a few big mistakes when I did this: I saw a few holes in the leaves and wasn’t proactive enough at the first sight of this problem. I planted a bunch of plants together all in the same family, which not only takes one nutrient out of the earth, but also made a smorgasbord for an incest that eats that type of plant. My mother is a great gardener, and she reminds me about my many ancestors who were great farmers. Did they ever fail at something like this? You bet. You can’t learn without losing a few brussel sprouts, and you can’t grow food if you don’t try.

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The Benefits of a CSA

There is nothing better than getting fresh produce from the farm straight to your table

What is a CSA?

CSA (community supported agriculture) is a really neat way to support local farmers, get amazing fresh food, and provides many benefits. The basics of a CSA, depending on the farm, would be that you would join the CSA and once a week you’d be able to get a fresh box of veggies and fruits straight from the farm. Some farms you never have to set foot in the field, others give you that option in case you want to “play farmer” for a little while. Some CSAs also have eggs, dairy, and meat too.  The nuances depend on the CSA but the benefits are all the same.

 

 

What are the benefits?

1. Food in Season.  Joining a CSA gives you food that is much fresher and helps you connect to eating with the seasons. It isn’t a coincidence that strawberries taste their best in summer, and squash and pumpkins abound in fall: these are the natural seasons for these foods and it should be the season you eat them. There is NO vegetable that tastes better than the one that only had to travel in your backseat from the farm to your kitchen. Store bought produce will never taste as good. Go ahead, be a veggie connoisseur.

2. Support your local farmers. It doesn’t make much sense to buy an apple that has been shipped 2,000 miles when your local farmer is growing the same apple 3 miles away. Farming is a hard job and supporting local farmers helps boost the economy. Let’s be honest, it makes you feel good. What we spend our money on is a powerful tool and we show ourselves as mindful consumers when we make smart choices about where our money goes.

3. Teach your family. Showing children where their food comes from will help them have a whole new understanding of what they eat. Not only does joining a CSA let you get a little “time on the farm”, but your kids may eat more veggies knowing where they came from and how special they are.

4. New Recipes. Sometimes I get in a shopping rut and I buy the same things every time I go to the store. I have the same basic meals I prepare most nights. Being in a CSA exposes you to fruits and veggies you may not have tried before, and opens you up to new recipes, new cooking, and new tastes. Although you may not like everything, there are some veggies I’ve discovered that I now cannot live without.

CSA tips

Contact the CSA you are interested in to find out all the details about price, procedure, their crops, and how long the season lasts. Join a CSA that is going to work for you.

Join with a friend (or work group, or social group, or your Uncle… whoever would be interested) and share the trips to the farm by taking turns going to pick up the weekly shares.

Be open to the experience. A CSA is not for everyone but most that join really enjoy the benefits and do it again each year.

Find a local CSA at http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

 

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