Eat fresh & local
I am fortunate to live in an area that has abundant Farmers Markets that operate year-round. They not only offer fresh, locally-grown produce, but baked goods, jams & jellies, cheeses, nuts, cut flowers, and a variety of local artisan crafts.
The summer months are my favorite. I can find summer fruits that are at their peak of ripeness and flavor, unlike the under-ripe, flavorless versions that are sold in the grocery stores. Cherries, peaches, apricots, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries all taste better (and are often cheaper) when they are locally grown and picked within the last 48 hours.
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And I just found out that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a new online tool to help you find a Farmers Market in your area.
Type in your zip code and a search radius to get a list of the markets. You can then select each individual market for more information, such as hours of operation, contact information, number of vendors, types of products available (including organic), and payments options.
Many Farmers Markets accept payment from federal supplemental nutrition programs such as WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrion Assistance Program).
Check it out and treat yourself to a rainbow of the freshest vegetables and fruits: red beets, peppers and raspberries; orange nectarines, carrots and peaches; yellow crookneck squash and golden cherry tomatoes; green peppers, beans, spinach and kale; blueberries, blackberries, eggplant and deep purple heirloom tomatoes.
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Challenge yourself or your kids to try a vegetable you’ve never tasted before. Or find a new recipe; the vendors will be happy to help you!
Eating should be fun and delicious as well as healthy, don’t you agree?