Support your local farmer

16 Jul

We have a dynamite regional farmer’s market here in Baltimore. Located underneath the end of the Jones Falls Expressway, this market features local produce, seafood. flowers and some local crafts. Before my disability, I was able to patronize  their wide array of offerings. Alas, I cannot attend the market anymore, but this isn’t the reason why I am writing this post. I want all my readers to consider the merits of buying local, seasonal and fresh.

Market stall photo courtesy of freefoto.com

Market stall photo courtesy of freefoto.com

When you buy local, you know where your food is coming from. The food is grown on a small scale, and escape some of the pitfalls (diseases) that can be prevalent with industrial food production.  Local farmers are also big proponents of organic methods of farming, so it’s more than likely that your local farmer uses natural fertilizers and pesticides ( or pesticide free) to grow his wares. The local farmer is also closer to the food. He or she looks at it and touches it everyday, making sure that it is free of blemishes and the occasional pesky worm or bug. Your local farmer has a personal investment in what he or she sells, so naturally they will only put up the best for their customers. Roadside stands are also great; I had the best cantaloupe in my life a few years ago; my sister went to a roadside stand in Delaware ( it was four blocks from her home).

Buying local also give you a chance to try new things at a reduced price. When you buy straight from the source, you avoid the middle man. Our market has a variety of offerings that vary as the season goes on, from cherries, peaches and berries in May, to fresh collards, pumpkins squash and apples in September. Buying local also enables you to buy seasonally. This is the way nature intended us to eat. Who likes winter melons, tomatoes, and peaches? They always look so anemic and unappetizing. Yes, shipping innovations have allowed us to have these fruits and vegetables all year round, but where does the food come from?  I would rather wait for an ear of Silver Queen fro a farmer on the Eastern Shore, than have it shipped from Mexico.

Lastly, your support of these local outdoor markets pump much-needed money back into the local economy. The more we patronize these farmers, the more they can continue to provide us with fresh and wholesome food. We had several food scares in the past 4 years, from baby greens and spinach, to tomatoes. They were able to trace back where the lettuces came from, not so much with the tomatoes. Now the FDA is saying that we should be careful of fresh jalapeños as well. You won’t have to worry about that with local farmers. When you buy local, you preserve a part of history and a way of life. Whenever you see a new  housing development in the suburbs, you can believe it was once someone’s farm that went out of business.

So spend this weekend exploring your local farmer’s market ( Sunday if you plan to visit the municipal market in Baltimore). It is good for your wallet, your tummy, and your soul.

And, the farmers will thank you.

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4 Responses to “Support your local farmer”

  1. FredD. July 17, 2008 at 4:56 pm #

    This is an important topic Culinary Chick. It is very important that we support our local farmers. Those of us who have can confirm the more vibrant taste that comes from produce from local farmers. In New York we have a daily farmers market located in Union Square…Mon..Wed..Fri… Also, you’ll find a stall located on 43rd and 9th ave only during the late afternoon. Most local restaurants but from this family.. The corn on the cob ROCKS!!!

  2. culinarychick July 17, 2008 at 7:02 pm #

    Maybe now that everyone is affected by high food prices ( I nearly screamed when I saw a 4.5 lb.tray of chicken wings priced at $8.95), they will consider checking out the local Farmer’s market. There are several more Farmer’s markets in the Baltimore area. There is an Asian market on Route 40 in Catonsville, and an Amish market near Eastpoint.
    I hear they are excellent bargains.

  3. Ingrid July 18, 2008 at 1:40 am #

    CC..found you by way of Robster’s blog (rj).. as a permie (permaculturalist) myself, I totally support locally grown food although that often means farmers who live several hours away. However, that still beats something flown in from god knows where, still not ripe and sprayed with god knows what.
    Good luck with this new blog and your redirection in life. I’m sorry to hear about your disability, BUT I think with your new degree in tow (soon I hope) and having all this knowledge, those 25 yrs will/must account for something..

    keep at it.. (oh and we were just in Baltimore albeit for the airport..but hey, closer than I’ve ever been!!)

    Ingrid

  4. culinarychick July 19, 2008 at 3:56 pm #

    Ingrid,

    Thanks for your support. I am very exited about the new career prospects, although I am at bit a odds as how I will go forward. However, I will figure it out. BTW, our governor just initiated a Buy Local week that starts today. So, I am going to try and buy some corn and tomatoes today from someone’s roadside stand today. Then, I will post the results of what I make today. MMMMM!! I’m syked! Keep reading, and thank you again!

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