Feb 25

Farm Fresh

If you’re at all wondering why the farm-to-table trend is so popular, please…go to the farm! There are countless reasons why you’ll benefit from knowing your farmer…

• Understand where clean food comes from

• Avoid produce grown with pesticides, herbicides and GMOs

• Ensure freshness and seasonality

• Enjoy greater variety

• Support your environment and local economy

• Preserve local farmland

• Help create a sustainable food system.

 

But that’s not all! After just a few hours volunteering at the farm, my children always comment, “We just don’t get why produce isn’t the most expensive thing in the grocery store!” One could argue that there is nothing else that provides us with the nutritional value of fresh produce. And while I firmly believe that there are few people more important in my life than the farmer who grows my food, the fact is that locally grown farm-fresh produce simply tastes great!

Last week’s Urban Oaks Organic Farm’s Grazing Tour proved all of these points. There we were, in the dead of winter in New England, touring this urban farm’s six greenhouses and grazed on a bounty of fresh produce as we went. From arugula, mustard greens and nasturtium, to baby chard, kale and herbs, we gorged ourselves on more greens than you would find in your grocery store produce section. To top it off, we returned to the farmstand where we created and shared a delicious green salad tossed with a vinaigrette made using Meyer lemons and fresh herbs, all picked fresh from the farm. Nutritious, locally grown, fresh and delicious! Need I say more? Take a look for yourself.

 

Greenhouse 6...among the rosemary shrubs and rows of the baby greens. Urban Oaks Organic Farm.

Greenhouse 6…among the rosemary shrubs and rows of baby greens. Urban Oaks Organic Farm.

 

Freshly picked mixed winter greens, slaw of watermelon radish, cannellini beans, raisins and sprouted pumpkin seeds, Meyer lemon vinaigrette. VerTerra sustainable dishes. Yum!

Freshly picked mixed winter greens, slaw of watermelon radish, cannellini beans, raisins and sprouted pumpkin seeds, Meyer lemon vinaigrette. VerTerra sustainable dishes. Yum!

 

Know your farmer! Farmer Mike Kandefer is mine –greenest thumb around!

Know your farmer! Farmer Mike Kandefer is mine – greenest thumb around!

I hope to see you at Urban Oaks or one of the many other incredible farms in the area. To find a listing of farms near you, visit Local Harvest or the Eat Well Guide. If you’re interested in farm-fresh produce and in supporting a local farm, this is also the perfect time of year to start checking out summer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) that allows you to pre-purchase a share of the upcoming season’s produce and provides much needed financial support to farmers for the incredible amount of work that goes into providing produce between now and harvest.

And of course, when you come home from the farm with your produce, go straight to the back of your CLEAN FOOD and CLEAN START cookbooks, look up the ingredient in the index and pick a recipe to try. One new clean food recipe a week and by the end of a year, you’ll be eating clean and living well!

Terry Walters

 

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