Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spport Your Local Farmers

I learned yesterday why strawberries have been so inexpensive for us lately.  Due to the cool season in Florida, the strawberry harvest was slightly delayed, putting it in line with the California harvest.  This is great for us Canadians who can only buy our berries in a grocery store at this time of year.  What it means for the US berry farmers, is less $.  There is so much supply, without extra demand, their prices are lower and they are making less $ than a usual year. 

As a market gardener, this makes me sad.  I like being a market gardener because I sell directly to my customers.  My food costs roughly the same as it does in a grocery store, but the profit comes to me, not the middle man.  Some say our prices should be lower than the grocery store because there is not a middle man, but growing without pesticides requires extra hours weeding, bug picking, tilling, etc.  I feel I have a higher quality product than the 'sprayed broccoli' I just bought.  I also grow many (not exculisive) interesting, heirloom varieties, that require more acreage as yields are lower than conventional hybrid varieties.  Anyway, this isn't to talk about how much my tomatoes should cost...

What it is about is to encourage anyone that can buy locally, directly from their farmers/growers to do so.  You are putting money back into your community, often supporting small, family businesses.  You can talk to your farmer, know how the food is produced and where, making educated food choices.  Go to a farmers market, join a CSA.
I also want to say I do believe in large food corporations and shipping pineapples or berries when they can't be produced or are out of season to northern climates.  At the same time, I believe that when food is in season in your area, effort should be made to purchase locally.  So support your berry farmers, they need you this year! :)

And, in a semi-supportive way, I put strawberries on my Dorset cereal this morning.
I had the other half of yesterday's Cliff bar and an apple throughout the morning.
Sashimi Lunch.  The perfect mid week lunch.
The afternoon was really dragging as I was thinking about grey kitty and going home to plant.  I feel really sad for grey kitty.  Hopefully he gains some weight and becomes a permanent member of our farm.  So, to distract myself, I had a smoothie, and also some chocolate from a coworkers Easter bunny.
At home I planted a couple rows of peas and made a tasty bbq dinner.  Simply bbq chicken thighs with bbq sauce, roast sweet potatoes, that turned out sort of mashed, and steamed broccoli.
A great bowl of frozen yogurt after dinner.

At Sweet and Savory Food you can enter to win a CUPCAKE HEAVEN GIVEAWAY!  Who doesn't want cupcakes?

Jess

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for the shout out Jessica! Good luck!

    I also support local farmers...but like you, here in Iowa, due to winter, our farmer's markets don't open until May and go through October. I am itching to get to one! Do you sell?

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  2. I love shopping at the market in the summer. I go every Saturday to pick a few things up. All my other veggies come from from my garden or my Mom's.

    Grey kitty sounds like he kinda wants to stick around. I hope to see/hear more of him, too!

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  3. Great post. I agree with you! I shop at our farmers market year round and at least twice a week in the summer :)

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  4. that was really interesting about the strawberries. they're SUPER cheap right now (4 pints for $5!) and i had no idea why. thanks for the info!

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  5. oo i LOVE farmers markets! everything is SO fresh-it makes me so happy! and cheap too!

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  6. love this post! and i LOVE farmers markets! i'm so glad it's warm enough that thay'll start popping up again1

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