Organic baskets for fresh and healthy produce
If you have not already done so, it is a great time to subscribe to organic baskets for the spring/summer/fall season. I have been doing this for the last 4 years and I truly believe that it’s the best way to get fresh, local vegetables and fruit at the best prices. It also encourages our local economy and it encourages sustainable agriculture. When you pick up your weekly or bi-weekly baskets, you get to talk with the people who work at the farm and you can ask them questions about the produce, about the farm and about their farming methods.
Why is local so good? First, as mentioned above, we encourage our local economy. Second, because the farm is so close to where you live, the time between the moment the vegetables are harvested and the moment you receive them is so little that most nutrients are preserved. When we eat imported vegetables and fruits, there is a lot of time allocated to transport and warehousing and often the vegetables or fruits ripen in the warehouses after they are harvested. By getting to us like that, they lose lots of nutrients by the time they reach our plates.
In the summer, when I get my fresh local vegetables and fruits, I also like to make little challenges with myself to try all the new vegetables that I receive and to not waste anything. The first few summers, it was a little trickier because I wasn’t used to it and I sometimes didn’t plan properly. The last 2 summers have been better and I have gotten into a good routine. The important thing is to be open minded and to also be open to eating the produce as simply as possible. If I don’t have time to find a recipe that includes the new veggies featured, I throw them into a salad. Any veggies are good in salads unless they are too starchy and require some cooking. I can then throw them into a stir fry or roast them in the oven for a delicious side dish. I also like to read the farm’s newsletter as they offer some information as well as some recipes about the veggies that are less known.
One of the vegetables that I have discovered at the farm that supplies me with my baskets is the Japanese turnip which contrarily to our regular turnip is very delicious raw with some dip or tossed into a salad.
Here is a link to Equiterre where you can find your closest farm.