Saturday, February 28, 2009

Local is Best!

What could be better than driving through the rolling countryside for 10 minutes to buy local honey from a kind man at his beautiful farm?  Nothing!  That is just what I was doing this morning.  I used to buy "Walt's Swarmbustin Honey" 
at our local dairy or natural food store, but then I noticed that Walt's address is West Grove, the same as ours.  I gave him a call and have been to his farm twice to pick out my own honey.  Much better than a store!  I have had the chance to chat with Walt, see where he produces his honey, and become a part of my honey experience!  Most importantly, my children and I can enjoy Walt's Fall Wildflower honey (the best!)  on our fresh bread in the morning!  YES!  

I decided to write about this fun experience as I think about buying our food locally.  I have always been interested in buying at farmer's markets and local farms, but now it has become a passion of mine.  For the last 6 years, I have bought a lot of our produce from a local Amish family, Mary and Abner Stoltzfus.  It is truly wonderful to wait while Mary goes and picks the vegetables that I have requested.   Strawberries still warm from the June sunshine can't be beat!

In our new home, we now have Mother Earth organic mushroom farm right around the corner.  I often pick up a box of fresh, organic mushrooms grown a few miles from our home.

But, of course, the most local food is that which we produce ourselves!  Organic gardening has been a great joy for me.  NOTHING beats seeing my children picking food from our garden and eating it on the spot!  Maddie grew and ate so many tomatoes last year, along with beautiful flowers which she would cut and bring into our home, as well as gift to others.  Ben could not get enough peas and is currently counting down the days until he can plant his own (finally almost here!).  Leah grew her own carrots last year, which she really enjoyed harvesting.  It is so much fun to pull up a carrot and see how big it is!  And Amelia grew so many cherry tomatoes that some rotted on the plant because we had trouble finding them in the jungle that it became!  For me, this is IT!  The absolute best!  I felt overwhelmed with joy when I could fill a basket with what would be our dinner right from my garden.  This year, I will add potatoes, onions, and strawberries to our list of food that we grow.  So, the list will include peas, spinach, lettuce, chard, kale, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, basil, onions, garlic, potatoes, strawberries, blueberries, asparagus, squash, pumpkins, corn, broccoli, ....and maybe some more!  So far, I have little broccoli, lettuce, and kale seedlings growing in our spare room. Fabulous to see this beginning of the growing season right in our home!

As a sticker on the back of my car says, "Buy Fresh, Buy Local!"

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