What can you find at your local farmer’s market? Farm fresh lettuces, kale, swiss chard, beets, asparagus, strawberries, honey, fresh bread, trout, cheese and eggs. The items you find are homemade, grown organically (free from toxic pesticides) and nutrient-dense. When an organic fruit or vegetable is allowed to ripen on the vine, the quality is superior in both taste and nutrition.
Conventional farming practices soared after World War II as the government began to look for ways to repurpose unused substances, primarily nitrogen (a primary ingredient in fertilizer). Mass produced vegetables usually travel long distances with the pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers used to grow them. Mono-cropping, repeated growing of one crop on the same land, weakens the plant and its natural resistance to pests. Conventional farming has drastically changed the health of the soil. The depletion of vital minerals in the soil makes a less mineral-rich vegetable on your plate. In essence, post WWII broccoli looks the same as before, but has far less of the nutritional value than its ancestor.
So how can we enjoy the fat of the land and eat what nourishes us: body, mind, and soul? The food grown locally and sustainably is often grown with biodiversity on the farm. Growers of good vegetables and meats are also growing good soil. Holistic management of a farm is an art, and the practices of re-building the mineral balances of life-giving soil takes years of work and attention. Any amount of money spent with your local growers for the finest products is an investment in the health of your body and the health of your community. Fortunately our local grocers have access to many fresh, in-season foods. Unfortunately, some state laws prohibit open sales of unpasteurized milk and butter. These super foods are excellent sources of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, and K which work with the minerals for optimum nourishment. Together the fats and minerals are the mortar and bricks for a strong body and clear thinking.
On Saturdays: The Highlands Market will meet at the Kelsey-Hutchinson Park beginning in May.