Monday, November 2, 2009

Organically Grown Locally

There is absolutely nothing quite like really fresh, locally grown produce. And when I say fresh, I mean "I just pulled this out of the earth" fresh. My favorite farmer is just a scant drive away from our home, and I take great delight in purchasing organic fruits and veggies from his stand. Not only do they taste amazing, but they also cost next to nothing. For absolutely NO effort on my part of trying to grow a garden in my back yard, I have all the advantages of just that.

Fernando is an amazing farmer; previously employed in the construction industry, he found himself out of work when everything came to a grinding halt a couple years ago. That's when he decided to begin growing his own food and open a little fruit and veggie stand. He's grown to love his work and says even if the construction industry ever comes back, he still plans to stay put at his little farm growing fresh produce for himself and all the locals here who love him for it.

I appreciated the reporting by Tom Brokaw on NBC on the importance of buying locally and from farmers who carefully consider their work; a beautiful piece of reporting describing how we, the consumer, can actually fix the food system by simply choosing carefully where and what we buy. . Choosing small local farms that don't use chemical pesticides or fertilizers means that we get a higher quality end product. We get a product which will serve the intended effect of nourishing our bodies - not harming them. I believe it's very important that we as the consumer make our voice heard: our health counts, and that means the food we eat should be grown conscientiously. Just because we can buy scads of uber cheap produce from government subsidized farms thousands of miles from our homes, does NOT mean that is the way we will be spending our money. I say the health of our nation's citizens is more valuable than saving some lose change to get a cheaper product. And while some local, organic produce may cost more, in many cases it doesn't. Fernando's Produce prices are very competitive, and frequently cheaper than buying elsewhere. Not only that, but he gives me any veggies that are on their way out free of charge to feed to my chickens; talk about smart recycling!

To Fernando of Fernando's Produce in Summerfield, thanks for making this possible in our area. We truly appreciate your efforts in supplying our community with thoughtfully grown organic produce.

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