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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

No Green Gene? No Problem, Visit a Farmer’s Market


In March 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama broke ground for the White House organic garden. I watched her on television as she made the first dig, and was thrilled at the site of the twenty-three fifth graders from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, D.C., digging right along with her. The 1,100-square-foot garden plot is located on the south lawn of the White House. The garden is a symbol that educates and encourages children about nutritious foods to eat. It will provide food for the White House’s First Family, staff, visitors, and also help feed the hungry. 

Growing up, we always had a garden. Although my mom, Hazel Ann, may not give herself this title, but I label her as an “avid gardener.” Along with my in-laws, Ernestine and Jay, she grew up eating organic vegetables and fresh fruits grown from her backyard. Unfortunately, everything I plant dies, so I guess the green gene skipped me. Now, as a mother, I sometimes feel guilty because I don’t have a garden to gather fresh vegetables. Instead, I buy fruits and vegetables from the local grocery store.

Optimistic, I decided to venture out and learn more about organic foods and various ways to support local farmers. I gained an interest in buying directly from farmers, after visiting Sag Harbor’s Farmers Market. While at the market, the weather matched the personalities of the farmers: absolutely beautiful. There were white tents lined up in a row with local farmers selling everything from vegetables, baked goods, cheese, honey, fish, and much more. Many farmers offered samples to my family and me as we visited each tent. The food was very tasty and nutritious.

We live in a super-sized world where fast food and eating out is advertised on a daily basis. Sometimes easy access to fast foods can make us forget about what is most nutritious for us to eat. Local Harvest.org web site states, “The best organic food is what's grown closest to you. Use our website to find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.” I’ve used the website to help find local farmers’ markets near my community. The next trip to the farmers’ market will be at Serenbe. I look forward to instilling in our children the lifestyle of eating healthy and supporting local farmers. 

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