A little bit of a detour this Foodie Friday. Instead of talking about how food is prepared and served, this week I want to tell you a bit about where some of my food comes from, and it’s not a supermarket.
One of my favorite things about having moved to NorthCarolina is that I live in the middle of many farms. Most of them produce corn and soybeans and tobacco, but there is also a fairly local farm that offers fruits and vegetables. Each week I go online and can order a box of whatever is in season as well as some fantastic canned goods such as pickled okra or salsa made at the farm. They deliver the box to my house, and most of what’s in it has been picked earlier that day or the day before. That’s a serious flavor upgrade from what you get at the store, which might have been picked a week ago.
While not organic, the farm is a GAP certified farm (Good Agriculture Practices) and is very careful to maintain a safe and healthy farm. The majority of their plants are started from seeds in the greenhouse. They purchase expensive hybrid seeds, which means they get good quality plants to grow the vegetables. The use of any pesticides or fungicides is closely monitored with all the crops. They use as little as possible, in part for health reasons and in part because chemicals are expensive. While not inexpensive, the produce is less expensive than buying organic produce ar the store and the quality is a huge upgrade.
I’m not alone in my thinking about supporting smaller farms. Maybe you’ve joined a CSA – Community Supported Agriculture – near you. If not, you can learn more about it here and search for one near you. It points us to a broader business point as well. There’s often a tendency to focus on the easy and less expensive in business as well as on the “big guys” (you’ve probably heard the expression that no one ever gets fired for buying IBM, ATT, etc.). Now – especially now as we’re beginning to come out of an economic disaster – is a great time to look at smaller options. Maybe the product isn’t as uniform as what the big guys produce, maybe it’s a little more expensive, but it might also taste better and be better for you. It’s almost certainly made with more care.
Something to chew on this weekend!