Friday, August 9, 2013

August abundance

Another long list of wonderful, fresh food available tomorrow, August 10, much of it grown locally, some items from other locations in Michigan and some from out of state. Remember to ask the vendors!
Michigan apples, and Michigan peaches; locally grown green beans, beets, bell peppers, hot peppers, blueberries and blackberries, lettuces, three kinds of onions: red, sweet and Vidalias; new potatoes: red, golden and fingerlings; fresh herbs, sweet potatoes, grape tomatoes as well as their larger siblings, zucchini and summer squash, and last but certainly not least: sweet corn, including bi-color Super Sweet corn, at the Greenman's Farm stand.

Instead of pics this week, I thought I'd feature some FAQs:
1. Why should I buy fresh  Michigan produce from the Holt Farmer's Market when I can get the same item, grown in Michigan, at the supermarket, for less money?
I would suggest two reasons:
     - at the HFM your money goes directly to the farmer, not to some mega-corporation.
     - at the HFM you can ask all the questions you want, and get really good answers, from the people who grew the food, and take pride in their products. They can tell you how they grew the item, how to store the item, how to prepare it. Try that at Kroger!

2. Why is the food at the HFM so expensive? I can't afford it!
I would suggest that the affordability of the produce at the HFM is a matter of perspective and values. When I shop at the supermarket, I see carts loaded with bottled water, pop, lots of packaged food, and maybe a few items from the produce department. Those few items from the produce department may indeed be cheaper than those at the HFM. Folks who value their health could decide that they don't need those nutrition-lite items in their cart, or  could find less expensive ways to satisfy those needs, and buy their produce at the HFM, where the produce has all the advantages listed above, plus the advantage of not having been shipped hundred/thousands of miles to get in that cart, and so it hasn't been irradiated/processed/GMOd so it can travel all those miles and arrive looking fresh.
You can tell what my values are!!

Here are some tips from the website:
Food storage: Store fresh fruits like strawberries, lettuce, and  herbs in the 'fridge at 40 degrees or less. Keep high ethylene fruits like apples separate from other fruits to help prevent over-ripeness.
Food Preparation: Cut away any damaged or bruised areas on fresh fruits and vegetables. Produce that looks rotten should be discarded (and mention it to your vendor the next week!). Keep fruits and vegetables that will be eaten raw separate form other foods such as raw meat, or poultry and from kitchen utensils used for those products.
Wash cutting boards, dishes , utensils and counter tops with soap and hot water between the preparation of those products listed above and any produce that will not be cooked.
Using plastic cutting boards? or other non-porous boards?  You can run them through the dish washer after use.
I'm excited to tell you about my recent experience with storing fresh lettuce, of course from the HFM. Two weeks ago, I bought a bag of mixed greens from the Lansing Roots Farm, which is connected to the Lansing Food Bank. I put them in the 'fridge vegetable drawer just the way they came: in a plastic which I added a half- sheet of a paper towel. I made a salad of them yesterday, and it was as fresh and tasty as the day I brought it home!!!
So, thanks for shopping at the Holt Farmer's Market, and thanks for reading this blog!

It's always sunny at the Holt Farmers' Market! 

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