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Eat Locally Grown for Better Health

 

by Stacy Whitman

 

The fall harvest is here, and with it, an opportunity to nourish your body with the bounty of fresh produce grown in and around the Wood River Valley.

“Local” has been a fast-growing trend in the culinary world for several years, with more and more consumers seeking out fresh local options for fruits and veggies along with meat, dairy, beans, and eggs. Purchasing food from small community-based farms is not only good for our local economy and the environment, it’s also great for your health.

Fruits and veggies grown on nearby farms are fresher, tastier and nutritious than those shipped thousands of miles. As soon as produce is harvested, it begins to lose nutrients – especially vitamins A, C, E, and some B. The less time it takes to get to your plate, the more nutrient dense and flavorful it will be.

Short travel distance isn’t the only reason why local produce is nutritionally superior. According to an Organic Center report, “Farmers producing for a local and direct market…are more likely to prioritize taste and nutritional quality over durability when making varietal decisions.” They also tend to have higher soil quality thanks to regenerative farming practices.

Eating locally grown food means eating with the seasons, which brings natural diversity to your diet. Forget food ruts! With seasonal eating, you adjust what your diet based on what’s fresh and available. By doing so, you get to enjoy fruits and veggies when they are at their peak taste and freshness, are the most abundant, and the least expensive.

WHAT’S IN SEASON NOW

The fall harvest boasts an abundance of colorful fruits and veggies rich in vitamins and antioxidants that help bolster your immune system for cold and flu season.

  • Apples and pears
  • Carrots and beets
  • Winter squash
  • Tomatoes and cucumbers
  • Peppers and eggplant
  • Sweet corn and fresh beans
  • Melons and stone fruits
  • Herbs and greens
  • Onions and garlic

A GUIDE TO EATING LOCALLY

Stock up on fresh seasonal produce at the Wood River Farmers’ Markets in Ketchum (Tuesdays through October 9, 2-6pm, in Town Square) and in Hailey (Thursdays through September 27, 2-6pm, on the grassy lot on Main Street, just north of Sturtevants). While you’re there, stop and talk to local growers about their farming practices.

Pick up locally grown goods at Wood River Valley groceries including NourishMe (151 Main Street in Ketchum), Atkinsons’ Markets (in Ketchum, Hailey and Bellevue) and The Village Market (100 Main Street North in Ketchum).

Order online at Kraay’s Market & Garden (from Sunday at 11am to Monday at 4pm) for free Wednesday delivery of high-quality, organically grown produce, grass-fed meats, artisan prepared foods, breads, and specialty items. LINK: https://www.kraaysmarketgarden.com/

Gather seasonal recipes that utilize what’s fresh and available now – check Local Food Alliance and Kraay’s Market & Garden for ideas.

From September 28 to October 15, you can purchase fresh-picked Idaho apples, organically grown veggies, potatoes, raw local honey and more to support the Hemingway FarmRaiser! Proceeds from the sale go toward educational programs, classroom supplies, teacher enrichment and special school events at Hemingway STEAM School. Find a Hemingway student or click HERE to access the Hemingway FarmRaiser online store.

Sign up for Onsen Farm’s Winter CSA for fresh-picked produce delivered to your door all winter long. From November through May (with a few weeks off in January), receive a reusable shopping bag filled with the pick of the week  – think salad greens, kale, chard, watercress, green onions, herbs, onions, potatoes, winter squash, Meyer lemons, and dried beans – twice a month. Onsen’s CSA shares are harvested on Wednesday and Thursday mornings and delivered on Thursday afternoons.

 

 

 

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