It has been a long time since I last posted an article. It is amazing how busy you can get in your everyday life. As time has passed, we have continued cooking ever so delicious meals, and have learned some new things.
However, the most important time in many cooks life is soon to be upon us. With the spring harvests beginning and producing wonderful ingredients to produce any dish you can imagine, soon we will be barreling into summer and fall harvest and canning and drying our hearts out, with the hope of preserving some of the fresh taste that makes spring and summer cooking so enjoyable.
With that being said, it is important to source your ingredients locally when possible. To me it makes perfect sense. Why buy corn that has been imported from another country, when most likely there is a farmer growing the best corn money can buy in your area.
As far as I am concerned, farmer’s markets are one of the best resources a good cook has. Few people can tell you more about a vegetable than the person who planted the seed, cared for it, and harvest it. Farmers are as passionate about the vegetables, as you should be about your food.
I have a hierarchy of sorts that determines where I spend my money. First and foremost is the farmer themselves. Anytime I can pay cash directly to a farmer, I’ll jump at the chance. Secondly, I will purchase things from a market that is supplied by local farmers, and only sell local, seasonal items. Last if necessary I will by from a retail grocery store, but still, will try to only buy seasonal when possible. I applaud the store Meijer for attempting to sell local when possible, so that is usually my choice. A lot of people ask me why I care, and if I really believe my ten dollars is going to save that farmers farm. This is out of context to me. See when you pay a farmer directly for produce; you are paying him for his time, labor, and skill. When you pay a grocery store, you are paying for salaries, transport, time, fuel, and overhead. The farmers sees very little of your money.
If you get a chance, talk to farmers in your area. Tracy and I have been able to tour one farm that we by from, and have petted the chickens that lay our eggs, seen the fields where out produce comes from. Another farmer recently told us where his farm is located and also told us how we can get produce from him outside of the posted times of the farmers market. We will later on this month, be touring yet another farm. The personal connection makes cooking much more pleasurable to me, and nothing beats the taste homegrown vegetables!
If you are looking for farmers markets in your area, you can check out this website http://www.local-farmers-markets.com. They have markets for large portions of the country.
So buy local, talk to farmers, preserve food for the winter, and most importantly, cook seasonal. You will not be disappointed.