I was reading that bad habits are easy to develop but difficult to break. Good habits are difficult to develop, but easier to maintain. These good habits are obviously the ones that ultimately serve us better. All of us may have different habits we wish to create, break, or strengthen this year. For us, we want to continue to eat well while serving and educating others who wish to do the same.
So why should we better our eating habits? Why is eating local better for us? In addition to getting to know your neighbors better, build relationships, and learn more about your food, there are numerous benefits to eating locally grown.
1.The quality of food is higher
Once food is harvested from its source, the clock starts on the quality of the food. The moisture starts to lessen, the nutrients start to go down, and spoilage begins. Local produce is harvested within 24 hours of being sold. Grocery stores take weeks between being harvested, packaged, transported, then being stocked on the shelves for you to purchase. We harvest the highest quality produce, without chemical sprays, to ensure freshness for a longer shelf life. There is no better inspector to the food you consume than yourself. Buying directly from your local farmer gives you the opportunity to personally inspect the food they produce for you. You are your Farmers' Quality Control.
2. Local produce has more nutrients
We do not have to worry about long distances to travel, therefore we can wait till the produce is fully ripened and at the peak of its nutrients to harvest. This gives us produce in full color, size, AND flavor.
3. When you eat local, you will be eating in season
Contrary to most grocery stores, not every fruit or vegetable sold does not mean that it is in season to your local area. Before grocery stores, we ate to what was in season and available. Eating seasonally is actually best for your body as it gives your body what is REQUIRED in each season where you live. In the Spring, leafy greens are great to help detox from the heavier foods in Winter. In the Summer, fruits are great to keep you hydrated through the heat. Eating seasonally helps your body through each season.
4. You are supporting your community and other local families
You may not know who you are purchasing from when you shop at your local grocery store chain. However, when you buy directly from the local farmer, you are putting money back into your local economy and supporting a family. As a small family of 4, we greatly appreciate everyone who has supported us!
5. It is more likely to be organic
On our farm, we work with nature, using regenerative and sustainable practices under permaculture. We avoid using any kind of sprays and focus on companion planting for pest removal. Our planting beds are on contour, helping us retain the most amount of moisture while mitigating erosion. We focus on quality rather than quantity. Buying locally means that you are actually getting a much higher standard than most organic-label brands at the store.
Wondering where to start this year?
We provide garden consults, where Vinny will come to your home and help you start or revitalize your garden in your own backyard. This Winter season is a great time to set up a garden and start prepping for the Spring. Reach out to us on our contact page, thearrowsfarm.com/contact to get started.
Back in the Fall, I had shared a blog of seasonal foods. Below is an updated list for this winter in Georgia. All produce marked with a star is what we are growing. Use our contact page if you'd like to stop by the farm to set a pick up time (on Saturdays) or message me on our Facebook or Instagram page, @thearrowsfarm.
We hope your habits lead you to a healthier, happier, and joyful 2024!
-The Arrows Farm