Where to Find Fresh Local Produce

When I think of summer, I think about watermelon, fresh salads, sweet corn, grilling, boating, swimming, and basking in the sun. Ahhh, that sounds nice.

Whether you’re at home this summer or spending some time on vacation away from home, you can find fresh high quality produce wherever you are. Instead of shopping at the grocery store for organic fruits and vegetables, head to the nearest farm stand or farmer’s market. If you want a weekly supply of produce freshly picked from a local farm, in many cases its still not to late to join a CSA or community supported agriculture farm.

Why? Fresh vegetables, leafy greens, and other high quality produce are available locally just about anywhere you go in the summer.

My good friend Meg with 8 quarts of strawberries at a farmers’ market in California
  • It is usually picked the day you buy it which is a big contrast from produce flown or trucked from all over the world or about 2,000 miles on average to get to you.
  • Fresh local produce is picked at the peak of ripeness. When food has to be shipped thousands of miles, it takes days or weeks to get to you. As a result, fruits and vegetables are often picked before they are ripe and ripened along the way or chemically.
  • It’s filled will loads of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, and phytochemicals. These super-potent nutrients degrade over time so the faster you can eat food from when its picked, the better.
  • Fresh produce just tastes better. Don’t believe me? Do a taste test. Buy a peach from your home town and compare it with a peach flown from California or Georgia. Buy a green bell pepper grown where you’re at and compare it with a green bell pepper flown from Mexico or California. Try it for yourself– your taste buds don’t lie.

Some grocery stores are starting to stock more local produce and this is a decent option if you can’t get fresh high quality produce directly from the farm. Just keep in mind that cutting out the middle man (grocery store distribution) and getting food directly from the farm will often help you save money, get the quantity that you need, and meet and thank the farmer that feeds you!

To find a comprehensive listing of farmers markets, farm stands, Community Supported Agriculture farms, and other farm products like you-pick orchards, go to www.localharvest.org. Just type in the zip code of where you live or where you are going to be!

Enjoy the pure decadence of fresh local organic fruits and vegetables. =)

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Erin Harner

Erin Harner is an Integrative Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), author, and speaker based in Ithaca, NY. Erin melds functional medicine and culinary nutrition to help her clients uncover their unique diet and confidently cook healthy nourishing meals that meet the needs of their whole family. Learn about Erin's services and connect on Instagram.

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