by Loris Sofia Gregory, Healthy Kitchen Coach
August brings some of the healthiest peak pleasures of the summer. This month gives us a dazzling abundant palette to tantalize our taste buds: the crisp greens of broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, kale and zucchini; the succulent oranges and reds of beets, carrots, peppers, radishes, melons and tomatoes; the sunny yellows of sweet corn and summer squash, not to mention a fragrant riot of flavorful herbs.
Satisfying meals and optimum health are not the only benefits of eating a rainbow of our FRESH & LOCAL produce. You are also supporting 25 Amish families who comprise the Wisconsin Grower’s Cooperative. These farmers of rural Black River Falls and Mondovi use horse-drawn plows and hand tools to provide Valley Natural Foods shoppers with some of the highest-quality produce grown in the Midwest. Most of the farms are certified organic and all grow their produce to organic standards. Nourishing their soil and growing crops without pesticides is a time-proven way of life for these farmers, while supporting health for themselves, their farms and our shoppers.
Al Weinrich, former logger and neighbor of one of the families, serves as the cooperative’s sales and delivery man. Al only delivers farmer-satisfied produce. Hand picked fresh the day before, stored on ice and delivered twice a week to VNF, buying produce from these farmers enables parents and children to work side by side in their fields while making a living. Wisconsin Cooperative Growers exemplifies sustainable agriculture at its best and is proof that small family farms can still thrive.
The best medicine for our fast-food culture is as close as a kitchen brimming with FRESH & LOCAL food. Gather family and friends for a satisfying summer picnic of life-sustaining local food and conversation. As author Barbara Kingsolver has noted, “Food is the rare moral arena in which the ethical choice is generally the one more likely to make you groan with pleasure.” What’s fresh, local and inspiring in your kitchen right now?
Look for this FRESH & LOCAL blog the first Wednesday of each month and be inspired by our FRESH & LOCAL class series starting on August 16. See class details on our Facebook page and sign up by calling 952-891-1212 ext 221 or by stopping by the customer service counter.
Loris Sofia Gregory is a holistic health coach and writer based in Apple Valley. Explore more at lorissofiagregory.com and contact her at 952.431.5586 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for coupons? Save $.50 on one lb. minimum purchase of local candy onions, save $.75 on one lb. minimum purchase on local cucumbers and $3.00 on our August FRESH & LOCAL class purchase with online coupons! Coupons good through August 9, 2011.