Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Produce on the Corner!

One thing (of many) I'm going to miss is the easy access to cheap, local produce available at my doorstep.  In Israel nearly all produce is locally grown and it is rare to have any produce imported.  This forces us to eat what is in season and plan meals accordingly!  This was a huge shift from living in the US where you can buy nearly any type of produce at any time of year.  I'm lucky enough that I have a produce stand right on the corner about a 30 second walk from my apartment building and it is one of 3 such produce stands in our area in addition to our local supermarket.  Prices vary per vendor but in general the price is very low.  I bought all the produce seen in the pictures below for only $10, including the fresh eggs.



Eating fresh, in season food is part of my minimalist lifestyle and one that I hope to keep up after our move to the states.  Here are some tips I will be following to make sure fresh produce stays a part of my lifestyle in the states:

Farmers Markets: Where we are moving there are five fabulous farmers markets that gather every summer and well into the fall!  Market at the Square in Urbana, Illinois and Farmers Market at Country Fair and 3 others in Champaign, Illinois.  Just search on the internet to find a variety of farmers markets near you!

Community Supported Agriculture: Another way to get in-season produce is by finding local farms near you who have programs you can sign up for to receive weekly to monthly produce boxes delivered to your door!  Illinois has a wonderful site helping connect people with farmers in their area who provide this service: http://www.value-added.org/communityCoop/csa.asp.  Search the internet for similar programs in your area!

Menu Planning:  A sure fire way to make sure you are eating fresh produce is to know what is in season where you live!  After a quick internet search I found MANY sites, but this one has a directory for each state called Field to Plate.  Usually produce found at the grocery store will be cheapest when it is in season and locally grown, so know what to look for and plan your meals accordingly!

Sales:  Make note of when produce goes on sale at your local supermarket and plan your shopping trips accordingly!  When we were living in the states we noticed that our local store had major sales every Sunday with many produce items being 10 items for $10.  Take advantage of the sales and promotions your local stores have so you have have healthy, fresh produce all year long!

I hope these tips and tricks will inspire you to look for ways to eat local, fresh produce in your area!  Please share with me your own ideas, inspirations and resources for clean and healthy eating in the comments!