Eat Local, Eat Healthy, Practice Ahimsa!

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May 22, 2012

I have always wanted to join a Community Share Agriculture (CSA) program. The concept is simple: local farmers grow healthy organic food right in your ‘hood. You support these farmers by purchasing a share of their crop and, in exchange, get to eat delicious, wholesome food.

Next time you buy produce at your grocery store, take a look at the labels, and you will see that most of what you eat is not grown locally. I was shocked to learn that my lettuce was coming from Peru and apples from the state of Washington; you name it – it’s a literal trip around the world. Imagine what they have to put on that food to preserve it all the way to Ohio, not to mention the cost and impact to the environment.

Food grown locally comes right from the earth to your table, in most cases is grown organically, and supports the environment and farmers in your hometown. Can you say win-win situation!

If you live here in northern Ohio, I’m pleased to provide the details about City Fresh, a not-for-profit program of the New Agrarian Center. They distribute locally grown, fresh fruits and veggies each week throughout Cuyahoga, Erie, and Lorain counties. Please go to www.cityfresh.org, or call 330-221-4027, to find out where they will be offering food pick-ups on a weekly basis starting June 12 and running into late October.

I’m going to be picking up my weekly veggie fix on Thursdays in Vermilion, Ohio, and I’m really excited to try out all kinds of new veggies. It will be kind of like getting a surprise basket of goodness each and every week.

Eating fresh organic fruits and vegetables can be costly, so here’s the cool part: for a single share, it is only going to cost me $15 per week. If you are on a limited income, it is only $9.

All the food is grown within 70 miles of where I’ll pick it up, is picked within 24 hours of the time I go to pick it up, and isn’t genetically modified. Plus, 95% of City Fresh produce comes pesticide and herbicide free.

City Fresh is a really powerful group – they are 100% run by local volunteers, and their trucks run on 80% waste vegetable oil. How cool is that!

If you don’t live in my neck of the woods, I encourage you to seek out a CSA in your area. When I was at Tadasana Festival, I got to meet the folks at Farm Fresh To You, who deliver organic produce right to your door throughout the greater LA area.

In case you were wondering, the ahimsa part comes in by practicing non-harmful activity – both to the environment and also by feeding yourself healthy, non-harmful foods.

Eat local, be healthy, and support local farmers!

Got a great CSA in your community that you would like to share with DDD readers? Please leave a comment below and share the local goodness.

 

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy May 22, 2012 at 5:27 PM

I recently joined Fresh Fork Market, a CSA based in Cleveland. They have expanded their pick-up locations to include Fairlawn/Copley, so it will be really convenient for me. I chose this CSA because the weekly bags will include more than produce (meats, cheese, staples, recipes, etc), they are committed to working with local farmers who will provide fresh, healthful food, and they hold social events that are also educational. They have several bag options to choose from, and it’s always possible to purchase more on the spot. I can’t wait for the summer season to begin!

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Maria @dailydownwarddog May 22, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Kathy – thanks for sharing – sounds like another great option for NE Ohio folks!

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Alex S. May 23, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Many CSAs are only available in the summer, but The Chef’s Garden offers CSA pick-up and home delivery year round: http://www.farmerjonesfarm.com. They supply chefs and are known for top quality and consistency.

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LaGitane May 24, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Nice post! I try to balance eating locally with buying fair trade fruits and veggies from afar – knowing that many families who are not as well off as we are depend on that income for their livelihood. That way even when I do buy imports (like coffee and tea, bananas, etc!), I can still do so with a feeling of ahimsa and asteya!!

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