Vegetable growing season is in full swing here in the Midwest. Now is a great time to start. It’s also a great a better time to commit to buying your produce from your local farmer’s market or CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).
Here are the top 10 reasons why eating local veggies is the best option for your mind, body, soul and the planet.
1. Fewer pesticides and toxins: Many local farmers grow their foods using organic farming methods or with fewer pesticides and processing than larger producers.
2. Better taste: The food tastes and stays fresher because it has less time to travel from the farm to your table.
3. Higher nutrient value: Nutrients are maximized when veggies are picked at their peak and sold within a few days.
4. Savings: Less shipping and packaging costs mean a lower total grocery bill.
5. Less impact on the environment: You generate fewer C02 emissions when you don’t require transport and refrigeration of produce across long distances.
6. Support for local farmers, the local economy, and your local community
7. Higher prana: Local veggies contain a higher “life source energy.”
8. Expanded produce repertoire: It’s a great chance to try new fruits and vegetables.
9. Improved gut health: A range of fruits and veggies helps improve your gut microbiome.
10. More mindful eating: You strengthen the mind/body connection by knowing who grew your food, where it comes from, and how it got from the farm to your plate.
Here’s one of our most recent recipes featuring asparagus grown at the Bluebird Farm in Lisbon, Iowa by Brenna and Rogan Stoops.
White Bean and Asparagus Salad
For the Salad:
1 pound asparagus, with ends trimmed off
1 14.5-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups spring greens
1/4 cup shredded carrots
3 green onions, thinly sliced
For the Dressing:
1/2 cup fresh tarragon
1 lemon, 1/2 zested, then squeezed for juice
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. In a large pot, add 8 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a rolling boil.
2. While the water is heating up, in a large bowl combine 6 cups water and 2 cups ice.
3. When the water is at boiling, add the trimmed asparagus. Let boil for about 1 minute or until bright blue-green. Transfer immediately to the ice water bath. Let the asparagus chill in the bath for 5 minutes.
4. Pat the asparagus dry, then cut into 1-inch pieces on the diagonal.
5. In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine all of the dressing ingredients except the oil. Pulse a few times until garlic is roughly chopped. Turn the processor back on and stream in the olive oil.
6. Combine all of the salad ingredients, reserving a bit of zest and a bit of carrots and maybe even some thyme for your final garnishes.