Posted on May 2nd, 2022
As I walked into Verrill Farm one frigid Saturday morning, the smell of Steve Verrill’s famous wood stovetop beef stew captivated my senses. Beef stew is the quintessential winter comfort food. Watching Farmer Steve make the stew with such care using farm-fresh vegetables, locally sourced beef, and homemade spices reminded me of how fortunate we are to have so many farms right in our backyard.
If you’re a bona fide “foodie” like I am, you know that locally-grown food looks, feels, and tastes better than processed foods. There is no better taste than a farm-fresh heirloom tomato, an ear of sweet corn, or a newly picked, mouthwatering strawberry.
The fruits and vegetables you buy at local farms are the freshest and tastiest, providing the best nutrition possible. The crops are picked at their peak, and there is a shorter time between getting the food from the farm to your kitchen table.
Fruits are allowed to ripen fully in the field and are brought directly to you — no long-distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process, no sitting for weeks in storage. This food is as real as it gets — fresh from the farm.
You also can find an amazing selection of products that you don’t see at the average supermarket — a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, purple cauliflower, stinging nettles, green garlic, sunchokes, Romanesco broccoli, and watermelon radishes. Biodiversity never tasted so good!
At most farms, you can usually also find fresh eggs, honey, herbs, and flowers. Many farms offer a wide selection of healthy soups, salads, and entrees — all made with farm-fresh produce and meats — to be enjoyed at home.
Just like produce farmers, meat farmers value quality. Their reputation for good meat is on the line when they sell to the public. Purchasing locally grown meat is not only beneficial for the local farmer, it is good for the local economy and the local environment. Meat producers that engage in sustainable grazing practices help carbon get pulled from the atmosphere and stored in the soil, thereby improving soil quality.
BENEFITS TO BUYING PRODUCE AND MEATS FROM LOCAL FARMS
Local farms have a variety of meat cuts and volumes available, with an abundance of options to choose from, including pasture-raised, grain-finished, all-natural, and organic. Buying directly from farms or local markets gives you an opportunity to talk with the farmer and learn more about how their animals are raised while also providing a secure supply of wholesome protein.
Original article: https://www.emersonhospital.org/articles/farm-fresh-vegetables-winter
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