Everyone has heard the old saying to “think globally but act locally”, but have you ever really thought about what that means? Acting locally isn’t as hard as it sounds. It can be as easy as driving down the street and going grocery shopping. Here in Southern California there are so many local farms to choose from. There are certain farms called U-Pick farms that allow you to go straight to the source and pick your own fruits and veggies! And if you don’t want to use the gas, there are farmers’ markets in most cities about once a week. Shopping locally can be a fun experience. Children will love to see all the colors and experience unique tastes from a variety of vegetation that you might not be able to find at the grocery store. Also I’m sure you will enjoy the low prices versus expensive costs at “organic” grocery stores.
There are many reasons to support local farmers that would appeal to you environmentally conscious ones out there and your taste buds. Shopping locally cuts down on the shipping of products. On average, the produce bought at your typical grocery store travels about 1500 miles to get to your kitchen. This causes a lot of pollution and uses large amounts of natural resources. Local farmers also use growing methods that minimize harmful impacts on the earth, opposed to the unhealthful pesticides used on store produce. When shopping at farms or farmer’s markets you are shopping seasonally. All the foods sold are in season which allows the produce to be at its ripest; ripe produce means a better taste. And just in case you needed more convincing, think about how much more nourished you would be eating produce without all that processed junk. With the growing number of agribusiness farms, family farmers are increasingly becoming obsolete. Supporting these small farmers means helping the environment, your health and community. What’s better than knowing where your food came from?
Just in Leona Valley there is Amber’s Cherry Farm and Big John’s Cherry Ranch that use no pesticides, but rather natural growing practices. At Leona Valley Organics you can shop for fresh eggs, cherries and turkeys. A farmers’ market here in the Antelope Valley occurs every Thursday on the Lancaster BLVD. In Old Town Newhall, there is also a farmers’ market every Thursday on Main Street. The Antelope Valley winery holds one every Saturday on 20th street west. Many of these markets have other surrounding attractions like performers or art workshops. So bring the children and enjoy some great food and more, or just bring your shopping basket and get tasting!