Monday, January 7, 2013

Why Fresh?

I believe in eating fresh, locally-grown seasonal produce. My philosophy is fresh is best; frozen (or home-canned) is next; and grocery store cans as a last resort. Why? Well, as promised, I am going to share Reason 1 of 3.

But first, let me preface by saying that if there were no other reasons in the world, this is reason enough for me choose fresh.

It's all about TASTE. Fresh just tastes better. It's as simple as that. Eating blueberries straight from the bush is like eating candy from God. Reminds me of the Proverb, Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! He provides candy every season - blueberries, peaches, strawberries, grapes (nothing quite like Southern muscadines), watermelon (one of my favorites), raspberries, and SO MUCH MORE!

If you don't believe me when I say fresh tastes better, then I challenge you to a taste test. I have done this many times, but one that stands out in my mind is one I did with my oldest daughter when she was about 8 or 9 years old. We bought fresh peaches one hot summer day from the Farmers Market. While at the grocery store later that day, we bought a couple of peaches that had been picked before their prime and shipped across the country with the intentions of doing a taste test. Well, needless to say, the Farmers Market peaches won, hands down! They were softer, juicier and, well, let's just say she was giggling as she ate them! :)

It may be a little bit of extra effort to grow your own, or to spend an hour or two each week shopping at the Market, but in the end it is worth it. That is, if taste is important to you.

Tomorrow, I'll share Reason 2.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It's a Choice

My grandmothers didn't have a choice. If they wanted their family to eat, they had to have gardens, and livestock, too. They would process, preserve, can, and freeze their bounties. It was a means of survival. "Waste not; want not" was how they lived. And they passed it onto my parents' generation. Who in turn passed it onto me.

But with the advent of large scale, conventional farming in the 70s, and an abundant supply of pre-packaged processed foods in grocery stores on every corner today, the hard work of growing and preserving one's own food has almost become extinct. Notice I said almost.

Today we have a choice; and I am glad to see a resurgence of small family farms, urban gardening, home canning, and a renewed appreciation for this way of life. I choose to continue on with my grandmother's ways. Only tweaked a bit to make it work with my suburban lifestyle. There are basically 3 reasons why I made this choice. Tomorrow, I'll share Reason No. 1.

What about you? What do you choose?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Pesticide-Free

The hunt is on! My email box has been inundated with requests for pesticide-free produce. Well, I don't know how he does it, but my brother, the farmer, can crank out the pesticide-free!

Here's what's available now, along with spinach and red radishes, all produced with no pesticides.

Mustard Greens

Daikon Radishes

 

Butternut Squash

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Where Does Your Food Grow?

The following is a true story.

Once there was little girl who was visiting her friend's house one hot summer afternoon. The friend's mother offered the little girl some watermelon. The little girl tasted the melon. "Mmmmm! This is the best watermelon ever!" she said, with a great big smile and watermelon juice dripping from her chin. "My dad grew it on his farm," the mother said. "Oh?" the little girl paused. "I thought watermelons came from the grocery store."

We must not lose sight of where our food grows! I am so thankful for the many times my dad would pick a watermelon from the vine, late in the day, just before the summer sun set. It was a treat after working and playing outside all day. These melons were bursting with flavor and freshness. We couldn't wait to taste! In minutes we were covered with watermelon juices, dripping from our faces and hands. Mama would hose us down before we went inside. Nothing much sweeter than that! Trust me...you can't buy that at the grocery store!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Another New Year

There's something exhilarating about throwing out the old calendar, especially if it was a bad year, and replacing it with a spanking brand new one. It's a blank canvas, an array of new opportunities, a chance to begin again. What will it be? Lose weight? Exercise more? Get organized? Quit a bad habit? Go back to school? Work more? Or, work smarter? Fix a broken relationship? Make more money? Have more fun? The list goes on and on.

As I think through the many things I want to accomplish in 2013 I realize that I can only achieve them if I persevere and finish what I start. Having said that I want to share that my main reason for starting this blog has evolved. LivingWise is so much more than eating healthy, and supporting local farmers. LivingWise is actually composed of 7 Principles that affect body, mind, and soul, and how the working together of these Principles can help us with our own personal resolutions. Resolutions for strong bodies; financial security; a closer walk with God; healthy relationships; satisfying careers; sanity; and so much more.

My goal for 2013 is to introduce my readers to these 7 Principles. Slowly. Methodically. Hope you enjoy! And, as always, I welcome your comments. Happy New Year!