We all know that we need fresh produce in our diet.   I am lucky enough to have space in my yard to grow my own garden and I am able to get much of my vegetables at their peak freshness.     However, I don’t have the room for fruit trees or vines, so I have to find another way to get my fruits and some vegetables.   One way is to hit our local Farmer’s Market.   We are incredibly lucky to have a wonderful Farmer’s Market in our town and I am able to find a great variety of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, jams and jellies. Our Farmer’s Market also has some other wonderful qualities that you cannot find in a supermarket, which makes spending a warm summer afternoon there special.   Many Markets also include arts and crafts and even live music!   And trust me, it beats supermarket muzak piping over the loud speaker!   Plus, many of the vendors love to give out free samples of baked goods and their jams and jellies.   So it is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon taste testing! Here are some links to locate a Farmer’s Market near you! In the US: www.localharvest.org www.acga.localharvest.org www.apps.ams.usda.gov/FarmersMarkets In Canada: www.farmersmarketscanada.ca www.traveltowellness.com/Canada_farmers_markets Another option for farm fresh produce are Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).       In a CSA, a consumer purchases a “share” from a local farmer participating in the program.   You pay a seasonal fee and in return, you recieve a share of food at certain times of the year.   Once the harvest season rolls around   you typically recieve a box of vegetables and fruits throughout the season.     And some CSA’s are now varying the programs to include milk, eggs and even meat products.   There are many benefits to CSA, but there can also be drawbacks.   Once you purchase into a CSA, you assume a shared risk of the farm.   If the farmer has a poor growing season due to weather or other conditions, you may not receive as much produce as you hope.   However, most CSA’s now have provisions to safeguard consumers against these downfalls.   A CSA can be an extremely fun way to purchase your produce, becuase instead of heading to your local market, you actually get to visit the farm to pick up for share!   It is a wonderful experience for youngsters! Links to help you find a CSA: In the US: www.localharvest.org/csa In Canada: www.acornorganic.org

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