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Got Fresh Fruits & Veggies? Delaware Does!

boxes of vegetables

One thing I always look forward to is the first day of Spring, warm weather, and the many opportunities for fresh, local produce the upcoming seasons will bring.  If you know anything about Delaware, it is probably that there is a farm of some type on just about every back road – which is a great thing when it comes to healthy eating!

There are many benefits of buying local produce.  In most cases, it was harvested just hours before being sold which means it will contain the most nutrients as possible.  Buying from local farmers is also great for our local economy – which is important now more than ever.

Community Supported Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is becoming a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.  Here is how it typically works:  A farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public which usually consist of a box of vegetables and sometimes may also include other farms products such as eggs and milk.  Weekly shares are purchased upfront through a membership or subscription and are available through pick-up or delivery each week throughout the farming season.  For more information on CSAs visit:  www.localharvest.org/csa/.

Farmer’s Markets

A Farmer’s Market is an area where local growers gather once or twice a week to sell their produce directly to the public.  The 2010 Directory of Delaware Farmer’s Markets can be found on the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s website by visiting http://dda.delaware.gov/marketing/FarmersMarketsGuide.shtml.

U-Picks / PYOs

A U-Pick or Pick-Your-Own Farm is one in which you travel to a farm and pick fresh produce directly from the field or orchard.  To find a u-pick farm in Delaware and other helpful information about canning and freezing fresh produce, visit http://www.pickyourown.org/DE.htm.

Roadside Stands

An informal, but convenient, way to purchase local produce is at a roadside stand.  Roadside stands pop up all over Delaware between May and July and offer many fresh produce selections including tomatoes, sweet corn, cucumbers, peppers and peaches.

Unfortunately, many children never learn where their food actually comes from.  In addition to great nutrition, farms and farmer’s markets can also provide excellent agricultural and nutrition education opportunities for children and families.

Locally harvested produce is the most nutritious and sometimes best-tasting form of fruits and vegetables you can get.  So the next time you get held up behind a tractor or combine, just relax and think of how lucky you are to have so many opportunities to eat healthy in Delaware!