In our area, summer time provides an opportunity to purchase local, in season fruits and vegetables from the local farmer’s market. I would like to share two main reasons why you should take advantage of this.
1) Grocery store produce is OLD! Have you ever wondered why when you are at the grocery store you can find almost any kind of produce at any time of the year? In other areas of the world the growing season is longer than our local season. It is possible that other countries can produce fruits for many months out of the year. In order to get the produce from those countries to your local store it has to travel thousands of miles in cases and it can take a very long time. If you search online for “how old is produce in the grocery store” you will find some very interesting results.
So how does this produce appear to be in such good condition? There are several methods, beyond refrigeration, used to slow the ripening of fruit and veggies. As someone who grows and sells produce I can speak from experience that most produce, without intervention, will significantly deteriorate 4-5 days after harvesting.
2) Grocery store produce is not as clean. How many hands have touched your produce? Some produce is actually harvested by hand. At the grocery store it is stocked by workers. Then numerous people looking for that perfect peach or cucumber pick up the produce. Come on. You know you never pick the first one you grab. Right now, more than ever, everyone is much more conscientious of germs and bacteria. It is very important to wash your produce when you get home. Most growers at the local market pick their produce themselves and hand it to you at the market. We like to use the moto “from our hands to yours.”
I encourage you to visit your local farmer’s market and take advantage of fresh and local produce. If you’ve never tasted a fresh tomato right off the vine you will be pleasantly surprised. Clovis and Portales both have a market. Clovis is Tuesday at 5 pm and Saturday at 8 am. Portales market is Monday and Thursday at 5 pm.