Infographic credit: www.katiepdesign.com
Last week, Ned from Green Tractor Farms uttered the words “no more cucumbers, the frost got them.” My heart sank a little, knowing that the amazing seasonal bounty of New Mexico was slowly coming to an end. It got me thinking about local, and what is truly means to us as consumers.
We take for granted the thousands of products available to us all the time in our groceries stores and markets. In fact, the average supermarket in 2013 carried 43,844 products! It is amazing that we’ve come so far in the last 150 years. Even my 94-year-old Grandmother can recall how only a few items were available during the cold Wisconsin winters.
So, with all of these choices available, it’s difficult to trudge on over to the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market, find parking, make your way through the crowd, bring cash, and purchase local, correct?
We’re all familiar with the benefits of buying locally. It reduces food miles. It keeps money in the local economy. It is fresher and more nutritious. We’ve seen the affects of this freshness first hand at Verde. The local fruits and vegetables produce a significantly higher yield of juice, probably because they weren’t sitting in some warehouse for months at a time.
So, back to those cucumbers. Since our growing season is relatively short here in New Mexico, I want to encourage the importance of making that extra effort of supporting local farmers and sustainable food practices. If you can’t make it to the Farmer’s Market (remember there are 3 markets per week!), support local businesses and restaurants that make the effort to support local farmers. Ask questions about their sourcing. Being that annoying “foodie” who demands answers may prompt your server or the restaurant manager to realize that we are asking for a better and healthier community.