Farm-to-Table. What does that even mean, you say? Well, it is more than a trend. It is a way of life–a way of eating–that my family has taken seriously for the last 7 years. It all started with my first visit to the Onslow County Farmer’s Market near Richlands, NC. I had been to farmer’s markets before as a child, but this first adult visit sealed the deal. Those tables filled with beautiful lush greens, crimson red peppers, onions, and plump tomatoes brought me back to my childhood growing up with a huge garden behind our home. My parents were met with whines and complaints when my presence was requested in the garden. Despite my protesting, I spent a decent amount of time planting seeds, weeding between the rows, and picking delicious crops such as green beans, squash, potatoes, and strawberries. Now, I look back fondly on that time. Funny how we often romanticize our memories, isn’t it? Because of that experience, I know what a chore it is to grow something–turning the soil, amending the soil, planting, watering, praying for rain, worrying, weeding, harvesting.
I have great respect for people who do this tough work as a means to provide for their family. I support local farmers because there is an accountability I do not get from selecting my produce at a supermarket. When I shop at the local farm stand, I get to know the farmers, and they get to know me. Agriculture on a more corporate level does not provide me with that type of relationship. I am not anti-supermarket, just pro-choice when it comes to being a consumer. I vote with my dollars, and my vote will always go to the local farmers for seasonal produce, honey, goat cheese, eggs, and pasture-raised meats. Likewise, when my family and I dine out at a restaurant, we look for places that support local farms as well. It isn’t always possible to eat 100% locally, but I like to say “every drop fills the bucket.” Local farms depend on each dollar I spend with them. The more I spend, the more they are able to continue providing quality seasonal produce.
I will be adding pages (see the tabs on the top left) with links to my favorite farmer’s markets, vendors, and farm-to-fork restaurants. Here are a few photos to entice you to visit your local farmer’s market. Just look at this beautiful abundance!
Photos taken at the Durham Farmer’s Market, Durham, NC