Baskets of produce at a local farmer's market
May 9, 2018 Refrigeration, Use & Care

Cooking with local produce improves the entire essence of a dish. By simply preparing with fresh ingredients, a meal is quickly and easily transformed from dull to delicious. There’s nothing quite like spending a summery Saturday morning at the farmer’s market, filling a large basket with a carefully chosen assortment of brightly colored and flavorful fruits and vegetables. You can’t beat the taste of fresh produce straight from the farm, and that’s just one benefit of buying local.

Not only does buying locally offer better produce, it also puts money back into the local economy. At the local farmer’s markets, farmers keep more of the profits. When they have more money to spend, they often spend it locally, which builds a stronger economy for everyone.

The food sold at local farms is in season for that particular area. To get the most flavor and nutritional value it’s best to eat according to the natural seasons. Seasonal summer produce includes beans, corn, lettuce, and tomatoes. Other vegetables like apples, squash and cabbage have the best taste when harvested in the fall.

Summer is also a great time to make jellies and preserves from fresh-picked berries. Stock up on tomatoes for canning, then store them in the cellar and enjoy them all winter long. Local foods don’t have to travel long distances, so they are fresher and retain more nutrients. They also look and taste better because they are gathered at their peak.

Not only does buying locally offer better produce, it also puts money back into the local economy. At the local farmer’s markets, farmers keep more of the profits. When they have more money to spend, they often spend it locally, which builds a stronger economy for everyone.

Today’s technology allows your produce to stay fresher longer. Fresh foods do best in a humid, yet chilly climate to maintain their integrity; while frozen foods require dry, frigid air to prevent decay and freezer burn. Some of the latest refrigerators have refrigerator and freezer areas with a dedicated, sealed system with a compressor and evaporator. Fresh and frozen foods maintain their integrity much longer because each one can be in its own ideal environment.

This summer make the decision to buy locally and see how the benefits affect you and your community. You can find more information on local farmers’ markets at daytonlocal.com/farmers-markets.