LocalHarvest Newsletter, June 23, 2009

Happy summer, everyone!

Are you a fan of farmers markets? Like a good giveaway? If so, you are going to love this: LocalHarvest has partnered with Care2 to create a summer-long contest called, “Love Your Farmers Market.” Here’s how it works: everyone is invited to cast one vote for their favorite farmers market. Receiving a vote registers your farmers market for our weekly $250 prize drawings, and receiving a lot of votes will win one lucky market the top prize of $5,000. To encourage a “get out the vote” effort, there are also prizes for the top recruiters – people who ask their friends to vote. Fun, huh? We are delighted to be spending the summer doing a special promotion of farmers markets with Care2. For those who don’t know the site, Care2 is the largest online community for people interested in a healthy lifestyle and social activism.

When you vote – as thousands of people have since the contest launched last Friday – you may write a short review of your farmers market, which you can choose to have posted on LocalHarvest. There must be a thousand ways to love your farmers market. Here’s a sample of what people have told us so far:

  • “Every week it's just a bit different ...like an adventure and a treasure hunt all rolled into one.”
  • “Not only do I love the produce, but I always see folks I know.”
  • “I love the fresh quality and the low prices!! Plus it's fun for the kids!”
  • “It is the best thing to do on a Saturday morning.”

Sound familiar? We love farmers markets for all these reasons, and because we think they are important. In a world of anonymous food, it does a body good to stand across a table loaded down with vegetables, and look at the face of the person’s whose labor brought this food into being. This person, those hands, that strong back all worked the soil on a particular farm near here, under sun and rain to grow this food. This food that we will take home, prepare, and feed to our families for their nourishment. For me it’s nothing less than this: shopping at the farmers market can bring your heart back to your food.

I hope you’ll spend a lot of time at your farmers market this summer. It’s good for you, and good for your community. And I hope you’ll vote in our contest. Do more – tell your friends and the people at your farmers market about it. We even have spiffy flyers you can post or hand out. If you need a bunch of flyers, let me know and I’ll have them sent to you.

Enjoy this first month of summer. It’s a bountiful world. If you need convincing, spend an hour at your local farmers market, and see what your heart finds.

As always, take good care and eat well,

Erin Barnett

From the LocalHarvest Store:

Lavender lovers, get ready! The lavender harvest is nearly upon us, and we have more lavender farmers than ever selling their beautiful bunches through our catalog. Browse through our lavender department for lavender buds (a popular wedding toss), dried bunches, essential oil and more. Ahhh...

There are some fruits whose fans can’t get enough, and passion fruit is one. The purple type is gone for the year, but we’re now carrying the rare golden passion fruit, grown by our friends at Fresh Gardens, in Homestead, FL.

Going to a wedding this summer? A LocalHarvest gift certificate makes the perfect gift!

Nancy’s Nutrition Corner

Nancy is taking a break for the summer, but before she left, she gave us an important message to pass on to all her readers:

  1. Plenty of water
  2. Plenty of variety in your diet
  3. Plenty of green things
  4. Plenty of rest
She says these four things will make almost everything better!

Food from the Farm: Pasta with Zucchini and Arugula Pesto

The first time I had pesto, I was 21 years old. I was working as a field hand at Tweefontein Herb Farm in New Paltz, NY, and being charmed by all things herbal. Anne Salomon, the owner, was an eccentric, fierce and beloved South African who insisted that all her workers sit down together in the field for mid-morning rooibos tea, served with sugar and cream on a silver tea set.
(Recipes and More...)