While for most people the farmer’s markets are simply a summer thing. They start late spring when the different fruits and vegetables become available, and they end early fall. Some places have year round farmer’s markets, but unless you love somewhere that is warm all year it’s not likely you’ll be getting fresh vegetables all year.
Why You Want Fresh
There are many reasons why people shop for fresh, local fruits and vegetables. To begin with, this lets you know where your food is actually coming from and it allows you to put money into local farming in your own area. On top of that, you know that the produce you are buying is fresh.
Another reason why many people prefer fresh produce is that it is believed to contain more vitamins and nutrients than those that are canned. While some fruits and vegetables may lose some of their nutrients in the process of canning or freezing, some are enhanced. Tomatoes release lycopene when they are heated, which makes canned tomatoes a great, healthy choice.
Getting Fresh Veggies In The Winter
Unless you are growing your own indoor garden, you are going to have to rely on produce from other states and countries if you want to skip canned and frozen vegetables. Otherwise, you will still get some of the nutrients by supplementing your produce shopping with frozen or canned choices.
You can can your own locally grown produce to use during the winter months, which allows you to know they came from somewhere local and helps you know exactly what is in the food that you are eating. You can also learn about cold storage and other ways to keep food longer.
There are ways to grow your own veggies in your home all year long, you just need some money to invest in grow lights and other items that you need to keep the right amount of light and the right amount of warmth to promote growth.
Why You Need Your Veggies
You don’t want to just stop eating produce because there are no locally grown, fresh options at certain points of the year. Your fruits and vegetables not only give your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs to stay healthy, but they also add some texture and color to your plate and help your pallet keep from getting bored.
Vegetables are important for all ages, and you should be getting up to 13 servings of both fruits and vegetables each day. This can help keep you and your family from developing vitamin deficiencies, and helps you all stay healthy and strong.
The trick is to eat the freshest choices when they are available, and supplement them with other options when you have to. Produce with depleted nutrients are better than no vegetables or fruits at all!