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Local, seasonal eating: Your answer to health in the new year?

By Lindsey Hickman

Buzzwords such as all natural, local, farm fresh, superfood, and probiotic have flooded supermarkets and product labels, but are they anything more than marketing eye catchers? All too often the answer is no. We all want to lead healthier lives, and the new year always seems like the perfect time for a reset. But how do you do that without falling for the promises that keep you spending money and yet still needing a new reset the next new year?

Truly local, seasonal eating has been the answer for many people all over the world, most often by subscribing to a CSA near their home. CSA stands for community supported agriculture, and benefits both the farmer and the community that surrounds them. Although there are many different kinds of CSAs, the most common type is a seasonal produce subscription. A CSA is a partnership between the farmer and consumer, where the consumer can depend on fresh picked produce for them every week, and the farmer knows they have committed buyers who will enjoy what they grow. It reduces waste, invests directly into your local community, as also improves diversity in your diet, leading to overall improved health.

Frequently asked questions:

How does it work?

You pick the amount of produce you need for your family, pay monthly, and pick up your CSA box each week at your designated location.

Can I pick what I get from week to week?

No, unlike at the grocery store where produce is imported from other countries and grown in hothouses, everything is grown on one farm (or sometimes partnering nearby farms) so it varies by the season and sometimes week to week. Although this means tomatoes and strawberries don’t grow in the winter, it also means you’ll be eating what grows to support your immune system where you live year-round.

What if I don’t know what to do with sometime in my box?

Your CSA box always comes with a newsletter that explains what is in the box, the best way to store it, and recipes. There are also many social media groups sharing ideas.

In the Solano County area, Eatwell Farm is a year round certified organic CSA with drop off locations in Vacaville, Dixon, Fairfield, Davis, as well as, several in the Bay Area as well. As advocates for truly local eating, The Barn and Pantry in Dixon works closely with Eatwell Farm as a pick up location, helping members create meal plans with their box from their selection of local sustainably farmed meats, pastured dairy, snacks and groceries. By partnering with Eatwell Farm and The Barn and Pantry you can easily attain a clean sustainable diet without the gimmicks by equipping yourself with a weekly fresh picked CSA box, local grass-fed meat, raw and grass-fed dairy, and learning to make your own sourdough bread and fermented foods.

Learn more at eatwell.com

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