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Why farm-fresh food lovers LOVE Seasonal Roots

Don’t just take our word for it — check out what our members have to say!

(Got less than 2 minutes? Click here to watch our members talk farm-fresh food on the Seasonal Roots YouTube Channel.)

Nothing beats farm-fresh food. And once you have a taste for it, Seasonal Roots is the easiest way to get the freshest local food. Seasonal Roots members explain why.

hannah supports local farmers

“I first heard about Seasonal Roots from two local friends,” says Hannah, a Seasonal Roots member since 2020. “They told us how easy it was to order and that everything came right to your doorstep, and it was all fresh local food.”

Has Seasonal Roots lived up to those promises?

“Oh yes, above and beyond!  It’s fresh, it’s local, it’s high quality, and delicious.”

Taste the farm-fresh difference

“When it comes to having farm-fresh produce, it is just a world of difference,” says Erica, who’s been enjoying fresh local food from Seasonal Roots since 2016.

erica loves convenient home delivery

A busy mom, she found us through a quick Google search. She grew up with fresh produce from her grandparents’ garden. “I just love the fresh produce. Once you have it, and you taste the difference, you taste the freshness of the fruits and the vegetables — then buying grocery store produce, even organic produce from the grocery store, you still get that kind of filmy taste where they have sprayed it just to try to preserve the shelf life of it. So there is a huge difference.”

“I grew up on a farm,” Hannah recalls. How does Seasonal Roots compare? “The quality of the fruits and the veggies and the artisan foods is amazing.”

hamilton can taste the farm-fresh difference

Hannah’s husband Hamilton adds, “I had worked on her family farm for a summer, so I know the difference between store-bought groceries and right-from-the-farm groceries. And you can really taste a difference.”

Erica agrees. “I cannot eat grocery store carrots anymore just because I swear by these carrots that come from the local farms. They’re sweet. They taste fresh.” (So tell us how you really feel about the carrots, Erica!) She laughs, “The carrots are, like, out of this world!”

farm-fresh carrots

For Jo Anne, who’s also been a member since 2016, her fave is greener: “Kale for my juices.”

jo anne enjoys farm-fresh produce in season

As Jo Anne sorts through her freshly delivered box of goodies she sighs, “Beautiful, my box is always beautiful. I always get whatever’s in season. Never disappointed.” She holds up a green and white bouquet of spring onions. “Mmmm, yummy!”

jo anne's box of fresh local food

Hannah’s fave? “I love the hydroponic lettuce that comes from the hydroponic farm. And the fresh farm eggs. They are so delicious! Better than Costco.”

hannah's daughter loves fresh local yogurt

Hannah and Hamilton’s little one chimes in: “I like strawberry yogurt!”

Convenient online ordering plus home delivery of farm-fresh food

“It’s convenient that it’s just delivered to my door,” says Erica. “I have small kids and we have a busy schedule, always on the go. And so if I don’t have to worry about going to the farmers market or going to the grocery store, then that’s just one less thing. That is off my list.”

home-delivered farm-fresh food

Neighborhood Market Managers provide personalized customer care

Hannah says, “We love our Market Manager who delivers our food. She’s become a friend.” She turns to her daughter. “Do you like it when the Veggie Fairy comes?” The answer is a definite, “Yeah!”

Erica explains the advantage of knowing exactly who’s dropping off your food. “She writes me these little, I call them little love notes — updates if something’s missing, or she swapped something out or she put a little extra peppers or something like that in my box.”

According to Jo Anne, “I have the best Veggie Fairy ever.” (Everyone says that!) “Really, you can always count on the freshness. And guaranteed, too. If something isn’t right, you make a phone call — they WILL make it right.”

farm-fresh food delivered with personalized customer care

Erica concludes: “Having someone that cares, someone that is coming and delivering produce to your family, that is just everything.”

(Discover what neighborhood Market Managers have to say about Seasonal Roots)

Supporting local farmers is a win-win!

Part of the reason Hannah joined was because of where she grew up. “I grew up on my family’s farm. So when we moved down here I wanted to support the local farmers.”

Jo Anne points out, “It tastes different from the grocery store, because it IS much fresher. You’re also supporting the local farms. So it’s a win-win situation!”

erica's box of farm-fresh produce

Hamilton sums it all up: “If you’re looking for higher quality, this is the way to go.”

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms and dads who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, eggs, grass-fed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

New veggie sides, new name, new shop – still scrumptious!

Try 3 new veggie sides from Leek & Thistle, formerly known as Truly Scrumptious

Fans of Truly Scrumptious, rejoice! This local foodie favorite is now Leek & Thistle. The new name brings more new veggie sides and a new retail shop in Richmond!

The new offerings in our online farmers market start with yummy Herbed Chickpea Salad that you can actually make a meal of. Plus there’s addictive Roasted Carrot and White Bean Dip as well as the luscious Quinoa Salad with Summer Veggies pictured above.

local soup salads sides leek & thistle

They’re just the latest in a banquet of yummy soups, sides, salads, and more from the talented local artisan who makes them.

leek & thistle sides

For Mela, the British chef who makes it all so scrumptious, the new name of Leek & Thistle harkens back to her roots. She grew up on the west coast of Scotland.

(Read our interview with Mela when she first joined the Seasonal Roots online farmers market.)

In addition to a new name, Mela has opened a new retail store in the old Nota Bene spot on Main Street in Richmond’s east end.

mela outside leek & thistle shop

leek & thistle interior

If you’ve got a hankering to stop by in person, the Leek & Thistle Facebook page has all the details. And you can always find Mela’s convenient local food in the Extras section of our home-delivered farmers market.

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms and dads who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, pasture-raised dairy, eggs, and meat, plus wholesome artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

Karla shares her Peach Cobbler Recipe in the News!

Our very own Karla Robinson was featured in the news in Hampton Roads! This time it was to share an easy and delicious recipe for Peach Cobbler using fresh local fruit. 

On July 9th, she was asked to share her know-how on WTKR News Channel 3’s Coast Live.

Click here to watch Karla’s latest Coast Live interview

Karla shared some great tips and tricks about peaches, including: 

  • The different types of peaches you might receive in your Seasonal Roots order like the yellow, white, and flat peach! 
  • Always wait to wash your peaches and other produce because the moisture makes things go bad faster! 
  • Don’t put them in the fridge if they’re not ripe or if you don’t want them to ripen. They tend to dehydrate and the skin will wrinkle. 
  • Freeze them to prevent them from going bad. Peal and cut first. Perfect for smoothies!
  • A quick tip for peeling: put the peaches in boiling water for 15-30 seconds, and then put them into ice cold water and the skin will come right off!

Finally for the best part! Karla’s delicious Peach Cobbler recipe! 

Ingredients: 

  • 6-8 cups of sliced peaches
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup flour 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1 tsp. baking powder 
  • ½ tsp. salt 
  • 1 large egg 
  • ½ cup melted butter

Directions: 

  • Mix the fruit, cinnamon, and nutmeg together place in a baking dish. 
  • Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. 
  • Add the egg and with a fork press the egg into the mixture without mixing too much. 
  • Sprinkle this mixture over the fruit. 
  • Drizzle melted butter and bake at 350 for 40 min. 

Enjoy!

 

 

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, pastured eggs, grassfed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

Neighborhood Market Managers share their experience!

Get the inside scoop on local food, home delivery… even family?!!

Neighborhood Market Managers are the original Veggie Fairies. (Here’s how they got that nickname!) They’re the critical link connecting local families with local farmers and food artisans.

Sometimes Market Managers jump straight into the Veggie Fairy business. Sometimes, like Yvonne, they start out as Seasonal Roots customers first.

market manager yvonne

“I’ve been a member of Seasonal Roots for the last two years,” says Yvonne. “My Market Manager would deliver to me and we would talk at times. And I enjoyed that so much — learning about Seasonal Roots and recipes from her — that I decided to become one.”

(Watch a video of these Veggie Fairies as they tell all on our Seasonal Roots YouTube Channel!)

More than just a job

Even Veggie Fairies don’t work for free. But for most Market Managers, it’s more than just a job. According to Kerry, it’s a way to practice what she believes in.

market manager kerry

“There are so many things that I love about Seasonal Roots,” says Kerry. “All the fruits and vegetables are locally sourced and sustainably grown. That’s not only good for me and my family, but it’s also good for the environment.”

For Yvonne, it’s Seasonal Roots’ commitment to supporting local businesses and meeting the needs of busy families: “I enjoy the philosophy of small producers, local farmers, and having it conveniently delivered to my front door.”

And then there are the perks

“I love getting discounts on the freshest fruits and vegetables you can find in the local area,” says Mary Kate. (Yep, neighborhood Market Managers do get discounts!) Plus, “I get the privilege of tasting incredible things from small businesses.”

market manager mary kate

Another perk is flexibility. Market Managers deliver one morning per week, and there are additional opportunities to boost their income as their schedule allows.

“I love it because it fits into my schedule flawlessly. Even with three children!” says Mary Kate.

The pandemic drove home the benefits of flexibility for Kerry. Looking back, she says, “This past year was really crazy. When the schools went virtual, I didn’t know what I was going to do with my children. Luckily, I was able to bring them with me. And they were able to get their responsibilities done, and I was able to get my responsibilities done.”

(Pro tip: Kids love playing Veggie Fairy.)

market manager and son

Yvonne sums it up. “I get some great discounts on the food, I earn a little extra money, and I get to talk with my customers and be out there.”

On delivery day, Yvonne also enjoys connecting with her fellow Veggie Fairies. Market Managers in each area meet up at party stops. That’s where they collect their customers’ boxes and load them into their cars before heading out on their rounds. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s been a great experience.”

market manager party stop

To anyone who’s thinking about getting into the Veggie Fairy biz, Kerry doesn’t hold back. “Become a part of this family. It’s wonderful!”

neighborhood market managers

If taking care of your neighbors with Seasonal Roots sounds like a good fit for you, we want to hear from you! Just email karla@seasonalroots.com to learn more.

Click here to watch Yvonne, Kerry, and Mary Kate talk about what it’s like to be a neighborhood Market Manager on the Seasonal Roots YouTube Channel.

Click here to read how this Veggie Fairy gets her own kids to eat their veggies.

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, eggs, grass-fed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

In the news! Karla shares tips for storing produce

Tips and tricks to max out flavor and nutrients

Karla’s tips for storing produce will help you get the most out of your delicious, nutritious, fresh local produce.

On June 18th, she was asked to share her know-how on WTKR NewsChannel 3’s Coast Live.

Click here to watch Karla’s latest Coast Live interview

Karla shared some great tips and tricks for storing produce, including:

  1. Store tomatoes on the counter. They may last longer in the fridge, but the texture turns a little mealy. They’re also not as flavorful when they’re cold. But if you gotta chill ’em down, just give them time to warm up to room temp before you eat them. The flavor, if not the texture, will be almost as good as before.
  2. Wait to wash your produce until you’re ready to use it. The moisture and bruising that comes with washing will make the produce turn mushy and moldy faster.
  3. Avoid crowding. Fresh produce needs its space, especially fruits. Cramming them tightly together allows moisture to build up, and once again the produce will turn to mush more quickly.
  4. Feel free to freeze. Frozen produce lasts up to a year in the freezer, and hangs onto almost all of its original nutrients and flavor. Frozen blueberries make a great snack or addition to smoothies and pancakes. Simply wash them, let them dry, and store them in a single layer in a resealable bag. Then you can grab a handful anytime.
  5. Put stems in water. If your greens, herbs, or asparagas have started to wilt, cut off the tips of the stems and put them in a jar or vase of water. They’ll perk right up like a bouquet of flowers.
  6. Eat sweet corn right away. It’s best when eaten within a few days of harvest because it’s mostly sugar, so it breaks down fast into starch. You can tell when sweet corn is fresh-picked because the silk tassels are still green-gold and the husks are still green. It also has some weight to it because the kernels haven’t dehydrated yet.

Not a Seasonal Roots member yet?
Save $25 (that’s 50%!)
when you SIGN UP for home-delivery of fresh local produce using promo code TIPSANDTRICKS

 

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, pastured eggs, grassfed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

Karla Robinson from Seasonal Roots Team, Discusses Healthy Eating, Immunity on “Coast Live” TV Show

On April 19, people all across Hampton Roads got a healthy slice of Seasonal Roots.

That’s because our very own Karla Robinson, Director of Teams at Seasonal Roots in Hampton Roads, appeared on Coast Live, the popular lifestyle TV show on WTKR NewsChannel 3 (CBS news outlet in the Norfolk/Va Beach area).

Karla chatted about the variety of healthy local produce and artisan goods we offer to customers in Virginia and Maryland. She also discussed the importance of healthy eating to boost immunity, fun smoothie ideas and more.

Click here to watch Karla’s Seasonal Roots interview

 

In honor of Earth Day, you can use

Promo code EARTHDAY

to join for just $25 (that’s half off). Be sure to join before May 1st to take advantage of this promotion.

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, pastured eggs, grassfed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

fresh produce

Eating Local Helps Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Eating local helps reduce your carbon footprint. Local food doesn’t travel as far as most food you find in the grocery store.

Compared to the global industrial food complex, food from local farmers and artisans uses less fuel and produces less CO2 – 17 times less! So local food belches fewer greenhouse gasses and fights global warming.

Supporting local farmers also saves nearby farms from getting paved over and developed. That’s especially helpful when you’re saving small family farms, because they farm differently from factory farms.

Factory farms plant miles and miles of monocrops. That’s unnatural, and it forces them to fight nature with more pesticides and artificial fertilizers.

Our family farmers use sustainable methods that work with nature. Sustainable methods create healthy ecosystems that are good for the soil, water, and air – a rich patchwork of fields, meadows, woods, and ponds. That kind of greenspace actually takes carbon out of the atmosphere. Plus it’s the perfect habitat for wildlife.

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, pastured eggs, grassfed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

Spring Celebrations

Spring Activities While Staying Socially Distant

After the year everyone has had: working from home, missing family and friends, and the “new normal” brought on by the pandemic, Spring could not be here soon enough. The time has finally come for friends and family can enjoy the sunshine. Groups that have already been vaccinated have been given the green light to gather without masks. Many families are finally are enjoying time with grandparents and family members that feels so overdue.

With the weather so beautiful, it is easier and more enjoyable to host events outside, while still following social distance protocols. So important after feeling cooped up in the house for what feels like forever! With another round of graduations drawing near, this is the perfect time to start planning some fun get togethers. And with the vaccine distribution expanding, it’s starting to look like we’ll have a more “normal” spring than expected. But with a year of little to no socializing with friends and family, what will your first get together look like?

Plan a Community BBQ! 

A great way to get out of the house without having to go too far is to plan a Community BBQ! Use your homeowners’s association or neighborhood FB group and plan an afternoon where everyone can set up a grill or picnic in their front yard. Use some fresh produce from your Seasonal Roots basket like some fresh strawberries for a fresh snack or use some of our organic greens to make a delicious fresh Spring Salad. If you decide to grill, you can even use some of the local protein options from the extras section of our online farmers market. There’s nothing better after a year of quarantine and our “new normal” than a sunny day outside spent with family and friends.

Neighborhood Happy Hour

You can schedule a neighborhood happy hour to celebrate the warm weather. Schedule an evening one weekend for all the adults to enjoy a cocktail or two together. If you need some drink recipe inspiration, check out our blog with some delicious recipes! You can even include the kids by making homemade popsicles with fresh fruits and juice from your Seasonal Roots basket!

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, pastured eggs, grassfed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

organic vs sustainable humane

Which one is organic?

Here’s an easy way to find out if your food is good for you and the planet

By the Veggie Fairy Team:

Which image do you think shows an organic egg-producing farm approved by the USDA?

The top image is from a multi-generational family farmstead in the rolling hills outside Richmond, Va. Their hens spend their days in open pastures, foraging and engaging in natural behaviors like dust baths and flying short distances.

The bottom image is from a complex of 9 big barns crowded with 1.6 million hens up in Michigan. The closest those hens come to being outside is in a “porch” attached to their barn that’s screened on one side.

So which operation has been certified organic by the USDA? If you guessed the top one, you’d be wrong.

Most of us would assume that a label that says “organic” would be the easiest way to make sure you’re getting the best food for your money. Completely understandable! But that’s just not the case.

Herbruck Poultry Ranch in Saranac, Michigan, (the bottom image), is USDA organic and was featured recently in The Washington Post. The article explains how big, industrial farming operations like Herbruck are using the government’s official organic certification process to their advantage.

At Avery’s Branch Farms in the rolling hills of Amelia Court House, Va., (the top image), the Alexander family live and work there alongside their chickens, turkeys, ducks, pigs, and cows, using sustainable, pasture-based farming methods to produce nutritious, delicious food.

Pasture-based: The real gold standard

The Alexanders and their animals live close to the land. In the woodlands, the pigs root around for acorns and other piggy goodies the way they were meant to. Out in the pastures, the cows graze on a diverse mixture of grasses, their natural diet. During daylight hours, the flocks forage in the pastures, too, under the watchful eyes of the family’s Great Pyrenees guard dogs, who protect them from predators. At night, the birds nest safely inside their hen houses.

By the way, those hen houses are on wheels so they can be moved from pasture to pasture, following behind the cows. The hens’ low-stress, healthy, natural lifestyle is great for the girls… and their eggs, which are much more nutritious and flavorful than commercial factory-farmed eggs.

For example, their pastured eggs are up to twice as rich in vitamin E, and two to six times richer in beta-carotene! You can see it for yourself in the egg yolks. Crack an egg from a pasture-raised hen into a pan and then next to it crack an egg from any other kind of hen — conventional or so-called free-range or cage-free, organic or not. The pastured egg will be a deeper, brighter yellow. The others? Much paler.

(Discover the difference between pastured eggs vs cage-free, free-range and organic eggs — there’s no contest!!!)

The Alexanders’ animals are raised from start to finish on lush pasture. They’re fed no hormones, antibiotics, or synthetic chemicals. This is the old school definition of organic, before Big Industrial Agriculture got hold of it. Not only does the old-fashioned way produce more nutritious food, it’s also much more humane for the animals and better for the environment — the farmer is working with nature instead of against it.

“It’s our goal to provide the community with the most nourishing products possible, while also protecting the land,” the Alexanders explain. “We have never used any chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides on our farm.”

So how can you know if your food is genuinely good for you and the planet?

Okay, so the organic label is no guarantee. Cracking open eggs and comparing them is eye-opening, but you waste a lot of eggs that way.

The best way to find out if your food is any good is to get to know each farmer and food artisan who produces the things you eat. That sounds hard and time-consuming, and it is if you do it yourself. But it’s easy if you have someone you can trust to do it for you.

At Seasonal Roots, that someone is Sam, our Farmer Connector, backed up by Duane, our founder and Head Veggie Fairy. Sam researches and gets to know everyone who makes the food we home-deliver to our members, including the Alexanders. You can get to know them, too. Next to every item on our menu is a small image of the farmer or food artisan who provided it. Click on that image, and you can read their story and find out what you need to know.

Eating fresh local food from people you know and trust is the easiest way to live your values — whether that’s a healthy diet, a low carbon footprint, supporting local farmers and your local community, protecting the local environment… or all of the above. As a Seasonal Roots member, you’re supporting sustainable local agriculture and making a difference for yourself, our community, and the planet!

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, pastured eggs, grassfed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

fresh local food - sustainable agriculture - lettuce

This is why fresh local food is better for you

The most delicious way to take your vitamins

By the Veggie Fairy Team:

Of course good health and immunity has taken on a new meaning in 2020. We’re all thinking about the steps we can take to keep our immune systems strong.

What’s the most delicious way to take your vitamins? Eating fresh local food direct from local farmers! It’s not just more delicious — it’s also better for you than trying to get your vitamins from supplements or even grocery store produce. Here’s why.

Fresh local produce is whole food

According to the Mayo Clinic, whole foods like the farm-fresh produce you get from Seasonal Roots give you three things that dietary supplements can’t:

1. More nutrition. Whole foods are complex. That means they have a variety of the micronutrients your body needs — not just one. Take leafy greens, for example, like the lettuce pictured here, grown by Gerardo Flores and his son Omar on Virginia’s Northern Neck. It’s got vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B-6, plus thiamine, riboflavins, beta carotene, folates, zeaxanthin, iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Whew! Scientists think all these compounds probably work together to help your body process those nutrients and get the most out of them. A lot of the vitamin content in a pill is wasted without the supportive team of natural compounds your body needs to absorb it.

2. Essential fiber. Whole foods, which include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, give you dietary fiber. Fiber does more than keep you regular. Most high-fiber foods are also packed with other essential nutrients. Studies show that when your healthy eating includes fiber, it helps prevent diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

3. Nature’s body armor. Fruits and vegetables contain naturally occurring substances called phytochemicals. These little guys may help protect you against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Many of them also protect you with antioxidants, which slow down oxidation — a natural process that leads to cell and tissue damage. That kind of damage is associated with aging and cancer.

But oxidation isn’t just your enemy. Vitamins have enemies, too. Which brings us to grocery stores.

Local + fresh = more vitamins

A fresh-picked peach is a sweet, delicious way to get 11% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamins C and A, and 5% of the RDA for vitamin E… that is, IF you eat it while it’s still fresh.

Vitamins are more vulnerable to oxidation than almost any other nutrient. Air, light, and heat are part of the oxidation process. As soon as a fruit or vegetable is picked, those three things start doing their best to kill the vitamins in the produce. It’s a race against time.

So the fresher your produce is, the more vitamins it still has. That’s why the produce you get direct from local farmers is better for you than produce from the grocery store. Store-bought produce travels at least a week to get there, on average… and often longer. By then those fragile vitamins are fading away, along with the flavor.

The local produce at Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market comes to you straight from the fields of our family farmers. No middlemen, no storage, no long distance travel. So when you take your first bite, it’s still fresh and vitamin-rich – not to mention full of delicious flavor, too.

WHEN it’s picked makes a difference

Our farmers wait until their produce is fully ripe before they pick it. This allows the sun and rain to maximize the flavor and vitamins inside every fruit and vegetable.

That stuff in the grocery store from California, Mexico, or beyond — conventional and organic alike — it was all picked early ahead of its long journey. By the time it gets to you, it may look ripe. But it’s an empty shell compared to the amount of flavor and vitamins in field-ripened produce.

Fresh local food is Grandma’s healthy eating

Modern varieties of produce have been developed to meet the storage and rough handling needs of industrial agriculture — at a price. Modern produce looks good but it’s short on nutrients.

Since our farmers’ produce doesn’t have to endure long, rough trips, they can grow old-fashioned heirloom varieties that have still got all the flavor and nutrition of yesteryear. The old-school broccoli your grandmother ate was much better for her than the broccoli you’ll find in grocery stores today. With fresh local food, you can go back in time and eat that healthful broccoli too.

Sustainability gives you a vitamin boost, too!

All our local family farmers are committed to using sustainable farming practices. Not only does that lower our carbon footprint. It also adds to the benefits of healthy eating that you get from fresh local food. That’s because sustainability includes:

  • Low- or no-spray. Our farmers work with nature instead of against it to manage pests.
  • Healthy soil. Our farmers use crop rotation, cover crops, reduced tillage, careful water management, and more to enrich the soil naturally instead of relying on chemicals. You can see some of those methods demonstrated in Gerardo’s lettuce crop, pictured above.Bottom line: Healthy eating starts with fresh local food!

    ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

    Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our market managers –  who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, pastured eggs, grassfed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.