Posts

fall superfoods health benefits

12 fall superfoods to watch for

The seasonal health benefits of local food just keep coming!

By the Veggie Fairy Team

Many farmers markets shut down or scale back as temps drop, but not us. No way do we want to miss out on the superfoods of fall! They’re just now starting to hit their peak – the perfect excuse to gather in a warm, cozy kitchen on cool nights and enjoy these fall superfoods that are super-charged because they’re local and super fresh! Here’s what you can look forward to, along with recipe suggestions from our Pinterest boards:

Apples

Sweet or tart, raw or baked into a delicious dish, apples offer health benefits like heart-healthy flavonoids that you get when you eat the skin; antioxidants; and 4 grams of dietary fiber per serving. Harvest season: August-November. Try this recipe: Winter Apple Slaw

Brussels sprouts

With a mild, satisfyingly bitter taste, Brussels sprouts are great with tangy or savory sauces like balsamic vinegar. Health benefits include the fact that a half cup more than maxes out your daily recommended allowance of vitamin K, plus these sprouts are a good source of folate and iron. Harvest season: September-March. Try this recipe: Creamy Sprouts Gratin

Cauliflower

The sweet, slightly nutty flavor of cauliflower is delicious raw, steamed, or roasted. It can also be blended to create a mashed potato-like texture or pureed into soup. Among cauliflower’s health benefits are compounds that may help to prevent cancer and phytonutrients that may lower cholesterol. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C. Harvest season: September–June. Try this recipe: Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Bites

Fennel

Looking like the love child of an onion and a dill plant, fennel tastes mildly like licorice and offers the health benefits of free-radical-fighting vitamin C, and potassium, which is essential for your heart, muscles, nerves, and kidneys to function properly. Harvest season: Fall through spring. Try this recipe: Fennel, Fontina & Onion Pizza

Parsnips

They look like pale carrots, and like carrots, parsnips are sweet — sweeter, actually, and nuttier. Eat them roasted on their own, or they go great with just about every other fall vegetable. For your good health, they’re rich in potassium and fiber. Harvest season: October-April. Try this recipe: Roasted Parsnips & Carrots

Pears

Crisp or tender, they’re all juicy and sweet and so delicious. Enjoy them raw, baked, or poached. They’re a good source of vitamin C and copper, of all things, and deliver 4 grams of fiber apiece. Harvest season: August-February. Try this recipe: Asian Pear Cranberry Stuffing

Pumpkins

What is fall without pumpkins?!! This queen of the winter squashes gets a category all its own, because it’s good for so much more than jack o’ lanterns and pies. This is another fall veggie whose health benefits include lots of potassium, plus tons of fiber and it’s a good source of B vitamins. Harvest season: October-February. Try this recipe: Pumpkin Chicken Tacos (just go easy on the jalapenos and tomatillos if you’re not into hot’n spicy!)

Rutabagas

Rutabagas are like a cross between a turnip and a parsnip, with an earthy flavor that’s delicious in casseroles. Or puree them with turnips and carrots to make a sweet soup, or roast them with ginger, honey, or lemon. However you eat them, you’ll get their health benefits of fiber and vitamin C. Harvest season: October-April. Try this recipe: Curried Rutabaga Soup

Spinach

Not just for Popeye, spinach is good raw in a salad or steamed or baked into other dishes. Cooking actually makes it easier for our bodies to digest its nutrients. The health benefits are so extensive we can’t list them all here! (Read them here.) Vitamins A, C, K, and iron, and a storehouse of disease-fighting phytonutrients are just the beginning. Harvest season: Year-round, but it gets sweeter after the first nip from Jack Frost. Try this recipe: Spinach & Mushroom Quinoa

Sweet potatoes

These veggies are good for so much more than Thanksgiving casseroles! Sweet potatoes are more nutritionally dense than white potatoes, with health benefits that include vitamin A, iron, and anti-inflammatory properties. Roast them like a potato, or cut up like fries. Harvest season: September–December. Try this recipe: Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

Turnips

Tender and mild, these root vegetables are a great alternative to radishes and cabbage. Flavor them with fennel, bread crumbs, or even brown sugar, or use them as a slightly bitter complement to the sweetness of parsnips and carrots. Turnip leaves, which taste like mustard leaves, are easy to steam or stir fry and are even denser in nutrients. The health benefits of the roots include vitamin C, while the leaves are rich in vitamins A, K, and folate. Harvest season: September–April. Try these recipes: Mashed Turnips with Bacon (because for the meat-eaters among us, everything’s better with bacon!) and Warm Turnip Green Dip

Winter squashes

Cool weather squashes are denser, finer, and sweeter than summer squashes, and their thick skins mean you can store them for months without much loss of flavor or nurtients. They contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids (also good for kids’ brain health), are an excellent source of vitamin A, and taste even better with cinnamon and ginger, which have health benefits of their own. Harvest season: October–February. Try this recipe: Roasted Stuffed Winter Squash

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.

wreath welcome dominion harvest

Welcome, Dominion Harvest members!

Everything you need to know to get started

By the Veggie Fairy Team

Seasonal Roots is Virginia’s biggest online farmers market, and now we’ve joined forces with the oldest one, Dominion Harvest. Together, we’re supporting more local farmers and food artisans and spreading the veggie love to more local families – the more, the merrier… and the better for our planet! So for all our new Dominion Harvest members, here’s a step-by-step introduction to your growing fresh local food community:

When to place your order

From now on, you can place your order all weekend long. Your online farmers market is open from Friday at 2pm until Sunday at 11:59pm. We’ll send you an email on Friday to remind you that the market is open. During that time you can browse and shop all you want. When the market’s not open, you can take an offline tour of the ordering process by clicking here.

How to order your basket

When you sign in while the market is open, you’ll see that each order is fully customizable AND the ordering process is a little simpler — the best of all possible worlds.

It starts with a basket of fresh local produce that you can swap items in and out of. Then in the Extras section you can choose to buy dairy, bakery items, meats, artisan goods, or more produce.

First, the basket. There are three basket sizes to choose from:

basket assortments prices

To make it easy for you, we’ve pre-selected one of those produce baskets as your new default because it’s the closest match to the box you had in the Dominion Harvest system. But you’re free to change your default produce basket! Whichever basket you choose, it will come pre-filled with a selection of produce. You’re free to change that, too — just swap out items to get exactly what you want.

If you were used to getting extras like eggs, cheese, and bread with your order, keep reading!

How to order Extras

If you were used to getting extras like eggs, cheese, and bread with your order, here’s how you can easily add a pre-set assortment like that to your order:

  • Step 1: Once you’re happy with your produce basket, scroll down to the Extras section.
  • Step 2: Look for the “Mini-Bundles” tab and click on it.
  • Step 3: There you’ll find mini-bundles of those extra non-produce items. Select the one you want.
  • You’re also welcome to shop a la carte in the rest of the Extras section. In fact, you can change your order as often as you like until the market closes on Sunday at 11:59pm. If you do make changes, only your most recent save will be processed, so you can disregard the email confirmations you’ll receive for the earlier saves.

    The money stuff

    You’ll notice that, overall, prices will not be higher. In fact, for some items you may see lower prices. The main difference is that your box of local food will be priced and organized a little differently.

    By the way, Seasonal Roots has a small annual membership fee, and that membership fee will be waived for 2 years for all Dominion Harvest members.

    Your credit card will be charged on Monday morning.

    Delivery

    If you live in Northern Virginia, Wednesday will be your delivery day. If you live anywhere from Richmond to Virginia Beach, Thursday will be your delivery day. If you’re unsure about your delivery day, drop us an email.

    On your delivery day, your box of local food will be delivered to your doorstep — hand-delivered by a neighborhood Market Manager who lives near you. She or he will send you an email reminder the night before that will give you a delivery window of just a couple hours so you’ll know more exactly when to expect it. Your Market Manager is there to help, so feel free to send an email if you ever have any questions or concerns.

    On delivery day, you’ll also receive a “Field Notes” email from Sam, your Farmer Connector – he’ll update you on the harvest. Sometimes Mother Nature has plans for our crops that we can’t foresee. If something foils the harvest of a basket item, we’ll substitute the closest item we can find – for example, yellow squash instead of zucchini. If it’s an Extra item that you ordered, we’ll credit it to your account.

    By the way, we check and double check each item before it reaches you, but if something falls through the cracks, like a bruised apple or a missing item, we want to know! It’s easy to report an issue — visit our FAQs and scroll down to “Quality Control” for instructions.

    With your first order, you’ll receive a free cooler bag to hold your cold items. Each week after that, you’ll leave out the cooler bag or a larger cooler of your own, along with an ice pack if you have one. We won’t be leaving any of those frozen bottles, so you don’t have to deal with them any more.

    Next to your cooler, please leave out your empty Seasonal Roots delivery box from the week before to help us reduce our carbon footprint. Your Market Manager will whisk it away so we can reuse it again next week, saving energy and trees!

    Last but not least: Enjoy!

    Once you receive your order, all you have to do is enjoy it! If you ever find yourself with more fresh local produce than you can eat right away, here’s how you can preserve the nutrients and flavor until you’re ready to use it.

    To get to know us better, please visit our Web site where we’ve got FAQs, the story of how we got started, and more. We also hope you’ll join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter!

    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.

    reduce carbon footprint recycle

    2 easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint

    Eat local and recycle the box!

    By the Veggie Fairy Team

    The first thing you can do: Eat local food. The second thing: Reuse your Seasonal Roots delivery box. Now let’s get into the details.

    Eat local food

    So first things first: You’re already eating local food from Seasonal Roots. Here’s why that reduces 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.

    Recycle your box for reuse

    As for the second thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint, it’s so easy! Just help us reuse our boxes. On delivery day, leave your empty Seasonal Roots delivery box from the week before next to your cooler. Your neighborhood market manager will whisk it away so we can use it again next week.

    As you can see from the photo, veggie fairies like Margo L who deliver your local food really love it when you leave out last week’s box so we can all save energy and trees!

    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.

    online farmers market

    When Virginia Farmers Markets close for winter…

    …where do the farmers go?

    By the Veggie Fairy Team

    With the warm days of summer behind us, many Virginia farmers markets are folding up their tents for the winter. It’s not because farmers have nothing more to sell. It’s because most of us shoppers would rather stay inside where it’s warm and snug when it gets cold and blustery outside!

    And when it gets really cold, farmers have to keep their harvested produce from freezing while they’re shivering out there, trying to sell it to the few hardy souls willing to come out and shop. So, many markets close for the winter.

    But winter has its advantages

    Frosty temps are what give Virginia-grown carrots, beets, and other root veggies their sweetness. Arugula, too, is at its best in the chilly fall. Local cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, winter squashes, kale, spinach, and other greens are all just getting started as autumn leaves are falling.

    Many herbs happily grow here year-round. And just about anything can grow in greenhouses like the ones at Sion House Farm in Farnham and Victory Farms in Henrico. Plus, local hens are still laying, local cows are still giving milk, and local food artisans are still making delicious creations.

    Farmers need us and we need farmers… year-round!

    That’s why our online farmers market is open year-round. Now more than ever, our local farmers and food artisans depend on the members of the Seasonal Roots family… just as much as we depend on them for food that helps us eat better and live better any time of year!!

    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.

    local food benefits local community

    Local food benefits local community

    Restaurant fire leaves workers jobless, so Seasonal Roots steps up!

    By Kristin Henderson, Chief Veggie Conversationalist

    Early on a Saturday morning, a fire broke out in the kitchen area of a taco restaurant called Don’t Look Back, which is located in the Carytown section of Richmond.

    Good news, bad news

    The good news is, the restaurant owner is determined to reopen. The bad news – it’s going to take at least six months to make that happen.

    That means six months of unemployment for Don’t Look Back’s crew of workers. But the restaurant owner told the local newspaper, “In a tremendous show of support, some local businesses have been reaching out offering employment opportunities for our crew.”

    One of the businesses reaching out to help is us!

    So the Seasonal Roots packing facility is in Richmond. We call our packing facility the Hub, because that’s where our local farmers and food artisans drop off their fresh, local food, our veggie fairies pack it up for our members, and then send it back out on its way to each of your doorsteps.

    (By the way, see those hoodies in the picture of the packing line? The temps inside the Hub are on the chilly side to keep fresh fruits and vegetables happy… so the veggie fairies who do the packing bundle up!)

    There’s lots of work that needs to get done at the Hub. According to your Farmer Connector, Sam, “We have now hired four of the restaurant’s staff at the Hub for packing, to help them get through this tough time. Two great local companies helping each other out!”

    This is just another example of how local food benefits our local community!

    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.