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Thanksgiving favorites

Thanksgiving Memories and Reflections

Many of us look forward to Thanksgiving, and for many, it is at the very top of the favorite holiday list. Thanksgiving has such a positive sentiment with its focus on being grateful and spending time with family and friends. The joy of gathering and enjoying a delicious (bountiful) meal is center-focus rather than distractions like presents or extravagant decorations.

Perhaps because of our love of food, but also for many other reasons, the Seasonal Roots team loves loves loves the Thanksgiving holiday. In no particular order, the Top 10 favorite ways the Seasonal Roots team spends Thanksgiving include:

There is another activity that tops the list — the cooking! Just thinking about it now conjures up all of the magnificent aromas of the Thanksgiving meal. (Well, except for that year Leslie burned the marshmallows that were on top of the sweet potato casserole – that aroma was not so good and the smoke detector sound was not so great either.)

Thanksgiving is a holiday of many favorite recipes. We did a Thanksgiving JUST FOR FUN survey and learned about members favorite Thanksgiving foods which we are excited to share over the next few weeks.

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind that is Thanksgiving. There’s the planning, the buying, the prep in advance, and all of the love that goes into the preparation the day of! Even with enthusiastic helpers, Thanksgiving can be a lot of work. But, it’s worth it. The food is plentiful and seconds (or thirds) are encouraged! Oh and don’t get us started on the leftovers. Yum!

We hope that you are looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday as much as we are!

Related Links:

If you’d like to learn more about the Thanksgiving preorder origins and customer feedback, click here.

To go directly to the Thanksgiving Preorder menu, please click here.

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.

It’s National Work from Home Week

Work companions.

National Work from Home week is the second week in October and we all know how teleworking has grown over the course of the pandemic.

Of course, not every role allows for work from home — essential workers don’t have that option and have been working tirelessly, endlessly to help us all. Whether it is essential workers who are first responders, healthcare professionals, farmers, even the Seasonal Roots team, etc. we are so grateful.

While it’s been a complicated time for everyone, we’d like to take a walk on the lighter and furrier side of working from home.

23 million Americans brought new furry creatures into their home during the pandemic according to the ASPCA.  The Seasonal Roots team is in good company and has also added new adoptions to their mix of oldies-but-goodies working by their side (or on their laps).

One of the perks of working from home is more time with our furry friends. We thought we would share some pics of our extended team or “helpers”.

Karla’s friends Cookie, Goldie and Clancy enthusiastically support her in all of her work and certainly drive greater productivity.

Leslie’s friend Toby is a bit of a trouble maker, but when he is not eating the house, he does take some time to relax, stretch and unwind. He really needs a reboot, but the family seems to want to let him be.

Isabella’s Charlie is a serious-minded companion who sometimes corners her and questions her work. Considerable in-home therapy has been considered, but deemed too expensive.

Sam’s friend Maggie is a bit of a stalker, but he tries to overlook that reality. No really, she is a creeper and a stalker, but look how cute she is…

Landis’s friend Annie is a rather chill companion (and yet super aware of her greatness). She doesn’t let work get her stressed out. She is aware and comfortable with the fact that she rules the world.

By the way, the fact that we have all given our pets human names doesn’t mean anything. They don’t rule our houses in any way. We have many more pets within our family of Market Managers and members. We would love to feature them all, but thought it would be more reasonable to limit to just a few.

Perhaps in a future post, we can shine a spotlight on our human companions that also “help” us with our work. But that is another story entirely.

Spreading joy to our community and all of the many forms that takes – means everything to us. Love to all.

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.

Seasonal Roots is #6 on the Fastest Growing “RVA25” List

Seasonal Roots sees growth in Richmond and beyond.

The Seasonal Roots Online Farmers Market is happy to announce it has been named the 6th fastest-growing company in Richmond in a new ranking released by Richmond BizSense as part of their 2021 “RVA 25” awards.

We are excited to be recognized with so many other great organizations in RVA. Companies were ranked by average annual revenue growth over the previous 3-years. Landis Wine (Operations Manager) and Duane Slyder (Seasonal Roots Founder) were both able to attend the Richmond BizSense event at Hardywood on behalf of the team and enjoyed the event as well as the beautiful early fall weather.

Duane Slyder, Seasonal Roots Founder pictured with Landis Wine, Operations Manager.

Landis Wine (Operations Manager), Duane Slyder (Founder)

Shout out and a huge thank you to our members.

Our members are the reason for our growth. As an Online Farmers Market, it has been such an honor to be able to provide healthy produce to homes within days of harvest. This has never been more important than during the pandemic.  Seasonal Roots members have shared their enthusiasm for shopping online year-round for farm-fresh local produce, dairy, meats, baked goods, artisan fare and more. With that enthusiasm, growth has occurred across all of the Seasonal Roots delivery areas – Richmond, Fredericksburg, Northern Virginia, Southern Maryland, and the Hampton Roads areas.

And of course we thank our partners – local farmers, bakers and artisans who supply the best products and follow earth-friendly sustainable practices.

While eating farm fresh produce within days of harvest tastes great, it has a bigger impact. Simply by choosing to eat locally, season by season, you know your choices are better for the environment!

The Richmond BiZSENSE article is available here.

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.

Seasonal Eating Guide: Fall Edition

Welcome to our Guide to Seasonal Eating: FALL Edition!

Seasonal eating is all about living in sync with the seasons. At Seasonal Roots, we’re also in sync with our community, from the local farmers and food artisans who make our food to the Seasonal Roots members who enjoy it.

We’re all connected through seasonal eating. So we have a (healthy) obsession with local produce, because it’s packed with flavor and nutrients — and easy to enjoy. That’s why our market is customizable and home delivered, Dirt to Doorstep, within days of harvest.

Now here’s the cherry on top:

Our guide to the fall produce that’s in season in Virginia and Maryland… and how to get the most out of it!

In this guide, you’ll find a little something for everyone. Because we’re a diverse bunch — chefs (official or not), foodies, newbies, vegetarians, meat lovers, you name it. So just click on the links below to jump straight to whatever interests you!

IN THIS ISSUE

local pumpkins for seasonal eating

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BENEFITS & USES of Fall’s Produce Powerhouses

Below are some of the health benefits of seasonal eating. We’ve also selected a few of the Seasonal Roots team’s favorite recipes HERE.

As we get closer to Thanksgiving, we’ll be sharing some holiday feast tips. Oh, and be on the look-out for a little fact finding mission that will reveal which Thanksgiving dishes make the favorites list, coming soon…!

APPLES

local apples
BENEFITS: Heart-healthy flavonoids in the skin, antioxidants, and 4 grams of dietary fiber.
USES: Eat raw as a stand-alone snack, in a smoothie or salad, in pork dishes, or cooked up as apple sauce or pie.
HARVEST: August-November

BEETS

BENEFITS: Red and gold beets are nutritional champs known for their high concentration of nitrates and accompanying blood pressure-lowering effects. They are also high in fiber and packed with nutrients.
USES: Beets are best enjoyed cooked and then can be used in salads, as a side, or even in a colorful dip.
HARVEST: year-round

BROCCOLI

BENEFITS: One cup of broccoli has as much vitamin C as an orange. Sulforaphane and other natural compounds in broccoli are reported to stop cancer cells from forming in your body.
USES: Enjoy broccoli raw, within a salad, with a dip, or mixed into a fantastic stir fry.
HARVEST: September-November

BRUSSELS SPROUTS

local brussels sprouts
BENEFITS: Brussels sprouts are high in fiber, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, plus folate and iron.
USES: Serve as a side or atop salads and meats, steam or roast, serve with salt or add tangy or savory sauces like balsamic vinegar.
HARVEST: September-March

CARROTS

BENEFITS: Loose carrots are a particularly good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants.
USES: Raw with dips or in salad, roasted as a side, or that perennial favorite — carrot cake!
HARVEST: September–November

CAULIFLOWER

BENEFITS: Vitamin C and compounds that may help to prevent cancer and lower cholesterol.
USES: Raw with dips or in salad, steamed or roasted as a side, blended like mashed potatoes or pureed into soup.
HARVEST: September–June

CELERY ROOT (a.k.a.Celeriac)

BENEFITS: High in fiber and a good source of vitamins B6, C, K and minerals phosphorus, potassium, and manganese.
USES: Raw or cooked, celery root is a versatile vegetable. It can be used as a base for salads, stews and soups and also works well mashed, baked, roasted or boiled.
HARVEST: September–November

CELERY

local celery
BENEFITS: Packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, beta carotene, and flavonoids, and a great source of phytonutrients which have been shown to reduce inflammation.
USES: Celery is great raw and you can eat the leaves too! It’s a classic base ingredient in soups and stews, or try it steamed or baked for a twist on this good old reliable veg.
HARVEST: October-December

DARK LEAFY GREENS

BENEFITS: Iron, calcium, vitamins A and C, and fiber.
USES: Raw in a salad or smoothies, or baked into other dishes. Cooking makes it easier for our bodies to digest its nutrients.
HARVEST: Year-round

FENNEL

BENEFITS: Vitamin C, potassium.
USES: Looks like the love child between a dill plant and an onion but has a mild licorice flavor – add to soups, sides, and mains.
HARVEST: Fall through spring

PARSNIPS

BENEFITS: Potassium, fiber.
USES: Sweeter and nuttier than carrots, roast alone or with just about every other fall vegetable.
HARVEST: October-April

PEARS

local pears
BENEFITS: Vitamin C, copper, 4 grams of fiber.
USES: Enjoy raw alone or with cheese, in salads, and baked or poached desserts.
HARVEST: August-February

PUMPKINS

BENEFITS: Potassium, tons of fiber, B vitamins.
USES: Pies, soups, and sides, plus toss seeds in olive oil and salt, then roast for an addictive snack or salad topping. Also jack o’lanterns!
HARVEST: October-February

RUTABAGAS

BENEFITS: Vitamin C, fiber.
USES: Like a cross between a turnip and a parsnip, they’re delish in casseroles, puree with turnips and carrots for soup, or roasted with ginger, honey, or lemon.
HARVEST: October-April

SPINACH

BENEFITS: Vitamins A, C, K, iron, and disease-fighting phytonutrients.
USES: Raw in a salad or smoothies, steamed as a stand-alone or baked into other dishes. Cooking makes it easier for our bodies to digest its nutrients.
HARVEST: Year-round, but it gets sweeter after the first nip from Jack Frost

SWEET POTATOES

BENEFITS: Vitamin A, iron, and anti-inflammatory properties.
USES: Roast like a potato or cut up like fries, add to salads and stews, puree into soups.
HARVEST: September–December

TURNIPS

local turnips
BENEFITS: Vitamin C (roots), vitamins A, K, and folate (leaves).
USES: Steam, roast, or boil the roots, flavor with fennel, bread crumbs, or brown sugar, adds a slightly bitter complement to sweet parsnips, carrots, or mashed potatoes. Steam or stir fry the leaves.
HARVEST: September–April

WINTER SQUASHES

BENEFITS: Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A.
USES: Butternut and acorn have thick skin and can be stored for months. Bake, steam, or roast plain or with cinnamon and ginger, add to salads and stews, puree into soups.
HARVEST: October–February
seasonal eating local winter squash


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3 More Reasons to Savor the LOCAL Flavors of Fall

Seasonal eating is good for you and the planet:

  • RIPENESS & A LOWER CARBON FOOTPRINT! Fruits and veggies absorb flavor and nutrients (like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants) from the sun and earth – right up until the moment they’re harvested. When they’re picked early to ship long distances, they never reach their full potential… even if they eventually look ripe. This is the reality of our industrial food system and it leaves many fruits and vegetables lacking in taste and nutrition.
  • REAL FOOD MATTERS! Eating local ensures that you are eating real food with real nutrients. Local food is packed with antioxidants which may help prevent or delay cell damage. When you get your antioxidants from food, studies have found it can improve cognitive function and help prevent cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses! Antioxidant supplements have not been proven to do those things. And of course fresh local produce retains its flavor, unlike those poor road weary veggies traveling from across the country and beyond.
  • KNOWING WHERE YOUR FOOD COMES FROM DELIVERS PEACE OF MIND. We partner with local farmers we know, and in our market we list who produced what. Many of our farms are multi-generational, caring for their land, crops, and animals with the next generation in mind. They use sustainable practices, what we call old-school organic, like rotating their crops to avoid sucking all the nutrients out of the soil.

seasonal eating local spinach

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Here’s Why Our NUTRITION NEEDS CHANGE with the Seasons

Seasonal eating means eating what grows naturally in each season – which is what our bodies are designed to do.

For instance, now that it’s FALL, the apple harvest is starting. Like a lot of other fall produce, apples are high in fiber and pectin that help cleanse the intestines and digest fats. And that helps us get ready for cold weather.

Because when WINTER closes in, our bodies need more fats and protein from meats, fish, nuts, seeds, legumes, root vegetables, and winter squashes. Winter’s cold, dry weather can dry us out. But foods that are rich in protein and fat restore moisture to our bodies and make us less susceptible to colds and flu.

After processing all those fats and heavier foods all winter, we really need to detoxify! So in the SPRING, Mother Nature provides bitter greens like arugula to help clean out our livers.

By the time SUMMER heats up, we’re spending more time outside. We’re more active, so we need the extra energy we get from carbohydrates and sugars. Naturally, warm weather fruits like peaches and strawberries serve up plenty of both. Plus, produce like cucumbers and watermelon help us hydrate, too.

If you’re practicing seasonal eating, you’re getting what your body needs. Meanwhile, the blossoms on those apple trees are ripening into fruit again…
seasonal eating local apple trees blooming

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How to Take Advantage of HOME DELIVERY to Stay Healthy

Home delivery is more than just a convenient way to enjoy seasonal eating. It can make a difference to your health.

As we head into cold and flu season, plus an ongoing pandemic, one of the simplest ways to stay healthy is to avoid exposure. The more you can steer clear of germ-filled public places, the fewer chances you have of catching something.

To reduce your exposure at the grocery store, customize your Seasonal Roots order with essential extras like local eggs, milk, baked goods, salsas, plant protein, meats, artisan goods, and more. Save your grocery store trips for stocking up on non-perishables. Fewer trips equal less exposure.

Our members tell us there’s also another healthy benefit of home delivery: It makes it easy to keep fresh, good-for-you food on hand. That includes more fruits and veggies in greater variety and healthier snacks. It’s much harder to avoid temptation in the grocery store aisle.

So let your neighborhood Market Manager take really good care of you and put home delivery to work for you this fall!

seasonal eating local food
— Erica, Seasonal Roots member since 2016

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.

dogs on seasonal roots delivery day

Even My Dogs Get Excited for Delivery Day

We all love delivery day!

 

When I get the text alert letting me know that my delivery is on its way, of course I get excited. But I thought I would share some behind-the-scenes photos of some other Seasonal Roots enthusiasts.

Reese and Toby get super excited and run to the door as soon as our weekly Seasonal Roots delivery arrives with our farm-fresh produce, meats, cheese, and bakery items. Reese barks with (annoying) enthusiasm and Toby bounces up and down in a frenzy.

Sometimes I share the meat from the box. Other times we share some cheese…Oh and yes, of course there are the pet treats that we often order from Seasonal Roots.

But their favorite, paws down, is apple pieces. It is a sweet treat that they beg for. With the apple’s orchard-fresh taste, it’s no wonder that they cannot resist! I can assure you that neither can I. And it is great for all of us – packed with flavonoids, vitamin A, C, and fiber. Just make sure the dogs don’t eat the core and seeds.

Hope you enjoy your next delivery day as much as we will!

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.

The Perfect Watermelon

Which watermelon hits the sweet spot for you?

A Seasonal Roots member makes some new discoveries about an old fave:

I grew up in central Florida in the Sixties, back when finding the perfect watermelon was simple: It was the one that sounded hollow when you knocked on it at the roadside stand. That told you it was ready to sweetly quench your summer thirst.

Sweating in the humid sunshine, my little sisters and I could hardly wait for our dad to hoist our perfect, massive melon into the (un-airconditioned!) car.

Back home, he’d cut it open on the backyard picnic table with a knife the size of a small sword. We’d eat it right out there, because with all those spittable seeds and drippy juice, watermelon was best eaten outside. In bathing suits. That way our mom could just hose us off afterward.

For kids everywhere, then and now, some things never change.

kids eating watermelon

But back when I was a kid, it seemed like all perfect watermelons were the same: They were big and heavy. They were neon pink inside. And they were stuffed with hard black seeds — perfect for seed-spitting contests.

There’s a science to achieving top seed-spitting velocity. Fill lungs with air. Draw tongue back like a poised piston. Then: Fire mouthful of seeds out through tightly pursed lips with an explosive puff of the cheeks.

It’s a finely honed skill.

Only if you were very young, very old, or very lazy would you settle for weakly poking them out of your mouth with your tongue to dribble down your chin.

But I digress.

More than one perfect watermelon

So let’s dive into what makes for a perfect modern-day watermelon.

kids dives into box of watermelons

Nowadays, the perfect watermelon can be large or small. The first time I came across one of the smaller, personal-sized watermelons I thought it was genius. With just my husband and me doing the eating, no way could we eat an entire old-fashioned watermelon before it went to waste. Here was a watermelon that was perfectly sized for just us.

The perfect watermelon can also be yellow inside instead of pink. I found the first yellow watermelon I ate oddly distracting. Still, it tasted fine.

But then there is the seedless watermelon. The first time I saw one, I ranted: “Seedless watermelon? Does that even qualify as watermelon? What is childhood without special memories of seed-filled-watermelon-eating?!! Without seeds, eating a watermelon would be no different from eating, say, a banana. I have no special memories of banana-eating!”

My husband said calmly, “I never liked eating watermelon because the seeds were annoying. They made it too inconvenient to bother with.”

For him, the perfect watermelon is seedless.

I was gobsmacked. Well, you learn something new everyday.

Watermelon is the perfect health food, too

Anything that you eat like it’s dessert can’t actually be healthful, right? So I always assumed that, healthwise, watermelon was at best neutral.

the perfect watermelon

It’s so sweet that it’s hard to believe it could actually be low in sugar. But it is. That makes watermelon the perfect health food in my book, because it sure doesn’t taste like it’s good for you.

Meanwhile, it’s high in vitamins A and C. Studies also suggest watermelon may lower blood pressure and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. Plus the lycopene in watermelon could help protect the body from UV rays and cancer. Sign me up!

Watermelon… recipes?

It never occured to me to eat this summer treat any other way than the way I always had, no recipe required. And then I came across it in a salad. It was deee-lish! Now I’m all about adding it to all kinds of things. Here’s that original salad recipe:

Watermelon Salad with Mint and Crispy Proscuitto
(I substituted bacon for the proscuitto because that’s what I had on hand. And everything’s better with bacon.)

And here are a few more recipes, enough for a whole meal of watermelon:

Creamy Watermelon Smoothie (For this one, I sub honey and cream-top whole milk instead of the sugar and fat-free stuff. Decadent, I know.)

Watermelon Caprese Appetizer

Spicy Shrimp & Watermelon Kabobs

Watermelon Popsicles (Because, summer!)

watermelon shrimp kabobs

So what’s your perfect watermelon? What’s your perfect way to eat it? Share it with the rest of us on the Seasonal Roots Facebook page!

Kristin
Seasonal Roots member

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.

The REAL cost of food

Eating seasonally and locally helps reduce hidden costs now… and for future generations

What’s the real cost of food? Altogether, we Americans spend $1.1 trillion buying our food every year. But the real cost of food is even higher than that — three times higher!

That’s according to a report from the Rockefeller Foundation that was recently featured in The Washington Post.

So whether we know it or not, we’re not just paying for the food we buy. We’re also paying for hidden healthcare and environmental costs. Those costs are also being shouldered by businesses, food producers, and the government. Unfortunately, future generations will pay the price, too.

real cost of food for future generations

The bad news: “Our food system is broken.”

That’s what our Head Veggie Fairy Duane said way back in 2011 when he founded Seasonal Roots. That’s why he pioneered what was, back then, a new way of uniting Virginia communities with their local farmers — our home-delivered online farmers market.

duane - food system is broken

And the good news…?

So the good news is, each of us can make a difference by choosing to eat locally and seasonally! Here are some of the findings in the Rockefeller Foundation study…

Rising healthcare costs

The Rockefeller researchers studied 14 aspects of food production in the United States. That gave them the data they needed to add up what our food is really costing us.

One of the biggest hidden costs of our current food system is healthcare.

Before the 1950s, hunger and vitamin deficiency were both big problems. So the goal was to develop a food system that could get lots of low-cost calories and vitamins into a booming population. They didn’t realize that such a system would eventually fuel a boom in other health problems.

Most people now get plenty of calories and enough vitamins to get by. But it’s estimated that every year health problems linked to our modern diet cost us more than $600 billion! Those health problems include diseases like hypertension, cancer, and diabetes.

We could cut those yearly health care costs (and the suffering that goes with it) by $250 billion … if we could just get our rate of diet-related diseases down to the rates you see in countries like Canada.

Two things could help get us there:

  1. The food industry could develop healthier foods and limit how they market unhealthy foods.
  2. Each of us can make healthier choices about what and how we eat.

As individuals, we don’t have much control over the first. But happily, we can control the second!

eating locally eating seasonally

Impact on the environment

Industrial-scale farming and ranching can place serious burdens on the environment. We’re talking about greenhouse gas emissions, water depletion, and soil erosion.

And when industrial farming cuts down forests and plows up grasslands, it also reduces biodiversity. These practices destroy habitats and force animals, birds, reptiles, and insects into ever-shrinking wild spaces. When ecosystems become overcrowded and unproductive, they become unhealthy. And the damage doesn’t just hurt the wildlife. Pests and disease can become a problem for us humans, too, affecting our food supplies.

Each year in America, all these environmental costs add up to almost $900 billion.

Right now, if a farmer wants to switch to using more sustainable methods that are less harmful to the environment, the system isn’t set up to help. So improving how you farm is hard and expensive.

The system has to change, but that requires high level policy changes.

In the meantime, each of us can still make a difference: We can support farmers who are taking the initiative to become more sustainable on their own.

flores farm sustainable farming

Our sustainable farmers are reducing the real cost of food

At Seasonal Roots, we partner with local farmers like Gerardo Flores of G. Flores Produce (pictured above, left, with Sam, our farmer and artisan connector, on the right.) Our farming partners rely on sustainable, humane farming methods that are good for people, animals, and the environment.

To reduce the hidden (but real!) cost of food, our farmers are tilling as little as possible and using cover crops that help build healthy soil and prevent erosion. They’re practicing integrated pest management to reduce the need for pesticides. They’re rotating their livestock between pastures to allow the grass to recover naturally.

harmony hill farm sustainable farming

Some are turning to solar power for their electricity needs. They’re conserving water. Family farmers are often working land that has co-existed for generations with neighboring wild ecosystems.

And when nearby communities buy the food they grow and make, that food doesn’t have to travel far. That reduces its carbon footprint or “foodprint.”

eat locally eat seasonally to reduce the real cost of food

While eating farm fresh produce within days of harvest tastes great, it has a bigger impact. Simply by choosing to eat locally, season by season, you’re making the world a better place — now, and for future generations!

Want to learn more? Get more details from The Washington Post story.

Or take a deep dive into the Rockefeller Foundation’s full report.

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.

seasonal eating fall foods

Seasonal eating optimizes good health

EAT BETTER LIVE BETTER NEWSLETTER / October 25, 2017

Tips, hacks, recipes, stories, and the weekly special all help you eat better live better with fresh local food!

MOTHER NATURE KNOWS BEST

Do you clean out your closets in the spring, enjoy more outdoor activities in the summer, and crave all things warm and cozy in the fall and winter? Your eating habits probably follow the same cycle. Science tells us this is natural, and…

Continue reading about seasonal eating, below, or view this issue as a PDF with clickable links.

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seasonal eating fall foods healthy eating

Seasonal eating: 5 healthy tips to get ready for fall foods

Mother Nature’s gift gives us what we need when we need it

– By the Veggie Fairy Team

Do you clean out your closets in the spring, enjoy more outdoor activities in the summer, and crave all things warm and cozy in the fall and winter? Your eating habits probably follow the same cycle. Science tells us this is natural, and nature supplies food perfectly designed to give our bodies what they need to stay healthy during each season. Mother Nature’s fall bounty is like a bouquet of good health — a gift for our bodies.

The foods we need change with the seasons

Seasonal eating means eating what grows naturally in each season. Now that it’s fall, you’ve probably noticed all the apples that our friends at Saunders Brothers are harvesting these days. Apples are high in fiber and pectin that help cleanse the intestines and support the digestion of fats.

That’s important, because with the onset of winter our bodies need more fats and protein from meats, fish, nuts, seeds, legumes, root vegetables, and winter squashes. Winter’s cold, dry weather can dry us out and foods that are rich in protein and fat restore moisture to our bodies and make us less susceptible to colds and flu.

In the spring, Mother Nature provides bitter greens like arugula to help clean out our livers. We need to detoxify after processing all those fats and heavier foods that we ate all winter.

Next up: summer. Since we’re outside more in the summer, and more active, we need the extra energy we get from carbohydrates and sugars in warm weather fruits like peaches and strawberries. Produce like cucumbers and watermelon help us hydrate, more, too.

Get ready for fall foods: 5 healthy tips

Now it’s fall, and winter will soon be upon us. So here are 5 healthy steps you can take to make it easy to cook and eat fresh, local fall foods, the way nature intended.

1. In the winter we eat less cold, raw food and more hot, cooked food. Clean your oven so you can start the season without setting off your smoke detectors.

2. Start eating fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins A and C. They boost your immune system so it’s good and strong for fighting off the germ attacks of cold and flu season. Add greens like kale and collards to smoothies, soups, and pasta dishes. Other A and C rock stars of our fall-season local produce include apples, cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, hard winter squashes, celery, celeriac, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Many of these contain more vitamin C than oranges!

3. You’ll get some of the fat your body needs when you snack on nuts and seeds, which contain healthy fats. Cook with healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, and walnut oil. Don’t throw away those seeds you scoop out of butternut and acorn squashes! Toss them in olive oil (don’t waste time picking out those strands that come with them, the strands will shrivel in the heat), spread them on a baking sheet loosely covered with foil, then roast them at about 400 degrees until they start to pop. (The foil keeps them from flying around inside your oven.) Stir them and keep an eye on them. Once they’re brown, take them out, sprinkle with salt, and start snacking.

4. Eat whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, barley, and whole wheat breads. Their dietary fiber aids healthy digestion. Whole grains are also full of iron for healthy blood, antioxidants to keep your cells healthy, and B vitamins to give you energy.

5. Make a homemade, nutritious stock or broth to use in soups, stews, and sauces. Here’s how to make bone broth, which is both immune boosting and good for bone and joint health. And here’s how to make a healthy vegan broth.

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.