This is what I just came home with – cilantro, onions, lettuce, carrots, and 4 large tomatoes (not shown) – all foods that my 4 year old son pulled out of the ground as we purchased them. Not only are they fresh they are organic – no pesticides, no fertilizers, D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S. I paid $8 for all of it. My secret? Farmers. We are incredibly lucky to live near a fantastic couple who grows their own food.
I am incredibly fortunate to have found a lady less than 10 minutes away who started a veggie garden as a hobby. Over the past few years I have watched her large garden turn into a HUGE garden….really a small farm…. the size of several acres. All planted and taken care of by her and her husband. She eats only what she grows and never gets a break. They have just now started hiring a few helpers as they not only raise veggies as a hobby but they also have pigs, turkeys, ducks, and chickens.
I’m not even sure how we found her to be honest but I can’t imagine how incredibly sad I will be if we ever move away some day. She is very generous in what she gives us and her prices ROCK! Her prices are about the same price as the grocery store and sometimes even cheaper! For organic!! Not only do I love her farm because of the price and the fact that it’s organic but she is incredibly kind to my children as well who are always wanting to see her chickens and pull their own vegetables.
This morning I brought my oldest son with me to her “farm” and he was able to harvest the carrots, cilantro, onions and lettuce which we bought. I have no problem carrying home mud-covered veggies from her place – the taste is worth it! I absolutely LOVE the fact that my son can pull carrots at her farm and come home 10 minutes later and eat them!
I understand that not everyone has this ability or luck! If you can’t afford to purchase all organic research the foods with the highest amount of pesticides and buy only those organic. For example we started out focusing on apples because they are the worst (up to 40 pesticides on EACH apple!). We bought only organic apples and apple juice for a few years and then moved to apples and celery.
We don’t have a Whole Foods near us but if you shop there make sure to check their coupons – sometimes you can get great deals! Watch the sales – I have seen organic food prices at Super Target for even cheaper than the price of “regular” veggies. Shop at Publix? Keep an eye on the prices – if the cashier rings up the wrong price you get it for free – and this has helped us buying organic just by watching those prices. Some Walmarts even carry organic now. Of course if you live near any farms at all ask around and keep an eye out for small side-of-the-road stands. Also pick your own during the right season – although the farms may use pesticides there will be a lesser amount if YOU harvest them than if they do.
If you have the time and can invest in a little bit of start-up cost then you can grow your own garden. Find out what grows best near you, do some research online, and turn your backyard into a vegetable garden!