You’re doing it this time. You’re committed to this, and 2022 is the year it happens. The year marks the start of the New Year’s Resolution you’ve been thinking about for ages: you are finally going to eat healthily. You wait for the internal applause to die down, you give your speech, and you look into your pantry and fridge to discover that there’s not a single fruit or vegetable in sight.
Immediately, you wonder if maybe you need to file a retraction to your speech. But don’t fret! Even in this chilly winter season of barren fields of snow, there is no shortage of fresh produce on the market. All you have to do is know where to look.
You Can Find Them at a Supermarket
Yes, but don’t leave just yet!
Sure, you can find almost any kind of fruit or veggie up for grabs at a supermarket, but just finding them is only half the battle. See, there’s a reason why we’re talking about fresh produce during the winter, and it’s not just because it’s timely.
Seasons affect many things, not just weather patterns, average temperature, or family plans. Organic produce is heavily dependent on the Earth (obviously,) and thus, their growth and overall health are also dependent on the Earth. More specifically, each fruit and vegetable’s growing season.
So when you go looking for some succulent squashes, you might see the term “in season” thrown around a few times. It is an important factor in anything you want to buy as organically as possible. You want to go for things in season, the plants designed to be grown during the winter. A quick budgeting tip for our thrifty readers: things in season are often more affordable options.
For instance, you might want to go for some apples, oranges, pears, lemons, grapefruits, kiwis, and others of the sort. These fruits are considered in season during the winter. As far as vegetables, go with cabbage, carrots, and celery. Beets and brussels sprouts are also in season.
So, yes, you can find these at the supermarket. But you have to be careful because a lot of produce is flown in from around the world. Often, these countries lack farming regulations, so they are grown in sub-standard soils and lack nutritional value. So another viable option that many people rely on is local farmers’ markets.
The Winter Farmers’ Markets
Now, this is more like it. It has the local shop vibe you’re going for, and you can practically feel the plaid and denim on your skin already.
All kidding aside, farmers’ markets have always been the go-to when it comes to healthy lifestyles. Even in the snow-buried states, farmers’ markets are up and running, full to bursting with ripe produce. Depending on where you live, you might be surprised at how close to you they are. Likewise, you may be surprised to find that your local farmers’ market is only a few minutes further from your local chain grocery.
Unless, of course, that isn’t the case, and you aren’t quite sure that a whole hour of driving there and back is entirely worth meeting your health goals. Well, guess what? In a lot of areas, there is another option.
CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)
If you are unfamiliar with the term, Community Supported Agriculture comprises individuals within the community who pledge to support a local farming operation while that same farm supports the community. In this model, growers and consumers share the risks and benefits of food production.
Here’s how this works: members of the CSA buy a share of the local farming operations produce before the actual growing season. For doing this, the members of the CSA receive regular distributions of what is grown on the farm. It is a win-win because farmers receive advance working capital, earn better crop prices, and gain financial security. The members, in return, receive regular deliveries of fresh produce that generally works out to be below-market prices.
You can think of it as supporting your local agriculture via a subscription service. It’s kind of like Netflix, but for fruits and vegetables. Different CSAs work in different ways, but the general idea is that you’ll be sent some great, freshly-grown produce. You may even find some items you’d never think to try on your own!
Little Tip: Freeze It
There’s a reason why iceboxes are pretty prime on the list of human inventions: they are invaluable for keeping things stored. So if you’ve got the space, the freezer is your best friend.
The freezer allows you to buy fresh fruits and vegetables in bulk, then freeze what you will not eat right away. But, of course, not all produce will hold up to being frozen. So we recommend looking online for helpful hints regarding the best way to freeze your prized organic fruits and vegetables.