Susan and I spend a great deal of time talking with farm friends about food. Some join the farm hunting fresh, tasty produce. Others are determined to buy local. Many are anxious to see how their food is grown or raised.
But the vast majority of folks are searching for real food with the hopes that it will restore their aching bodies to health. In response to these curiosities and concerns, the farmer offers his secret to squeezing the most out of your local farm.
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked if I had sweet corn in May, I would have little need to farm for money. The grocery store has become a world market and has spoiled our thinking about the availability of food. So, the first piece of advice I would offer is: buy what the farmer has available today.
Grieving over the news that sweet corn will not be ready until June serves little purpose. It will take some adjustment in our thinking but instead of coming to the farm with a list of what we would like, buy what the farmer has today. This will put more healthy food on our plates and keep the farmer thriving as well.
The second tip to help us squeeze the most from our local farm is: eat what you purchase! This may seem like a crusty ole crumb of advice but you will not believe how many times we hear a customer complain that their half gallon of milk began to sour after two weeks in the refrigerator.
If we are not consuming a half gallon of milk in two weeks, then we are not making very good use of our farmer. Whether we are purchasing for taste or health, neither will be quenched if the products are purchased but rarely consumed. To make the most of your farmer, purchase what’s available and eat what you purchase!
My third suggestion for maximizing your local farm experience is to take advantage of the educational opportunities provided. Susan loves to teach folks how to make sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, and an array of healthy snacks and desserts.
Many of us never received training in cooking from scratch and oftentimes your local farmer has helpful suggestions and tasty recipes to share. Take advantage of these perks. Purchase what’s available; eat what you purchase; and take advantage of the educational opportunities.
The final secret to squeezing the most out of your local farm is to minimize chemical toxins. God has given us immune systems that are amazing. We have several lines of defense beginning with our tonsils and being assisted by our gall bladder and liver. These filters help remove many damaging substances but there is a limit.
Perhaps it would be helpful to think of it this way; an extremely healthy man that eats nothing but organically grown foods, drinks fresh spring water, and lives far from the city smog will have an extremely healthy immune system. But if he is bitten by a rattlesnake, he will likely die if left untreated.
We too, as individuals who eat healthy, will have strong immune systems. However, if we also ingest poisons from processed foods in great quantities, we will overwhelm our bodies defenses. The result of being bitten by a rattlesnake is death. Eating toxic food in unison with farm fresh products may result in a similar fate.
A healthy lifestyle should be a long view of building a strong, healthy immune system and avoiding the chemical toxins. We cannot eat healthy for a month or two and expect these healthy foods to cancel out the poisons we are also ingesting. Our bodies were never intended, by God, to eat chemicals as though they were food. We must clean up our whole diet!
If we will apply The Farmers’ Secret by purchasing what’s available, eating what we purchase, taking advantage of educational opportunities, and minimizing chemical toxins, we can all “squeeze the most out of our local farm”, and in the process, honor our Creator by using the strength He affords us for His service.