Why Local, Organic, and Free Range?

A walk through the produce section of a supermarket might leave you thinking we can have all kinds of delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables year-round, at least until you actually bite into that January strawberry from South America. These days, most produce in supermarkets comes from California, Florida, and other states with longer growing seasons. Often it is shipped from other countries thousands of miles away. This is true even in the spring, summer, and fall, when local fruits and vegetables are available.

strawberryIn order to survive journeys of over a thousand miles, most varieties have been bred for durability rather than flavor or nutrition. Most produce is picked before it can ripen naturally because ripe fruits and vegetables are more easily damaged in transit and rot more quickly. Unripened produce, however, hasnt yet reached its peak of flavor and nutrient content. Also, fruits and vegetables begin losing nutrients as soon as theyre harvested, so more time spent traveling means less nutritious food.

lettuceIn the Kansas City area, local lettuce usually becomes available in late April, new potatoes are first available around the end of May, the earliest field tomatoes ripen in late June (greenhouse varieties are often available earlier), and sweet corn only gets to be sweetabout the beginning of July. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries each have growing seasons of a few weeks to a couple of months during the summer, depending on the weather. Peaches come on a bit later, and apples and pears ripen as the signs of autumn appear.

Eating more locally grown foods also means eating more in tune with the seasons. While this entails not being able to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, it also means never having to suffer the culinary disappointment of biting into a mushy, flavorless tomato. Perhaps most importantly, farmers growing for local markets are much more likely to grow varieties that were bred for flavor and nutrition rather than durability and a long shelf life.

We are building a locavore friendly city where area farms grow delicious, healthy food and support themselves, the environment, and their community. And we have a lot of fun doing it! Be in the know with pop-up dinners, classes, and members-only farm tours!