Eating With The Seasons

By Crystal Stevens

The benefits of eating with the seasons are profound and can truly make a difference in your health, for the environment, for the lives of small family farmers, for the community and for the greater good. When you support local farmers, you are supporting their livelihood; you are supporting their family, you are offering them a fighting chance. You are reducing the food miles and in turn reducing your own carbon footprint! Local farmers often use environmentally friendly growing methods such as cover cropping, crop rotation, companion planting, composting, soil amendments, and more. When you support a local farmer, you can rest assured that you and your family are eating clean. You are helping to circulate funds back into the local economy. Eating with the seasons is crucial for the future of the planet. The importance of eating local is crucial to the future of food. With the rise in health and environmental concerns due to toxic pesticides, monoculture, and the many miles food travels, we are in dire need of a shift in the way humans hold reverence for food. Now more than ever, people are becoming genuinely concerned about what they are putting in their bodies.

One way to make a difference in our daily lives is to support local farmers, local grocers, local chefs and local makers of artisan foods.

This is the time of year in which local produce is becoming abundant! Here are some great avenues in which you can source locally grown vegetables:

Grow your own! There are dozens of dozens of vegetable and fruit varieties that thrive in the Midwestern summer. Garden Heights Nursery and Bowood have an excellent selection of plant starts. Look for Crown Valley Organics vegetable starts.

Farmers Markets! Tower Grove Farmers Market is our Favorite! Check it out every Saturday morning.

  • Tower Grove Farmers’ Market – 4256 Magnolia Ave- Saturday mornings 8-12.
  • Cherokee Street International Market – 2647 Cherokee- Friday evenings 4-7.
  • Farmers’ Market at the Cheshire – 7036 Clayton- Saturday mornings 8-12.
  • Kirkwood farmers’ Market – 150 E. Argonne- weekdays 9-6, Saturdays 8-5.
  • North City Farmers’ Market – 14th & St. Louis Ave- Saturday mornings 10-1.
  • Schlafly Farmer’s Market – 7260 Southwest Ave- Wednesday evenings 4-7.
  • Webster Groves Farmers’ Market – Gazebo Park- Thursday evenings 3-6:30.
  • Mid-Town Market – U-City, Saturday Mornings.

Join a CSA – La Vista Farm has a few spots open for the 2016 growing season- www.lavistacsa.org

Support Local Grocers!

  • Local Harvest Grocer – 3108 Morganford Road, St. Louis, MO 63116- open 8am-8pm everyday
  • City Greens Market – 4260 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110
  • Larder and Cupboard – 7310 Manchester Road Maplewood, MO 63143

Support Chefs and businesses who support local! Kitchen Kulture and Farm Truk STL are perfect examples of chefs using seasonal ingredients! For fine dining, Niche pledges to use source only local ingredients.

Crystal Stevens is a regular contributor to The Healthy Planet magazine.