Buy Fresh. Buy Local Helena
Local farm markets give us an opportunity that many only dream of."
Growing up, 5 a.m. on Saturday mornings my dad would wake me up for our weekly trip to the Farmers Market. When we arrived I was always amazed at the number of old pick up trucks that would be backed up, tailgates down and loaded up with vegetables picked that very morning. My dad was a believer in "buy fresh, buy local" movement before it was a movement. It was just how we lived; Buy fresh, cook, can it or freeze it and we'd preserve the goodness of summer well into the months of winter. We'd buy whatever was in season that week and then head home and the prep would begin. It was a ritual I'll never forget.
This past Saturday I woke up at 5 a.m. in anticipation of opening day of Helena Market Days. The local farm market is a great source of locally grown fruit and vegetables, baked goods, jams, jellies, BBQ Sauce, fresh bread not to mention local makers of custom signs, cutting board, popsicles, pound cakes, soaps and other items. You can even get your knives sharpened and hear some great local musical talent perform.
Millions of people in the United States don't even have access to local produce, they live in areas referred to as "food deserts". We are very fortunate to have a market in Helena and it will only survive if we support it. Local farm markets matter in a multitude of ways. Here are seven reasons to support Helena Market Days.
- It supports local farmers.
- It helps to boost the local economy.
- Its closer to home.
- Uber freshness.
- Better flavors.
- Attracts folks from the surrounding area.
- It builds community.
About The Author
Nicknamed "The Redneck Rosarian", Chris VanCleave is passionate about gardening and growing roses. He is an active member of the Birmingham chapter of the American Rose Society, serving two terms as President. In 2007, he created the Rose Chat Podcast which has reached over a half a million listeners with news and information on growing the world's most beloved flower, the rose. He was a contributor to the 2015 Southern Living Gardening Book, has appeared on P. Allen Smith's Garden Home television show and was featured in the June 2015 issue of Southern Living Magazine. Locally, Chris serves as Chairman of the Helena Beautification Board where he has spearheaded efforts to create a sustainable landscape in one of the Top 100 places to live in the US. His writing is seen on About.com, HGTV, Home Depot Gardening Club and on his popular website; RedneckRosarian.com, where he chronicles his gardening adventures and explores an intrinsic mix of life, faith and gardening. An agent of change with over 20 years' experience in process innovation, Mr. VanCleave is leading the charge to reinvigorate horticulture societies and helping them to reach their full potential in the social media age.