How to Get the Best Vegetables for Your Juice
Let’s talk about where your food comes from.
As you go deeper in the journey of juicing, healthy weight loss and detoxification, you’ll become more and more interested in who grows your food and how they grow it.
It’s empowering to discover more about the food you eat.
The health information, yes–whether it’s good or bad for you, what kinds of vitamins and minerals it contains.
But also where it grew, how it traveled from seed to sprout to plant to harvested and packaged and shipped and displayed for you to find it wherever you shop.
One of the most powerful things you can do for your health is cultivate a relationship with the actual people who grow your food.
If you’re into gardening, perhaps that’s you. You’re the one who grows much of what you eat.
But if you’re busy and trying to be healthy in a crazy-busy world, then you might want to discover ways to connect directly with farmers who handle the hard work of growing the food you eat.
The best ways for you to locate and then develop a relationship with local farmers is by shopping at farmers markets and joining a CSA.
Let’s take each of these in turn.
Ahh…the Internet–source of such wisdom if you know where to look for it.
To find out whether there are any farmers markets in your area (if you live in the U.S.), head over to Local Harvest and run a search for farmers markets near your zip code.
Unless you’re way out in the boonies, chances are you’ll have some options close to where you live and/or work.
Another online option for locating farmers markets is FarmersMarket.com.
If you don’t live in the U.S., that shouldn’t stop you from finding a fantastic farmers market where you live. Hunt around–there are country-specific websites that chronicle local farmers and farmers markets in almost every country now.
(If you’re Australian, for example, I’d head here.)
When it comes to juicing, not all vegetables are going to work for you.
And depending on where you live, you probably won’t be able to juice local veggies year round.
However, take guidance for your juice components from whatever’s available on the market’s stands.
You can, of course, supplement with store-bought veggies grown in California (or wherever). But it’s also nice to stick to local ingredients as much as possible.
Food grown locally will be fresher. If it was picked yesterday and you’re juicing it today, you’ll get more nutrition from what you’re juicing.
Moreover, local organic farms often take better care of their soils than the big organic growers you’ll find in big supermarkets. The mineral content of the soil directly translates into the nutritional content of the vegetables grown in that soil.
So, basically, it’s worth it to pay a premium and directly support your local farmers at a farmer’s market.
Not only that, but you can even cultivate a relationship with the farmer as you get to know them. You might even find them amenable to growing some crops that you’d love to have. It can’t hurt to ask.
Maybe next growing season they’ll be able to come to market with a fresh bushel of your favorite vegetable.
Another fantastic option for supporting local farmers and getting super-fresh food into your kitchen is to join a CSA.
Again, you can use the Local Harvest website to search CSAs in your area.
You can also contact farmers directly either through meeting them at farmers markets, finding out about them through their websites or just old fashioned networking. Even if a farm doesn’t offer an official CSA, you might find they’re totally happy to come to a CSA-style arrangement with you.
A CSA presents a win-win for both you and the farmer.
Here’s how most CSAs work: you pay a lump sum (or a few installments) and in exchange, you receive a set amount of produce each week straight from the farm.
They’ll give you a nice basket full of whatever was ready to pick that week.
Now, CSAs are great because you get great local food at a great price. The farmer gets a guaranteed income which helps in the always volatile world of agriculture.
However, you likely won’t have much control over what comes in your bushel on any given week.
Which means you might find yourself having to learn how to use vegetables you’ve never heard of before.
Is that really a bad thing?
If you’re juicing with any sort of consistency, a CSA probably won’t satisfy your juicing needs.
Which means: enjoy the best of both worlds. The CSA AND the Farmers Market.
If you ARE juicing regularly, then you might be surprised to discover that local farmers will work with you to help you get more of the greens and other veggies that you need.
I’m not guaranteeing anything here, but I have some farmer friends at "http://www.nashsorganicproduce.com/" target="blank">Nash’s Organic Produce in Dungeness, Washington. And I know for certain that it’s not uncommon for them to work with local supporters who really pour their money into the farm.
Moreover, here’s a solid farmers market tip you can try: come at the very end of the market and make some deals with the farmers. They’re going to have to lug all that produce home, and they’d much prefer if you took it home instead (and left some money in its place).
See what they have and make an offer.
Now, any kind of wheeling and dealing with farmers needs to be done with a massive dose of gratitude so you don’t get carried away.
These people work unbelievably hard to bring you and many other people healthy food. They deserve to be billionaires.
So don’t get cut throat with them–just look for win-win’s and help both of you come out ahead. If they’ve got produce left at the end of a long market day and you’re looking for volume because juicing consumes so many vegetables, surely there’s a way for you to work something out together.
Just my two cents there.
One of the things I love most about juicing is the fact that it connects us more and more deeply with our health proactively.
Feeling great is fun! Juicing is fun! Being healthy is fun!
And putting some thought into where your food comes from and who grows it is fun!
Without food, life as we know it wouldn’t exist. And without farmers, we wouldn’t have much food.
Get to know your local farmers, and juice their produce like crazy!