Eating locally grown foods is not only a sustainable practice, but has many nutritional benefits as well. Since local produce doesn’t have a long way to travel, when you purchase it you are receiving a truly fresh product. Less travel time also means fewer emissions from delivery trucks, less energy used to store products, and overall decreased pollution. These are just a few of the many benefits of eating locally grown food.
You may be saying to yourself, “It’s almost December, what can I buy now that is locally grown?” You may be surprised to learn that in NJ, beets, cabbage, and lettuce are just a few types of produce grown through November. There are also farms in NJ, such as Good Tree Farm in New Egypt, that have green houses on premise so that they can continue to produce goods through the winter months.
To find up-to-date availability of local produce check out the NJ Department of Agriculture Jersey Fresh page: http://www.jerseyfresh.nj.gov/ (This is the latest availability report as of November 14 http://www.jerseyfresh.nj.gov/JFreport.pdf). You can also check with your local supermarket or farmers market to find out if they sell Jersey Fresh produce.
When planning your holiday meals this year don’t forget to serve your family and guests something fresh, Jersey Fresh that is. Check back for recipes that incorporate seasonal produce!