Last week when I went to Homegrown Co-Op to pick up our weekly order, I gasped out loud when they plopped a bunch of rosy-pink hydroponically grown watermelon radishes in my bag. They were stunning. I can’t possibly be the only one who can become totally enamored with the sight of a beautiful veggie, can I?
To me, the best way to enjoy these gorgeous, crunchy, spicy roots is with a sprinkling of salt, and maybe some good, cold butter if you have it on hand. In fact, one of my first-ever blog posts was about this very combination.
If you are fortunate enough to have a local-food grocery in your area, please, please, please support it! Whether it’s a system of weekly CSA boxes or a grocery co-op or even a local-only farmers’ market, try to look there first to source the ingredients you need for the week. I won’t lie, the food can be more expensive. But we are committed to eating as locally and as organically as possible, not just for our health and environment, but because it tastes so much darn better. So we make room in our budget. From my experience, the produce is absolutely not more expensive than Whole Foods and usually not more expensive than the organic produce at Publix (and the bulk of it comes from California). The real value, though, is in the freshness of the food, which comes straight from the farms just a few miles away. So the extra few dollars (and it really is only a few) are 100% worth it.
I hope you’ll agree, and make an effort to shop from your local suppliers. Not just for veggies and fruits, but also for eggs, bread, milk, yogurt & cheese, poultry, beef and fish—all of which are readily available to Central Floridians, and I imagine are available in many other communities, too. Orlando-area readers, here are my favorite sources: Homegrown Co-Op / Audubon Park Community Market
Other parts of the country, use this search to find one near you. (Just type in your zipcode under the map.)