I’m a huge fan of all things local.
I support the farmers and businesses in my area as often as possible.
I do my best to avoid big box stores, with the exception of an occasional Costco trip, simply because our finances have changed and the in-laws have a membership. I haven’t stepped a single foot in a mammoth grocery store chain in a very long time; not since I swore them off, over a year ago for mass marketing diabetes and heart disease, but that’s a whole different story, and I’m going to try to stay on point today. Shocker, I know.
There are so many worthwhile reasons you should invest in the businesses in your area. It helps support and build your own local community, it reduces the environmental impact, it brings jobs to those in need and food to your table. I especially like that last one, which means I will continue to put my money where my mouth is, and I encourage you to do the same. Feel free to insert your dirty joke of choice here; I recommend something to do with mouths, money and menage a trois. That last one is always a winner.
Instead of going off on a tangent today, I’m going to share the ways I give back to my community, and show exactly how it translates into a day of eats. It is What I Ate Wednesday after all, and I wouldn’t want to miss the party.
I signed up for another year with Geauga Family Farms CSA program. CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture,” and you are basically purchasing a share in your local farm. In return, you get seasonal, local produce on a weekly basis for as long as your CSA program lasts. Mine begins in June, and I am twitchy-tail excited for it to start, pretending of course I have a tail. Just to be clear, I don’t.
In the meantime, I spend my weekly produce allowance at the farmers markets in the area. I’m a huge fan of the Downtown Farmers Market at the 5th Street Arcades. I usually zip over on my lunch hour on Fridays and get enough eggs, greens and cheese to last me the week. Sometimes I’ll visit the Spice Hound and get a seasoning or two or three or four. At only a buck a bag, it’s easy to go crazy.
Lately though, I’ve been scoring these amazing soft pretzels from Breadheads Breadery. These little gems have been making their way into many of my meals with good reason. They’re fantastic, and also really hard to photograph, I might add. You can find those antics on my Instagram account. I’ve tried the Everything Pretzel (swoon), the Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel (the Hubby and I exchanged words over this guy), the Rosemary Garlic Pretzel (my personal favorite) and most recently the Sourdough French Pretzel (can you say faceplant?).
It’s pretty clear I’ve got a soft spot in my otherwise hard heart for these guys. They work day in and day out to feed me and you. How can you not love that?
Now, I want to take it one step further and share just how my local love and living made their way into my Saturday eats.
Breakfast: granola bread toast from the Breadsmith, smeared in butter with a side of coffee. Carbs don’t scare me.
Second Breakfast: a fruit filled smoothie using strawberries and blueberries I froze last summer, kale from the farmers market and a banana from somewhere far away and tropical. Hey, you can’t win ’em all, although they do have a banana tree right now at the Botanical Gardens. Maybe I can interest them in a food swap: a bunch of bananas for a bag of granola? I’d totally take that deal.
Lunch: Grilled Cheese with more of the Breadsmith’s fantastic granola bread and some grass-fed Swiss cheese from the farmers market. Say hello to my little friend.
Dinner: Kale tips sautéed in olive oil and garlic, fried eggs, and pretzels all from the 5th Street market. I also threw in one of Jenn’s Sweet Potato Chickpea Burgers, made from sweet potatoes I had gotten during my winter CSA.
Dessert: Lemon Ginger Gelato from The Sweet Spot, a neighborhood joint which uses local, organic and natural ingredients whenever possible. I heart them.
See, I told you I like to put my money where my mouth is. Now about that….
The pretzel man is this close to bumping the cheese guy on my list. That’s how you know it’s serious.
Do you frequent the farmers markets in your area? Do you think you could feed yourself for a day or even a week from farmers market finds? What’s your favorite local hangout?
Today’s post is being shared with She Eats Fresh Food Wednesdays because Kristy is my girl and she’s a local lover too.