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Farmstands vs. Grocery Stores

Pick Your Own FarmsWe’ve moved to a town that has a farm stand or pick your own farm around every corner. We can find any sort of fruit or veggie we want straight from the farmer.  However, I have two problems with this.

1. I don’t have time to figure out which farms have what I need/want and get to the grocery store for meat and other staples.

2. I don’t know which farms practice organic or sustainable growing practices.

Making my grocery list last night, I was starting to feel green guilt about where I buy my produce. Dreaming about picking up some fresh berries to add to this delish granola Commuter Mom got me hooked on, I realized that instead of buying these things at Stop and Shop I should really be going to the farms. However, that would require an extra trip somewhere which I don’t really have time for this week. My husband and I discussed adding a trip to the farm each weekend as part of our shopping routine, but sometimes that’s hard to squeeze in too.

In addition, knowing that berries are amongst the top produce items containing pesticides, I wonder if buying them at the farm vs certified organic is actually the way to go. My gut usually tells me that buying local is always the best choice, and I know that I can always seek out the farmer at the farmstand and ask about growing practices, but again, that just adds time to the shopping trip. I also really need to figure out if there is a farmer’s market around here so I can just hit up one place for all produce.

Where do you buy your produce and how do you manage time, vs. gut instinct on the right thing to eat? I think that this weekend I’m going to attempt a farm tour around town and just do the research. I know overall, I’ll feel best about that choice.

2 comments

  1. Amanda July 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    We joined a CSA 3 years ago and love it. The only struggle is finding time to pick it up. The farm is 100% organic which is great but it’s 20 minutes from where we live and there are only two pickups a week from 2pm-7pm. Last year I went every Friday and brought my boys, they loved it. They helped pick our share each week and then we always went up to the observation deck to overlook the farm. This year it’s a bit of a challenge as I am on bed rest but once the baby is born I will bring all 3 kids (eek!) every friday with me. I think it’s worth it to take the extra time to get the veggies from the farm stands and organic where possible.

  2. Jessie March 6, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    I am struggling with the same thing. I would love to buy locally, but in the end I feel like it is healthier to buy food that I know is organic even if it is not local. There is also additional time and planning associated with finding a good farmer’s market and making the extra trip.

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