Finding Fruit

Since January I have been on a quest to eat more seasonal, local, organic food. Winter might seem like an odd time of year to try to source local produce especially living in Rhode Island. I figured if I could successfully achieve this goal during a time that not a whole lot grows here, the rest of the year would be a piece of cake.

Fast forward to this past weekend, I was in search of fruit. My family and I love fruit (and veggies, too) and I like to have a lot on hand as it’s a delicious and healthy choice.  I can never get too upset if my daughter wants to eat another apple.  I’d much prefer that than her asking for weird processed food-like items.

I was debating heading to the Saturday Farmer’s Market in Middletown or going to Whole Foods.  The farmer’s market could be hit or miss. It was already close to the ending time (1 pm) so the fruit, if there was any to begin with, could already be gone. Additionally, if there is any, it might be very expensive. For example, I recently saw a pint of local blueberries for $4.99. I’m all for supporting my local farmer but that’s a lot of money for something we’ll end up eating in one afternoon.  (As a side note, I often have an interior debate about whether in actuality that is a lot of money for a pint of blueberries. In the past I might not have thought twice about paying that same amount for a bag of popcorn or a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.  It’s kind of funny what one chooses to spend money on!) Whereas, if I travel to Whole Foods I’m guaranteed organic fruit, though most definitely it will be from Californina (I try very hard to never buy food grown outside the USA, though there was that one time in December that I really wanted brussel sprouts and WF only had them grown in Mexico).  I figured I’d be able to get cherries and grapes.

As I was driving I remembered my quest to source local food and decided to forgo Whole Foods figuring if the farmer’s market was a bust I could always drive to Providence another day.  It turned out to be a great decision as I was able to buy plums, peaches and cilantro (for the salsa I was planning on making).  Sadly, none of these were organic but were farmed using IPM, integrated pest management.  I also had a great conversation with the farmer; something I could never do at Whole Foods.

After the market, I decided to head over to a small pick-your-own blueberry farm in Portsmouth.  I had been there earlier in the week and already needed to restock.  Since eating seasonally I realize how important it is to fill up on a particular fruit or vegetable while it is available. Soon enough its growing time will be over and I’ll have to wait until next year.  I love this little farm and the old man who owns it.  It is a beautiful, bucolic setting that makes me yearn for my own blueberry patch.  I also love it because it’s only $2.00 a pint.  One of the most fun things about going there is that the picking bucket is an old Newport Creamery half gallon container with a long rope tied on each side that enables you to wear it as a necklace keeping your hands free for picking.  It didn’t take very long to fill up the bucket and though I could’ve stayed all day, I knew that I had fulfilled my search for local fruit.

By the way, we’ve since indulged in these fruits and they are unbelievably delicious!  It really can’t get much better than buying direct from the farmer.

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