Organic Farmer's Markets http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com Buy local... naturally!Sun, 20 Jan 2019 13:10:11 +0000en-UShourly1https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3Magnificent Melons http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/melon-tips-and-recipes/ http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/melon-tips-and-recipes/#respondSun, 20 Jan 2019 13:10:11 +0000http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/?p=108Bright colors, delicate flavors, and refreshing juiciness characterize melons. As a group, melons are low in calories and sodium and high in fiber and Vitamin C. Selecting Melons Select melons of good color and shape for the variety. Rind should give slightly at the...

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Bright colors, delicate flavors, and refreshing juiciness characterize melons. As a group, melons are low in calories and sodium and high in fiber and Vitamin C.

Selecting Melons

Select melons of good color and shape for the variety. Rind should give slightly at the stem end when ripe.

CANTALOUPE

Ripe cantaloupes have a bright orange flesh. Buy cantaloupes with a smooth, rounded, depressed area at the stem end. They should be completely covered with a cream-colored netting over a creamy yellow or creamy white background. A fragrant aroma is a sign of good quality.

WATERMELON

Round or oblong, whole watermelons should be firm, symmetrically shaped, and have good rind color and a dull, waxy rind texture. The underside should be creamy yellow in color. If you buy cut watermelon, look for bright red flesh color and black seeds. Melons showing streaks of white inside should be avoided.

HONEYDEW

The flesh of honeydew melons is green even when ripe. The rind should feel smooth and velvety, with a creamy white or yellow color. A rind which is stark white tinged with green indicates an unripe honeydew.

Cleaning Melons

To remove soil and bacteria, rinse melons in running water before slicing or peeling. Always store fresh, peeled melons in the refrigerator. Cut a small melon in half and remove the seeds, then top with a scoop of cottage cheese, ice cream or sherbet, chicken salad, fresh fruit salad, or en-joy the melon by itself.

Melon Recipes

“Green” Salad
(Serves 6)
1 honeydew
3 avocados
1 head green lettuce
Cut a honeydew melon in wedges, then remove rind. Alternate wedges with
avocado slices, arranged on crisp green lettuce, for a real green salad.

Melon Dessert
(Serves 6)
1 cantaloupe, cubed
1 cup vanilla yogurt
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Gently mix ingredients and put in individual serving dishes. Chill at least 1 hour.

Watermelon Punch
(Makes 1 gallon)
2 cups sugar
5 cups water
1 ¼ cups lemon or lime juice (fresh/frozen)
1 large watermelon
Orange juice, if needed
Mix sugar, 3 cups of water, and ¼ cup of lemon or lime juice in a saucepan. Boil 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Add remaining water and lemon or lime juice.
Cut top off of watermelon. The large part of the watermelon will be used as the punch bowl. Remove all pulp from both sections of the cut watermelon and reserve; drain juice and re-serve with pulp.
Decorate the edge of the watermelon shell bowl. To keep watermelon shell from rocking, cut a small, flat piece out of the bottom.
Extract juice from the watermelon by pressing pulp against the sides of a fine sieve. Measure juice. Add 10 cups of juice to the sugar-water mixture. If you do not have 10 cups of water-melon juice, you may substitute orange juice for part of the watermelon juice.
If you have extra juice, freeze it to use as ice cubes in the punch. Chill punch.
To serve, put ice cubes in bottom of water-melon rind punch bowl. Pour chilled punch into bowl.

Preserving Melons

Because of their high water contents, melons do not freeze well. They also lose their crisp textures during canning.
However, here is a nice way to use watermelon rinds.

Watermelon Rind Pickles
(About 4 or 5 pints)
Pare rind and all pink edges from the watermelon (need 3 quarts or about 6 pounds). Cut into 1-inch squares or fancy shapes as desired. Cover with brine made by mixing ¾ cup salt with 3 quarts cold water. Add 2 quarts (2 trays) of ice cubes. Let stand 3 to 4 hours. Drain; rinse in cold water. Cover with cold water and cook until fork tender for about 10 min-utes (do not overcook). Drain. Combine 9 cups sugar, 3 cups white vinegar, 3 cups water, 1 tablespoon whole cloves and 6 cinnamon sticks. (Spices should be tied in a clean, thin, white cloth.) Boil 5 minutes and pour over the watermelon; add 1 thinly sliced lemon. Let stand overnight in the refrigerator.

Heat watermelon in syrup to boiling and cook slowly 1 hour. Pack hot pickles loosely into clean, hot pint jars. To each jar, add a 1-inch piece of stick cinnamon from spice bag; cover with boiling syrup to ½ inch from top. Remove. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath at altitudes up to 1,000 feet. At altitudes between 1,001 and 6,000 feet, process for 15 minutes. air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids.

More instructions for freezing, canning, and pickling vegetables and fruits are available at the following website: www.clemson.edu/hgic.

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Peaches: Sweet, Juicy and Delicious http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/peaches-sweet-juicy-and-delicious/ http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/peaches-sweet-juicy-and-delicious/#respondWed, 02 Jan 2019 13:10:11 +0000http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/?p=106Peaches are sweet, juicy, and delicious. Weight-watching?— 1 Medium peach = 37 calories. Source of Vitamin A and potassium. Left unpeeled, a good source of fiber too. Selecting Peaches Select peaches which are fairly firm or slightly soft. The skin color around the deep...

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Peaches are sweet, juicy, and delicious. Weight-watching?— 1 Medium peach = 37 calories. Source of Vitamin A and potassium. Left unpeeled, a good source of fiber too.

Selecting Peaches

Select peaches which are fairly firm or slightly soft. The skin color around the deep red areas should be light yellow with a creamy tint. The deep red color, or blush, will vary according to variety and is not a good indication of ripeness. Avoid green or greenish-tinged fruits and any that are hard, dull, or bruised. When planning to preserve peaches, choose those which are ripe and of ideal eating quality.

Care of Fresh Peaches

Peaches bruise easily so they should be han-dled with care. A bruised spot can quickly become a decayed spot. Peaches should be stored promptly: the ripe ones should be re-frigerated until ready for use. Firm, ripe peaches can be kept in the refrigerator in good condition for 7-10 days, or they can be held at room temperature to ripen and then refrigerated for a shorter time. When refrig-erated, peaches should never be piled more than one layer deep in trays, as they may be-come bruised.

Fresh peaches should never be transported in the trunk of an automobile. The heat from the exhaust invites overheating of the fruit and decay. Always transport fresh peaches in the passenger compartment.

Using Fresh Peaches

Gently wash peaches in cold water and place on a paper towel to dry. To peel easily, place in a colander and pour boiling water over them for 30 seconds. Dip immediately into ice water. Thin skin will loosen and can be easily peeled.

Fresh peaches are a popular dessert. They can be served alone or with other fruit. Slice peaches the night before for a breakfast treat. To keep them fresh and bright, mix a little ascorbic acid powder with sugar for sweetening.

Baked or broiled peaches are excellent with meats. Peaches give that dressed-up look to the meat platter as well as adding zest and flavor all their own.

Peaches are great served with in fruit cups, used in custards, puddings, pies, cobblers, shortcakes, and ice cream.

Peach Shorts

Peaches, halved and topped with berries and cream, make a perfect addition to summertime menus.
Fill fresh peach halves with cream or cottage cheese, raisins, and chopped nuts.
Serve peach slices with melon slices, grapes, and strawberries for a refreshing fruit tray to perk up hot weather appetites.

Peach Recipes

Peachy Chicken Salad
(Serves 4)
3 medium peaches, peeled and cubed
2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
1 medium cucumber, chopped
3 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
3 cups spinach leaves
Mint Vinaigrette:
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
⅓ cup sugar
¼ cup minced fresh mint
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper

In a blender, combine the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, mint, salt and pepper; cover and process until smooth; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the peaches, chicken, cucumber and onion. Drizzle dressing over chicken mixture; mix gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
Put ¾ cup spinach leaves on each of 4 salad plates, top each with chicken salad, using a slotted spoon.

Peaches for Later

How to Freeze Peaches

Select well-ripened fruit and handle carefully to avoid bruising. Sort and wash peaches in cold water. Drain. Peel and halve or slice. To avoid darkening, a dusting of ascorbic acid may be added to the cut fruit.

For syrup pack
Prepare 30% heavy syrup:
Mix 2 cups sugar with 1 quart water.
Or
40% heavy syrup:

Mix 3 cups sugar with 1 quart water. Package peaches tightly in freezer containers, leaving a head-space of ½ inch for pints and 1 inch for quarts. Pour syrup over fruit. To keep fruit under liquid, place a small piece of crum-pled waxed paper on top and press fruit down into liquid. Seal containers and label them with the name of the product and the date. Freeze promptly. Store at 0°F or below.
For Sugar Pack: To each quart (1½ pounds) of prepared fruit add ⅔ cups sugar. Add ¼ teaspoon ascorbic acid dissolved in 3 tablespoons cold water to prevent darkening. Stir gently until sugar is dissolved or let stand for 15 minutes. Pack into containers, leaving ½–inch headspace. Seal containers and label them with the name of the product and the date. Freeze promptly. Store at 0°F or below.

Peach Jam

2 quarts crushed, peeled peaches ½ cup water 6 cups sugar

Sterilize canning jars. Combine peaches and water; cook gently 10 minutes. Add sugar; slowly bring to boiling, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly until thick, about 15 minutes; stir fre-quently to prevent sticking. Pour hot jam into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process 5 minutes in a boiling water bath. Recipe makes about eight half-pint jars.
Note: For Spiced Peach Jam, tie the following ingredients in cheesecloth and add to the jam dur-ing cooking: 1 teaspoon whole cloves, ½ teaspoon whole allspice, and a stick of cinnamon (3-inch piece). Remove the spice bag before pouring jam into hot jars. Process 5 minutes in a boiling water bath. Recipe makes about eight half-pint jars.

More instructions for jelly-making, freezing, can-ning, and pickling vegetables and fruits are avail-able at the following website: www.clemson.edu/hgic.

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Growing Squash http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/growing-squash/ http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/growing-squash/#respondSun, 16 Dec 2018 13:04:34 +0000http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/?p=112Growing squash is a rewarding even though the plant does everything besides planting itself. The yields you can get from squash plants are very huge and anyone who has ever grown zucchini can testify this. After growing squash in my farm, I realized that...

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Growing squash

Growing squash is a rewarding even though the plant does everything besides planting itself. The yields you can get from squash plants are very huge and anyone who has ever grown zucchini can testify this. After growing squash in my farm, I realized that it is true the plant does not require a huge amount of space for one to get high yields. However, in order for me to get good yields, I had to prepare the piece of land where I was going to have my squash plantation and made sure that there was direct sunlight for the plant.

Preparing the Land

Preparing the land for planting was not a hard task. I had to mix a 3-inch layer of organic fertilizer (at recommended rates) with compost. I later set my transplant 30 inches apart. Some light mulch was sufficient for the squash due to the broad leaves of the plant when mature. Covering the seedlings with a pot for several days was necessary to avoid wilting due to the sunny weather. However, this does not mean that the sun is not good for the plant as they only grow well when the weather is sunny. You need to remember that squash requires good drainage and plenty of sun and that their roots are normally wrapped around compost or decomposing leaves.

The Birds and the Bees

Squash plant normally has the female and male flowers. Bees and other insects are responsible for pollination. Living next to a bee keeper has really helped by providing that great buzzing sound in my garden all the time. Once the male flowers have reached the end of their life, they fall off and this should not be a course for alarm as it is normal. The fact that this plant requires a small space to produce squash, allows you to plant it in a pot or 5 gallon and enjoy harvesting squash for your own consumption. You will have to make sure that the soil in your pot or gallon is fertile enough and well-drained for good results. If your climate is warm, these hardy plants are so easy to grow. This should be an addition to any garden almost no matter when you start.

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Growing Cabbage: Tips and Recipes http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/growing-cabbage-tips-and-recipes/ http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/growing-cabbage-tips-and-recipes/#respondMon, 07 May 2018 11:42:43 +0000http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/?p=99The Versatile Veggie – Enjoyed both cooked and raw.  Our best year-round source of Vitamins A and C. Selecting Cabbage There are many varieties of cabbage, but you can use common characteristics to se-lect the best head of cabbage available. Heads of cabbage should...

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The Versatile Veggie – Enjoyed both cooked and raw.  Our best year-round source of Vitamins A and C.

Selecting Cabbage

There are many varieties of cabbage, but you can use common characteristics to se-lect the best head of cabbage available. Heads of cabbage should be heavy for their size and should not have brown or rust-colored veins. Outer leaves should be crisp. Avoid heads with insect injury, wilting leaves, or splits; these heads will have more waste and may have off-flavors.

Cabbage varieties have distinct appearances. The most common varieties form large, green heads. Other varieties that you may see in the grocery store include:

  • Savoy cabbage – “headed” cabbage with yellowish, crimped leaves
  • Celery cabbage or Chinese cabbage – long, oval, “headed” cabbage with firm, light-colored leaves
  • Red cabbage – “headed” cabbage with red-dish-purple leaves

Each pound of cabbage will yield about 4 ½-cup servings of cooked cabbage, or about 4 ¾- to 1-cup servings of raw cabbage.

Fresh Cabbage

Cabbage should be stored in the vegetable bin of the refrigerator. It wilts quickly in dry storage. Cabbage should maintain good quality in the refrigerator for about a week.

Before use, cabbage should be washed carefully in cold, running water to remove soil and in-sects. In order to maintain quality and nutri-tion, cabbage should not be shredded and left exposed to air. Cabbage should be shredded just before cooking or mixing with salad dress-ing. Cabbage salads should be refrigerated after mixing in order to retain Vitamin C.

Cabbage should be cooked quickly. Over-cooking gives cabbage a “strong” flavor that many people, especially children, do not like. The best methods of cooking to retain color, flavor, and nutrients are stir-frying and steam-ing. In addition, adding sweet or mild fruits or vegetables like corn, apples, or carrots to cab-bage can make it taste better for some people.

Cabbage Shorts

Cabbage cores are often discarded because their firm texture is different from the leafy texture people expect from cabbage. Cut in thin slices on the diagonal, the core is ideal for vegetable dipping and for replacing water chest-nuts in stir-fry recipes.

Cabbage Recipes

Cabbage and Carrot Slaw
(4 servings)
2 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
⅓ cup vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
Combine cabbage, carrots, and onions in a 2-quart, non-metallic container with a cover. To make dressing, mix remaining ingredients together until sugar is dissolved. Pour dressing over vegetables and mix well. Cover and refrig-erate for 4 to 24 hours.

Corn and Cabbage Stir-Fry
(4 servings)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cups chopped cabbage
¼ cup chopped onion (optional)
1 cup corn (fresh, frozen, or canned)
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt fat in skillet over medium heat. Stir-fry cabbage and onion in butter for 3-5 minutes. Add corn to cabbage in skillet. Stir to mix.
Cover and cook for up to 5 minutes. Cabbage should
be tender-crisp. Season to taste. Mix lightly and serve.
Note: Chopped apple or grated carrot can be used instead of corn.

Cabbage for Later
Cabbage is usually plentiful throughout the year. If you do have more cabbage than you can use, it can be preserved by freezing or pickling (making sauerkraut).

How to Freeze Cabbage
Trim coarse outer leaves.
Wash thoroughly.
Cut into coarse shreds.  Blanch for 1 ½ minutes.  Plunge into ice water to cool.
Pack firmly into moisture-vapor resistant freezer packages, removing as much air as possible.
Leave ½-inch headspace.  Seal containers and label them with the name of the product and the date.
Freeze promptly and store at 0°F or below.

Cabbage pickling (sauerkraut) instructions and more instructions for pickling, freezing, and canning vegetables and fruits are available at the following website: www.clemson.edu/hgic,

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Why Buy Local? http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/why-buy-local/ http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/why-buy-local/#respondThu, 05 Apr 2018 10:14:32 +0000http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/?p=89Promotes wholesome eating habits. Locally grown food tastes better, and is better for you. The produce is vine-ripened and has been picked within the past couple of days. Fresh produce loses nutrients quickly, so the longer it sits the less you, the consumer, get...

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Promotes wholesome eating habits.

Locally grown food tastes better, and is better for you. The produce is vine-ripened and has been picked within the past couple of days. Fresh produce loses nutrients quickly, so the longer it sits the less you, the consumer, get out of it. The shorter storage and/or transportation time also helps avoid post-harvest contamination.

Provides access to locally grown, farm-fresh produce.

Shoppers have the opportunity to personally interact with the farmer who grows the produce at the Saturday Market. You can put a face with the name of the farm that grows what you eat, as well as ask them about their growing practices and cooking tips.

Builds community.

The Saturday Market brings people together in a social atmosphere where the mixing of diverse demographic groups is enabled. The Market also enhances sense of place for Greenville because it fills citizens with a feeling of pride in their community.

Preserves open space and supports a clean environment.

Contributing to local farms means that they do not have to sell their property. Not selling property means that the agricultural landscape, or “country”, will be protected from commercial development, not to mention it provides a home for many forms of wildlife. Crops keep the soil fertile, help prevent erosion, and fight global warming. Buying local also helps reduce energy consumption because locally produced food does not require significant transportation or storage.

Supports the local economy.

The Market gives farmers an additional outlet to sell their merchandise at a fair price. In addition, the downtown businesses also benefit because many Market customers patronize another nearby business. Bottom line: buying local keeps money within the community.

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How To: Organic Gardening http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/how-to-organic-gardening/ http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/how-to-organic-gardening/#respondSun, 18 Mar 2018 03:02:51 +0000http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/?p=30Organic gardening is one of the most popular forms of gardening in the world today. This is due mainly for concern regarding one’s health and that of the environment. High quality organic gardening information is critical for growing and cultivating the many different species...

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Organic gardening is one of the most popular forms of gardening in the world today. This is due mainly for concern regarding one’s health and that of the environment. High quality organic gardening information is critical for growing and cultivating the many different species of plants that the farmer or gardener raises.

Becoming an Organic Gardener

Although printed publications often have excellent organic gardening information, people also wish to know tips for growing and cultivating plants during specific seasons, in specific areas of the world and what is necessary to make the plants grow healthy and produce quality food. The most up-to-date information can usually be found online.

Organic gardening advice may differ depending on the opinion of the experts concerning the variety of plants and other factors that affect gardening activities. In spite of this, there are also facts which the many experts in organic gardening are in general agreement. Farmers and gardeners might want want to know more about research and development progress regarding organic pesticides and herbicides. These are usually among the main issues with any form of organic gardening publication. The kind of garden supplier that passes muster as organic is another important aspect of information regarding organic gardening. We’ll discuss this issue in the next section.

Organic Gardening Suppliers

Garden suppliers that should be used for organic gardening need to validated by organic gardening publications. The methods of pest control should be considered along with use of other insects as pest control. Another important aspect of gardening information are the resources that many farmers and gardeners rely on to supply seeds and seedlings for the plants that they will cultivate.

Organic gardening publications are sure to have some recommendations regarding which nurseries and seeds suppliers have done well for the year and which ones may have some problems regarding their current stocks. Farmers and gardeners who wish to use organic methods to supply produce to consumers must kept up-to-date with relevant information to help them stay informed and deal with the many problems that may arise.

Keeping abreast with the news and times are essential in this industry.

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Certified Organic Food http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/certified-organic-food/ http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/certified-organic-food/#respondThu, 01 Mar 2018 14:18:53 +0000http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/?p=22With the release of organic products is growing rapidly, government agencies have taken to make sure that the public is what we do, especially organic food certificates from reputable suppliers. We need more from agriculture without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides to...

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With the release of organic products is growing rapidly, government agencies have taken to make sure that the public is what we do, especially organic food certificates from reputable suppliers. We need more from agriculture without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides to make the service of organic food certificates. Every aspect of a growing process must meet strict standards to gain the certification of seed, which is grown in a process that goes to the consumer.

Before a product can be sold as certified organic products of any activities directly involved in food production must be certified, including seed brokers, farmers, food businesses that process, as well as retailers and restaurants sell their products as certified organic. Unfortunately, the rules defining the conditions for organic certification vary from country to country, and what can benefit from a country not in another country.

In principle, there can be no effect of synthetic products anywhere along the production chain. If the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and additives in food and the use of sewage sludge as fertilizer.

Companies interested in purchasing the course hoping to be certified organic food producers must keep detailed records on the production and sales. The records should be for each product used in their production and processes required to maintain a strict separation between the areas of organic farming and those who will not be used for organic food certification.

For all this, which can not be used in organic products violating any step in the process of certification for organic food.

While a secure production chain is the main concern of the most important regulatory agencies to become suppliers of organic food. Certification provides a further role in providing a product that was intended only to meet their own needs and desires. Inspection of the products helps ensure that customers can have confidence.

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7 Reasons to Eat Organic http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/7-reasons-eat-organic-food/ http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/7-reasons-eat-organic-food/#respondSun, 18 Feb 2018 13:16:41 +0000http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/?p=19Like any other industry, the primary goal of the food industry is to make money. That may be hard and difficult to believe, but if you think about it, not really. The tobacco industry and alcohol does not seem too much to kill hundreds...

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Like any other industry, the primary goal of the food industry is to make money. That may be hard and difficult to believe, but if you think about it, not really. The tobacco industry and alcohol does not seem too much to kill hundreds of thousands of people each year.

Given the precedent set by tobacco and alcohol, it is easy for the food industry to give priority to profits to the detriment of our health. But food is essential for the health and survival. Neglecting this basic requirement can have an impact that is much more subtle than with the consumption of alcohol and tobacco.

While organic food has its share of problems, it is an important step in the right direction to optimal health and to restore the focus on quality. Just as the food industry can provide unhealthy foods for purchase, you have the choice not buy it. Here are 7 reasons to select and buy organic as often as possible.

1. No Chemical Toxins

Cells are the basis of health. Chemical toxins can cause disturbances and can sometimes damage or kill. In addition, the organs responsible for detoxification, especially the liver, kidney, lung, colon and skin, may be stressed and can malfunction. Current rates of cancer are as high and chemical toxins is very important cause.

Conventional plants are sprayed with large quantities of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides, fertilizers and chemicals. These chemicals are killing some forms of life and can contaminate foods. Do not believe that you are safe just because you clean your food well. This can help, but many of the chemicals are absorbed deeply and can not be simply washed off.

You may absorb toxins through your fat cells. If needed, your body produces extra body fat to help with process. This can be a big concern for people trying to lose weight.

2. More Nutrients

There are numerous indications that organic food contains more nutrients than conventionally farmed foods. However, there are numerous studies by the biased food industry suggest the contrary. To understand why this research should not be trusted, please read the truth about the scientific research.

We all know that the plant obtain nutrients from the soil. Disregarding the laws of nature and agriculture in their land, farmers sometimes destroy the soil. Common sense would say that the crops grown in exhausted soil will have low levels of nutrients. Instead, organic farming uses crop rotation and other practices that keep the soil full of nutrients for plants to absorb.

3. Good for the Planet

The chemicals used in conventional agriculture kill many microorganisms than keep the earth healthy. And as I said, farmers abuse the soil and destroy those nutrients. The land with low-nutrient crops is likely to be less healthy. As a result, it is more susceptible to weeds, insects and other predators. This requires the use of chemicals and fertilizers.

Because of these chemicals, the soil quality is degrading and the dirt becomes more and more exhausted and devoid of life and nutrients. The U.S. increasingly imports food from other countries because of this.

In the end we will run out of good agricultural land. What will happen then?

4. Not genetically modified

Science has developed the idea of genetic modification of plants to make them grow faster, taste better and be more resistant to disease. That sounds good, but that does not mean that it is good for your health. Eating genetically modified (GMO) crops, our body is exposed to DNA that it has never experiences in millions of years of evolution.

Who do you trust more, science or nature?

Many respected scientists are vehemently opposed to genetically modified foods, simply because there’s not enough scientific evidence that it is safe. There are studies show that GM foods can be very dangerous.

Much of the food you buy in the supermarkets is genetically modified or has genetically modified ingredients in them, especially products from soybeans. As the producers of food are not obliged to say this, you can not know unless you buy organic-certified.

5. Healthier Animals

Most farmers do not feed the animals their natural food. In addition, the food grown with chemicals, and sometimes contain fillers such as cardboard, cement dust, animal carcasses and whatever else is available. This leads to a situation where unhealthy animals are commonly fed antibiotics as a precautionary measure, against being sick. There are also many animals fed synthetic hormones, so they grow faster and increase their production.

Things are even worse when we consider the conditions these animals are in. Hundreds of thousands of them in packed warehouses, unable to move, forced to live in their own fecal matter, and not to see the natural light.

Buying certified organic animal products to ensure that the animals were fed well and without all the chemicals, drugs or hormones. Non-organic food of animal origin, which consume the same chemicals, drugs and hormones is in a similar situation.

6. Not irradiated

We all know that the radiation of x-ray machines can be dangerous. This is obvious from the heavy protective clothing and shielded room, used by the x-ray technician. Food irradiation zaps food with 150 million times more radiation.

What do you think about nutrition in the food after learning that?

The purpose of radiation to kill pathogens, but the irony is that they do not kill all pathogens and destroy what gives the food good quality. Irradiation also changes the chemical structure of molecules in the food and can be converted to mutagenic and carcinogenic substances, like cancer.

7. Certified Organic

The USDA has strict requirements that must be met before a farmer or food manufacturer can claim they are USDA certified organic. The soil is fully tested and should be free from chemicals for at least three years. Food production must be free of chemicals or genetically modified ingredients, and may not be manufactured or drugs or hormones. It can not be irradiated.

In addition to buying directly from a farmer who grows USDA certified organic food is the best opportunity we have to know the food comes from a source of high quality. You should know that there are false certifications to make it easier and easier to sell food as certified organic products. If it is approved by an organization other than the USDA, you should be skeptical.

Although organic food is more expensive, you can not put a price on good health.

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The Wonder of Organic Eggs http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/wonder-organic-eggs/ http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/wonder-organic-eggs/#respondSat, 10 Feb 2018 13:26:47 +0000http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/?p=28Breeding hens in your garden is a good way of getting your own fresh and organic eggs. They do not take a lot of space and are easy to look after. Chicken food does not cost a lot as well so there’s no reason...

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Breeding hens in your garden is a good way of getting your own fresh and organic eggs. They do not take a lot of space and are easy to look after. Chicken food does not cost a lot as well so there’s no reason why everyone can’t do it.

When I decided that I was going to rear chickens in my back garden, I wanted to have newly born chicks but because it was more difficult to get them and would be more difficult to look after them because they are more vulnerable, I opted to have 6-8 weeks old chickens. I didn’t want to have point-of-lay (POL) hens as they would already have been adults and I wanted to get to know them and make them accustomed to me before they start laying.

Buying Free Range Chickens

I bought two hydrids (one brown called Chestnut and another one white called Pixy) and an Orpington which is a pure breed (her name is Bluebell) on the 20th of June 2009. Chestnut and Pixy were 8 weeks old then and Bluebell only 6 weeks old. Hybrids lay more eggs in a year and that’s what they are known for. Pure breeds on the other hand lay fewer eggs in a year and start laying much later than the hybrids.

Waiting for the Organic Eggs

The hybrids were supposed to start laying after 16 weeks. After several months, I was disappointed that there was no eggs in the chicken coop. However today, out of the blue, I noticed a little egg looking at me. You can see the egg in the picture above along with the proud hen, Chestnut. Although 5 days later, it is such an incredible feeling to pick your first organic egg from my free range chicken (yes, I let them roam about in my garden quite often when they are not naughty, that is, when I’m sure they won’t egg the vegetables I’m growing or the flowers in my garden).

It is very rewarding to be able to experience your first fresh egg from your own garden. I just can’t describe it; you need to experience it to understand! I’m hoping the other hens will follow soon so that I no longer need to buy eggs from the supermarket again (well, that was the plan in the first place). I’m sure the taste of this organic egg will be something different, something more genuine and more rich because I’ll tell you this much, the chickens that I have are very spoilt – I give them fresh corn every now and then and buy little treats for them as well along with their daily food that they need.

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Organic Vegetable Gardening http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/organic-vegetable-gardening/ http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/organic-vegetable-gardening/#respondThu, 25 Jan 2018 14:06:26 +0000http://www.albertleafarmersmarket.com/?p=32Organic vegetable gardening is now a fast growing market and industry all over the world. Many people are becoming more and more aware of the dangers of traditional farming and gardening as well as the merits of organic vegetable gardening. Organic vegetable gardening means...

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Organic vegetable gardening is now a fast growing market and industry all over the world. Many people are becoming more and more aware of the dangers of traditional farming and gardening as well as the merits of organic vegetable gardening. Organic vegetable gardening means that the process of food production has little or no chemical tainting whatsoever. This means that farmers and gardeners that promote organic gardening use an organic gardening supply for fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.

The term organic implies that the vegetables in organic vegetable gardening is free from chemicals and others substances that may have a negative effect on people and the environment. Organic vegetable gardening means that the farmers/workers who plant the vegetables and the consumers who buy them are safe.

Ways To Grow Vegetables Organically

Organic vegetable gardening can be done in many ways. For those with just a small area in their homes, they can utilize flower pots and flower boxes to their hearts content in making their own organic vegetable gardening. Small scale organic vegetable gardening is sometimes better because you can really focus on your attention and skills on just a few plants. This is especially good for those who work full time and may have just a little time to attend to their plants.

Planting vegetable in pots and flower boxes may seem like a disadvantage but the vegetables can actually thrive in them with a little tender loving care and attention. Organic fertilizer may be necessary for vegetables grown in pots and flower boxes because of the limited soil and nutrients they have access to.

Organic vegetable gardening is great especially for vegetable that thrive in small pots. For those individuals with enough space for plots in their garden, this may be a great opportunity to have your very own organic garden. With just the right space in your yard, you can enjoy fresh organic vegetables everyday. Organic vegetable gardening can be very enjoyable and beneficial if done properly and with no traces of chemicals and other harmful substances.

Growing Food in Limited Space

People with limited yard space can also take advantage of making hanging gardens which do not need soil. These organic vegetable gardening methods may need more care than any other methods mentioned here. This is because you will need to regularly supply nutrients for the plant. Whichever organic gardening methods you use, there is a lot to be gained from going organic. The benefits you reap not only affect you and your family but also the environment.

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