By Contributing Author: Sharon A. See
Here’s my list of go-to fresh foods to be found at the Monroe Farmers Market. The choices are so abundant this time of year that it was really hard to pick only ten. So I went with some of the ones that I eat most often and believe to have the most profound nutritional benefits. You’ll also find they are simple to prepare and some of the easiest to serve. Enjoy!
Beets are little powerhouses of daily essential nutrients and minerals like B vitamins, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and iron. They are also rich in nitrates which convert to circulation increasing compounds that can have a positive impact on blood pressure and heart health. And you can ditch that cleanse and instead make beets a staple in your diet. Compounds found in beets have been found to reduce accumulated fat in the liver which is your body's primary detoxifying organ. This can help improve liver function and increase detoxifying enzymes in the bloodstream.
Tomatoes are great cancer-fighting vegetables and contain all four major carotenoids which are antioxidant agents that have been shown to fight free radicals. Tomatoes are a prime example of the benefits of eating whole foods in their naturally occurring state. On their own, each of these carotenoids has proven health benefits. But the synergistic relationship between these compounds enhances the individual health benefit of each. Tomatoes are also rich in potassium which is a very important mineral that aids in fluid regulation in the body and can help keep you hydrated on hot summer days.
By Contributing Author: Sharon A. See
Most produce, meat, and poultry products you find in the grocery store unless labeled otherwise, are grown, raised or produced by what's known as “Big Ag” and or Factory Farming operations. Big Ag operations are huge commercial farms that typically grow one crop over and over again. The sole purpose is high yield, not high quality or nutritional value. This style of crop management can lead to over-farming of the land which depletes the soil. Huge amounts of pesticides, herbicides and chemically based fertilizers are used. Here you will also find a very high rate of GMO use.
Factory farming is the industrialized production of livestock. These animals are raised in deplorable and inhumane environments. These filthy, unsanitary conditions require the constant use of antibiotics. The animals are also injected with or fed growth hormones to enhance the rate of growth so they can be brought to market in shorter periods of time than the natural growth cycle would allow. These practices produce some of the most chemical-laden and unhealthy food products in our food supply. All the chemicals, antibiotics and hormones the animals ingest are passed along to the consumer of the meat, milk, eggs and other food products made from these animals.
We asked our farmers to send us their favorite recipes using farmers' market fruits and vegetables—whether it's a favorite "go to" meal, something that they make only when a certain fruit or vegetable is at its peak flavor, or an old family favorite that's been handed down to them. This one comes from Victoria of Laurel Glen Farm in Shelton, CT and it uses summer squash and zucchini, which are both plentiful early in the growing season. This one is super-easy and would be a great side dish or a light meal. They're even good the next morning reheated and topped with a farm-fresh poached egg.
by Contributing Author: Sharon A. See
I’m so excited to be appearing for the first time in this week’s market newsletter. You’ll be hearing from me throughout this market season. There is a wonderfully passionate group of volunteers whose time and energy bring you a wonderful market experience each week. As a Certified Holistic Health Coach, I’m so happy to be contributing to this effort by providing you with what I hope you’ll find to be helpful articles and fun facts for making the most of your visits to the market. And I welcome your feedback. If you have market or healthy eating related topics you’d like to hear more about or questions you’d like answered, please feel free to let me know. See the end of the article for ways to contact me.
So, why should you visit the Monroe Farmers' Market?
The USDA has declared August 7-13, 2016 to be National Farmers Market Week. This year marks the 17th anniversary of this event which honors and celebrates the important role that farmers markets play in local economies.
Move over kale chips, kohlrabi is in season! Kohlrabi lands somewhere between a radish and a turnip, but don't be fooled by this odd-looking vegetable. It's a versatile member of the cabbage family and its crunchy, mildly spicy flavor can perk up a variety of dishes. It's also bold enough to stand on its own in a salad, slaw or soup, fried up in fritters, roasted or baked into chips.
These thinly sliced kohlrabi rounds make an excellent "chip" to dip in zesty garlic pesto or in creamy hummus. Who says snacking can't be healthy and satisfying at the same time?
Voted Connecticut’s Favorite Farmers’ Market in 2015, The Monroe Farmers’ Market returns to the Town Hall Green at the corner of Fan Hill Road and Route 111 in Monroe, each Friday starting on June 17, 2016 with the best local farm products that Connecticut has to offer!
The Rotary Club of Monroe honored Farmers' Market Manager Susan Muro with a "Service Above Self" Award for her commitment to making the Monroe Farmers' Market a successful weekly event in the Town of Monroe and Connecticut’s Favorite Farmers’ Market in 2015.
The Monroe Elementary School Garden will be attending the Monroe Farmers Market for the second year in a row. According to the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, Monroe Elementary is only the second school in the state to offer a "seed to sale" program. Headed by 4th Grade Teacher and Science Coach Chris Treat, the garden was planted and has been tended to by every child in the school for the last four years. The students and their families continue to care for the garden throughout the Summer months and the children are encouraged to make all sales and marketing decisions as they bring their harvest to market.
This article originally appeared in the Waterbury, CT Republican-American.
Truelove Farms, operated by former English instructor Tom Truelove, is one of 24 farms from 14 states selected to receive a fund-a-farmer grant from the Illinois-based Food Animal Concerns Trust—an organization that aims to improve the welfare of farm animals. It’s a financial boost that will help expand Truelove’s operation just six years into his new career. It was a love of literature that delivered the 33-year old Truelove “through the back door,” to a love of farming. He was smitten by the poetic, environmental and romantic notion of sustainable agriculture offered by authors such as Wendell Berry, who writes about how big agribusiness is turning food manufacturing into a profit machine that creates unhealthy food. Truelove said he was inspired to venture into the science of nurturing food.
The Monroe Farmers' Market is open June–October and offers fresh, locally-grown produce, baked goods, prepared foods and hand-crafted specialty foods to Connecticut locals.