If there is one thing I’m passionate about, it’s local food & farmers markets! I was a farmer for almost 15 years, and most of that time a farmers market vendor. I know what it’s like to be on both sides of the table~ as a vendor, and a market manager.
My heart is most at home in the garden & the farmers markets. Today I will talk to you about my heart felt desire to inspire every person to shop at the farmers market. When you do you are supporting local producers, your local economy, help the sustainability of farmland, and so much more!
Maybe you’ve even been contemplating becoming a market vendor! Do you create, bake, grow, or develop something? Well, a farmers market might be your first step to a successful business start up. Farmers markets are great starting points for local entrepreneurs!
I want this podcast to inspire you… please let me know in the comments below if I did!
“My passion for gardening may strike some as selfish, or merely an act of resignation in the face of overwhelming problems that beset the world. It is neither. I have found that each garden is just what Voltaire proposed in Candide: a microcosm of a just and beautiful society. ” Andrew Weil
Check out my easy YouTube video tutorial on how to properly plant invasive herbs such as mint, oregano, & thyme so they don’t overtake your gardens!
Supplies you’ll need:
Large planter Ground cover or landscape fabric to line the inside of the planter 2 cups of pea gravel Enough organic potting mix to fill the planter leaving about 2 inches of head space 1 perennial herb plant of your choice such as mint, oregano, thyme, rosemary, or sage.
I certainly hope you are encouraged to garden. Even if you start with only two or three of these things, that’s a great start!
“The first gatherings of the garden in May of salads, radishes, and herbs made me feel like a mother about her baby ― how could anything so beautiful be mine. And this emotion of wonder filled me for each vegetable as it was gathered every year. There is nothing that is comparable to it, as satisfactory or as thrilling, as gathering the vegetables one has grown.” ― Alice B. Toklas
As we see an uptick in farmers market attendance and folks growing their own food, there seems to be a bit of hope. If you are like me, someone who both grows some of my own food, and shops at local markets, then you understand the gratification that comes with it. You know you are supporting local growers and family owned farms, on top of the incredible satisfactions of going out to your garden and picking a fresh tomato or cucumber.
I really became aware of the food anonymity as a market vendor. So often people would come and have no idea that potatoes grew in the ground, or peas developed in a shell. It can actually be a bit disturbing. I made it my mission to not only sell food back when I had my farm, I was committed to educating people on where their food was coming from as well.
Food is an essential part of our daily lives. It fuels our bodies, satisfies our taste buds, and brings us together in shared experiences. But how often do we consider where our food comes from, who produced it, and under what conditions it was grown or raised? Unfortunately, the answer for many of us is rarely, if ever. The food industry is one of the least transparent industries in the world, with little to no regulation or oversight in many areas. This lack of transparency has significant implications for consumers, from health concerns to ethical and environmental issues. In today’s blog, I want to explore the impact of food anonymity on consumers, that means US, & the ways in which we can break free from the chains of ignorance and demand change.
First, What is food anonymity?
Food anonymity is the term used to describe the lack of transparency in the food industry. It refers to the fact that we, the consumers, often have no idea where our food comes from, who produced it, or under what conditions it was grown or raised. The supply chain for food is long and complex, with many different players involved, from farmers and producers to distributors and retailers. This complexity makes it difficult for consumers to trace the origins of their food and to hold companies accountable for their actions.
The issue of food anonymity is compounded by the fact that many companies engage in unethical and unsustainable practices in order to cut costs and increase profits. For example, some companies use harmful pesticides and other chemicals in their farming practices, which can have negative impacts on both human health and the environment. Others engage in animal cruelty, such as keeping animals in cramped and unsanitary conditions or using inhumane slaughtering methods. These are what generally are referred to as CAFO’s or Confined Animal Feedlot Operations.
Friends, I’ve stood in some of these and believe me when I say, you would not be able to eat the meat you purchase in the grocery stores if you did. That is why I have always been so adamant about knowing your farmer & producer! These practices are often hidden from consumers, who have no way of knowing what they are supporting when they buy certain products.
The impact of food anonymity on consumers
The impact of food anonymity on consumers is significant. When we don’t know where our food comes from or how it was produced, we are at risk for a number of health concerns. For example, many companies use additives and preservatives in their products, which can be harmful to our bodies over time. Additionally, the use of pesticides and other chemicals in farming can lead to contamination of our food, putting us at risk for illness and disease.
But the impact of food anonymity goes beyond just health concerns. It also has ethical and environmental implications. When companies engage in unethical practices, such as animal cruelty or unsustainable farming practices, they are contributing to a system that is harmful to both animals and the environment. By supporting these companies, consumers are indirectly contributing to these issues as well. Furthermore, the lack of transparency in the industry means that consumers have no way of knowing whether the food they are buying was produced in an ethical and sustainable way.
The dangers of food anonymity
The dangers of food anonymity are many. As mentioned, the lack of transparency in the industry can lead to health concerns, ethical issues, and environmental problems. But there are also economic implications as well. When companies engage in unethical practices in order to cut costs and increase profits, they are often doing so at the expense of their workers, who may be underpaid or subjected to unsafe working conditions.
Additionally, the lack of transparency in the industry means that small-scale farmers and producers may be at a disadvantage, as they are unable to compete with larger companies who can produce food more cheaply and with less regard for ethical and sustainable practices.
How food labeling can help
One way to combat food anonymity is through better labeling practices. By requiring companies to provide more information about their products, consumers can make more informed choices about what they buy and eat. For example, labels can indicate whether a product was produced using organic or sustainable farming practices, or whether it contains any additives or preservatives. Labels can also provide information about the origin of the food, allowing consumers to make choices that support local farmers and producers.
While some companies may resist these labeling requirements, consumers have the power to demand change. By supporting companies that are transparent about their practices and advocating for better labeling practices, we can send a message to the food industry that we care about where our food comes from and how it was produced.
The power of consumer demand
Ultimately, the power to effect change in the food industry lies with consumers. By demanding more transparency and ethical practices from companies, we can create a more sustainable and just food system. This can take many forms, from supporting local farmers and producers to advocating for better labeling practices and more regulation in the industry.
One way to exercise our power as consumers is by choosing to buy products that align with our values. For example, we can choose to buy products that are produced using sustainable and ethical practices, or that support local farmers and producers. We can also support companies that are transparent about their practices and are committed to making positive changes in the industry.
How to empower yourself as a consumer
Empowering yourself as a consumer begins with education. By learning more about where your food comes from and how it was produced, you can make more informed choices about what you eat and buy. This can involve doing research on companies and products, reading labels, and educating yourself on ethical and sustainable farming practices.
Another way to empower yourself as a consumer is by supporting advocacy groups that are working to create positive change in the food industry. These groups can provide resources and information on issues related to food transparency and sustainability, and can help you connect with others who share your values and concerns.
Advocacy groups play an important role in the fight for food transparency and sustainability. These groups work to raise awareness about issues in the industry, advocate for better regulation and labeling practices, and support small-scale farmers and producers. By supporting these groups, consumers can help amplify their voices and make a difference in the industry.
The importance of transparency in the food industry
Transparency is key to creating a more ethical and sustainable food system. When companies are transparent about their practices and products, consumers can make more informed choices about what they buy and eat. Additionally, transparency can help to hold companies accountable for their actions and create a more level playing field for small-scale farmers and producers.
Breaking the chains of food anonymity requires action from all of us. By educating ourselves, supporting advocacy groups, and demanding change from companies and regulators, we can create a more transparent and ethical food system. This can involve making conscious choices about what we buy and eat, advocating for better labeling practices and regulation, and supporting small-scale farmers and producers. Together, we have the power to create a better future for ourselves, our communities, and our planet.
“Farmers markets are an integral part of the urban/farm linkage and have continued to rise in popularity, mostly due to the growing consumer interest in obtaining fresh products directly from the farm. Farmers markets allow consumers to have access to locally grown, farm fresh produce, enabling farmers the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with their customers, and cultivate consumer loyalty with the farmers who grow the produce.”
I certainly hope you are encouraged to garden. Even if you start with only two or three of these things, that’s a great start!
If you enjoyed this blog , please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!
If you aren’t following me on Facebook or Instagram, go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden!
Until next time friends, eat fresh, shop local, & have a happy day, Jean
All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content.
Tips & Tricks on what & how to grow to ensure a successful growing season! In today’s class Jean Roman will discuss the best fruits, vegetables, and herbs to grow in your home garden, and how to care for them. She’ll share her wealth of knowledge on growing and how you can have a bountiful harvest. Roman will provide information on gardening in containers, raised beds, and traditional tillable gardens. Downloadable PDF will be provided to all attendees.
“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” ― Lewis Grizzard
Have you ever stopped to think about where your food comes from? Most of us are aware of the term “locally sourced,” but have you heard of the concept of a foodshed?
A foodshed is the geographical area where our food is grown, processed, and distributed. Understanding your foodshed can have a significant impact on your food choices and the environment. By choosing to support local farmers and businesses, you can reduce the carbon footprint of your food and ensure that you are consuming fresh, nutritious produce. In this article, I’m going to show you all the importance of understanding your foodshed and how it can positively impact your health, the economy, and the planet. So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in!
A foodshed is the geographic area where food is produced, processed, and distributed. It includes everything from the farms and ranches where food is grown, to the processing facilities where it is packaged and prepared for sale, to the stores and restaurants where it is sold and consumed. The foodshed concept takes into account the entire food system, from farm to table, and recognizes the importance of local food production.
The size of a foodshed can vary, depending on the region and the type of food produced. For example, a foodshed for tomatoes in Florida may be smaller than a foodshed for wheat in the Midwest. However, the idea is the same – to support local food systems and reduce the amount of energy required to transport food long distances.
In addition to reducing the carbon footprint of our food, supporting local foodsheds can also provide economic benefits to farmers and local businesses. By buying locally, consumers can keep their dollars within their community, supporting small-scale farmers and businesses.
The Importance of Foodshed
Understanding the concept of a foodshed is important because it allows us to better understand the impact of our food choices on the environment and the economy. When we buy food that has been transported long distances, we contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts associated with transportation. By supporting local food systems, we can reduce these impacts and support sustainable agriculture.
In addition to environmental benefits, supporting local food systems can also have economic benefits. By buying locally, consumers can support small-scale farmers and businesses, helping to keep money within the community. This can lead to a more resilient local economy and a stronger sense of community.
Finally, supporting local food systems can also have health benefits. Local food is often fresher and more nutritious than food that has been transported long distances. This is because local food is typically harvested at the peak of ripeness and consumed shortly thereafter. In contrast, food that has been transported long distances may be harvested before it is ripe and then artificially ripened during transportation.
How Foodshed Impacts Your Food Choices
Understanding your foodshed can impact your food choices in several ways. First, it can help you make more informed decisions about the food you buy. By understanding where your food comes from, you can choose to buy food that is produced locally and supports sustainable agriculture. This can help reduce your carbon footprint and support local farmers and businesses.
Second, understanding your foodshed can also help you make healthier food choices. Local food is often fresher and more nutritious than food that has been transported long distances. By choosing to buy local food, you can ensure that you are consuming fresh, nutritious produce that is free from harmful chemicals and preservatives.
Finally, understanding your foodshed can also help you save money. By buying food that is produced locally, you can often save money on transportation costs that are passed on to consumers. Additionally, local food can be less expensive because it doesn’t have to travel long distances to reach consumers.
Sustainable Agriculture and Foodshed
Sustainable agriculture is an important component of the foodshed concept. Sustainable agriculture is a method of food production that seeks to minimize the environmental impact of farming while also promoting economic and social sustainability. Sustainable agriculture practices include crop rotation, conservation tillage, and the use of natural fertilizers and pesticides.
By supporting sustainable agriculture, consumers can help reduce the environmental impact of farming and support local farmers and businesses. Additionally, by choosing to buy food that is produced sustainably, consumers can help promote sustainable agriculture practices and encourage more farmers to adopt these methods.
How to Support Your Local Foodshed
There are several ways to support your local foodshed. First, you can seek out local farmers’ markets and buy fresh, locally produced food. You can also look for restaurants that source their ingredients locally and support local farms.
Another way to support your local foodshed is to join a CSA program. By buying a share of a local farm’s harvest, you can support sustainable agriculture and receive fresh, seasonal produce.
Finally, you can grow your own food. Even if you don’t have space for a garden, you can grow herbs and vegetables in pots on your balcony or windowsill. By growing your own food, you can reduce your carbon footprint and ensure that you are consuming fresh, nutritious produce.
Foodshed vs. Food Miles
Foodshed and food miles are two related, but distinct, concepts. Food miles refer to the distance that food travels from the farm to the consumer. The concept of food miles has been used to raise awareness about the environmental impacts of transporting food long distances.
While food miles are an important consideration, they are not the only factor to consider when it comes to sustainable agriculture. The foodshed concept takes a more holistic approach, considering the entire food system, from farm to table. By supporting local food systems, we can reduce the carbon footprint of our food and support sustainable agriculture.
Examples of Successful Foodshed Initiatives
There are many successful foodshed initiatives around the world. One example is the “Farm to School” program, which connects local farmers with schools to provide fresh, healthy food to students. This program helps support local farmers and promotes healthy eating habits among students.
Another example is the “Community Supported Agriculture” (CSA) model, which allows consumers to buy shares of a local farm’s harvest. This model helps support local farmers and provides consumers with fresh, seasonal produce.
Challenges to a Strong Foodshed and How to Overcome Them
There are several challenges to building a strong foodshed. One challenge is the dominance of large-scale agriculture and the concentration of food processing and distribution in the hands of a few large corporations. This can make it difficult for small-scale farmers and businesses to compete.
Another challenge is consumer demand for convenience and low prices. Many consumers prioritize convenience and low prices over supporting local farmers and sustainable agriculture practices. This can make it difficult for local farmers and businesses to compete in the marketplace.
To overcome these challenges, it is important to raise awareness about the benefits of supporting local food systems and sustainable agriculture. This can be done through education campaigns, community outreach, and policy initiatives that support local farmers and businesses.
Understanding the concept of a foodshed is important for anyone interested in sustainable agriculture and healthy eating. By supporting local food systems, consumers can reduce their carbon footprint, support local farmers and businesses, and promote sustainable agriculture practices. So, the next time you sit down to enjoy a meal, take a moment to think about where your food comes from and how you can support your local foodshed.
“A person who is growing a garden, if he is growing it organically, is improving a piece of the world. He is producing something to eat, which makes him somewhat independent of the grocery business, but he is also enlarging, for himself, the meaning of food and the pleasure of eating.” ― Wendell Berry
You may be asking yourself what it means to eat in season. Eating in season simply means we consume fruits and vegetables naturally ripened and harvested during a particular time of year in your region. Each season brings its own set of crops, & eating according to the season means that you’re consuming produce that is fresh, nutrient-dense, and filled with flavor.
For instance in spring we have an abundance of lettuce & greens, asparagus, rhubarb, and even peas to name just a few. Summer holds its bounty with tomatoes, summer squash, peppers, and fall brings potatoes, onions, and delicious winter squashes. Of course this is a very small list of food available. Depending where you live will determine what is available to you.
When we eat in season, we’re also supporting local agriculture as these crops are grown locally and are more readily available in our community. Eating in season also helps to reduce the carbon footprint associated with transporting food over long distances.
That is where today’s blog post stems from friends. From my heart.
There are a plethora of benefits associated with eating in season including both health and environmental. In-season produce is typically fresher than out-of-season produce, which means it contains more nutrients and is more flavorful. Produce harvested at its peak ripeness has had more time to develop its full flavor profile, which means it tastes better.
Eating in season also means you’re consuming produce grown locally, which supports small-scale farmers in our community. This means we’re helping to strengthen our local economy, which is beneficial for the environment as it reduces the carbon footprint associated with transporting food over long distances.
Understanding Local Agriculture
Local agriculture is the practice of growing crops and raising animals within a specific region. This means the produce is grown and sold within the community, which helps to support small-scale farmers and local businesses. Local agriculture is becoming increasingly important as we become more conscious of the impact our food choices have on the environment.
When we buy local, we’re not only supporting our local economy, we’re also reducing the carbon footprint associated with transporting food over long distances. Additionally, local agriculture is often conducted using sustainable practices that minimize the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers, which can be harmful to the environment.
How Does Eating in Season Support Local Agriculture?
Eating in season supports local agriculture in several ways. First, it helps to create demand for locally grown produce, which supports small-scale farmers in our community. When farmers are able to sell their produce locally, they don’t have to rely on long-distance transportation, which is costly and environmentally damaging.
Secondly, eating in season means that we’re consuming produce that is fresher and more flavorful, which creates demand for more locally grown produce. This means that farmers are more likely to continue growing crops locally, which helps to support the local economy and promote sustainable agriculture.
Sustainability and Eating in Season
Eating in season is also beneficial for the environment. When we eat in season, we’re consuming produce grown locally, which means it doesn’t have to be transported over long distances. This reduces the carbon footprint associated with transporting food, which is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
Local agriculture is often conducted using sustainable practices minimizing the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers, which can be harmful to our environment.
Eating in season also means that we’re consuming produce naturally ripened and harvested, which means it doesn’t require as many preservatives or additives as out-of-season produce.
Tips for Eating in Season
Eating in season can be a fun and delicious way to support local agriculture and promote sustainability. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Shop at farmers’ markets. Farmers’ markets are a great place to find locally grown produce that is in season. You’ll also be able to talk to the farmers themselves and learn more about how the food is grown.
Join a CSA. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs allow you to buy a share of a farmer’s harvest for a season. This means that you’ll receive a weekly box of produce that is in season and locally grown.
Check out local food co-ops. Food co-ops are community-owned grocery stores that focus on selling locally grown produce and other sustainable products.
Check the labels. When you’re shopping for produce at the grocery store, look for labels that indicate where the produce was grown. Choose produce that was grown locally whenever possible.
Learn about seasonal produce. Take the time to research what produce is in season in your area. This will help you plan your meals and make sure that you’re eating in season.
If you’re looking for local, seasonal produce, there are several places to look. Farmers’ markets, CSAs, and food co-ops are great places to start. You can also check out local grocery stores and look for labels that indicate where the produce was grown. Finally, you can also consider growing your own produce. Even if you don’t have a lot of space, you can grow herbs or small vegetables in pots on your balcony or windowsill.
If you enjoyed this blog, please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback!
If you aren’t following me on Facebook & Instagram go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden!
Until next time remember to, Eat fresh, shop local & have a happy day, Jean
Copyright Policy All text and images on this site are copyright of For Dragonflies And Me. Unless otherwise noted, you may not use this content.
Join me today as Founder & Lead Biker for Bike Dearborn, Tracy Besek & I chat it up about biking safety, advocacy, and being a part of this great group!
This month’s focus has been on local food, and healthy life choices. I tend to focus a lot on farmers markets, but obviously there are so many other ways to invest in healthy life choices, exercise being another obvious one!
My guest today and I met almost ten years ago during my tenure in Dearborn with both the DDA and the Chamber of Commerce. We collaborated together with the city’s farmers market I managed… OK, yep I’m going to tie in the farmers market again, LOL.
So now I’d like to introduce you to Tracy Besek, Founder & Ride Leader for Bike Dearborn!
Some of the awards Tracy has received include:
2016 Beaumont’s Healthy Community Champion Award
2018 Advocate of the Year from the League of Michigan Bicyclists. I’ve since become an active board member and co-chair of the DEI Committee.
2018 Sierra Club of Southeastern Michigan Green Cruiser of the Year. 2022 Received Certificate of Appreciation from County Commissioner Sam Baydoun for promoting healthy living in Dearborn
The container gardener is limited only by your imagination! Whether you have a large garden, raised beds, or the smallest patio or balcony, Jean will show you how you can reap a crop of herbs. It’s all in the harvesting friends!
In todays class held at The Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market, Jean Roman will showcase how you can create thriving herb containers you’ll be able to bring in during the winter as well, if you choose! Whether you are an experienced or novice gardener, this class will be loads of fun with tons of great information!
Lifestyle expert Jean Roman shares gardening and cooking tips
The Market is excited to welcome Jean Roman with her gardening and cooking tips to our 2023 lineup.
Jean is a mother of six, published author, podcaster, YouTuber, organic gardener, organizational guru and influencer who lives in Waterford. A cookbook author and self-professed master gardener with more than 20 years of experience, Jean loves to share her passion for and knowledge of organic gardening, the local food movement and food preparation and preservation.
On her weekly podcast, “For Dragonflies and Me,” Jean gives gardening, cooking and organizational tips and tricks; discusses healthy lifestyles, and welcomes a wide variety of entrepreneurs.
Jean will make six presentations at the Market throughout the season. Please join her as she discusses and demonstrates:
“Cooking is at once one of the simplest and most gratifying of the arts, but to cook well, one must love and respect food.” – Craig Claiborne
The boys and I had a good time putting this recipe together, and according to them it is a winner! They compared it to Chick-fil-A’s sandwich… I’m not a big fan of their food, but my boys and many other people are.
Check me and my boys having a blast cooking this dish together! Let me know what you think about it!
Our Favorite Recipes
Ingredients: Yields 6 to 8 sandwiches depending on how large your breasts are.
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into thin sections.
2 to 4 cups canola oil for frying
8 hamburger buns
½ cup olive oil mayonnaise
1 to 2 TBSP your favorite hot sauce~ adjust to how spicy you want it. I used
In a bowl, blend together and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Cut your chicken & marinade for at least 4 hours, overnight is best!
Heat 2 cups of the oil in a deep skillet on medium high heat.
1 cup white whole milk
2 TBSP melted butter
2 TBSP your favorite hot sauce~ I use Franks Red Hot Original
Blend all together in a one gallon zipper storage bag and place cut chicken in the bag; blend well. Place in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Flour Dredging Mixture:
1 cup white all purpose flour
2 TBSP paprika
1 tsp each pink Himalayan salt & fresh ground pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients into a shallow bowl or a plate.
While oil is heating, begin dredging the chicken pieces into the flour mixture coating both sides; dip chicken into the reserved marinade and dredge in flour mixture again; set aside until oil is hot enough to begin frying.
Check oil by carefully dropping a few drops of the marinade into the oil; if it begins to bubble hard, the oil is hot enough.
Add one piece of chicken to oil at a time being sure not to overlap; fry for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side; the thicken the chicken the longer you will need to fry it. Be sure not to burn the outside. If you have an air fryer you can place the fried pieces in for about an additional 3 to 5 minutes.
To test if chicken is done, remove from oil onto a paper towel lined plate; with a fork and knife carefully cut into the thickest part of the chicken breast; be sure there are no pink raw sections. If so, you can either air fry or bake for a few additional minutes in a 350 degree oven.
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When chicken is all fried, build your sandwiches with your favorite toppings.
If you enjoyed this blog, please LIKE, Follow, Share & leave me a comment! I love your feedback~
If you aren’t following me on Facebook & Instagram go on over & give a LIKE & Follow me for daily tips & tricks for your home & garden!