Local Summer Produce? Yes, Please!!

Summer is officially here now which means the end of a school year, vacations, beach trips, and more time doing things or doing nothing (depending on your mood). Summertime also means summer produce! When you purchase fruits and vegetables during their season, you're actually getting them at the peak of their deliciousness.

So what's in season during the summer? Just about every berry, cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines, watermelons, corn, basil, summer squash, rhubarb, tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini, to name a few. You can take each of these and use them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snacks, you name it! What's better is that you don't even have to visit your grocery store for it. You can also buy and eat locally.

By eating locally, not only do you help support the nearby farms who are dedicated to their brand of crops, you also have a selection of the freshest seasonal fruits and vegetables available.  Living here in the D.C. metro area, we have access to so many farmers markets and local farms. I think so far my favorite farmers market is the one held at the National Harbor. Yes, I'm a bit biased since I actually live in that area and it's not that far from me (not that I won't travel for some good food!), but the Harbor recently partnered with Community Foodworks, who manages a lot of farmers markets in the region. The vendors are so diverse and the selection of what's available can sometimes cover my grocery list sans household items and dairy.

Farm-wise, I have yet to visit one in the past year or so. Time is snatched away when you have 2 littles under 4. I'd like to visit a farm soon though. There's nothing better than being able to pick your own food and see firsthand where it comes from.

Food quality and nutrition are so important and often times, when we get busy we tend to lean towards the easier route although it's not always the best one. Eating local provides you with both great quality and nutrition because as you know, fresh is best. If you already eat locally, good on ya! If you don't but you're interested in doing so, please try! If you feel like you'd like to, but don't have the time, there's always the option of joining a CSA (you'll get the produce shipped to you! Gotta love that! Hello, convenience!). You could also try a custom meal service, courtesy of Foodtellect PCS, and have fresh local produce used in your meals without even having to lift a finger. Either way, let's eat some great food this summer!

Stay cool & eat well!