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Health June 2016

Eat Right Now

Romancing the Farmer's Market (The Celestial Apothecary)

By Wendell Fowler

Watch in awe the variety change in harmony with the season, like when stone fruit, apples, pumpkins and cider begin to appear. Growing food and supporting local farmers markets are karmic ways to serve Mother Earth while obtaining the freshest, most nourishing energy-packed, health-creating produce.

Let us not forget that the cultivation of the earth
is the most important labor of man.
When tillage begins, other arts will follow.
The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization. - Daniel Webster

With dog days on the horizon, a murder of shiny plump crows caw over painted harvests as compost-crusted family farmers dance and sing in joyful gratitude. Like garlands of pearls, flower buds express joy by putting forth their delicate perfume. When plants are reverentially picked for holy temple stewardship, Gaia gleefully shares her prosperity; giving you her best.

There's something warm and fuzzy, bordering on sacred, about the energy of a farmers market. Farmers markets help maintain social ties linking rural and urban populations, friends and neighbors in mutually rewarding exchange while shopping dozens of festive booths staffed with broad-smiling vendors selling local produce, compassionately raised animals, cheese, and handmade artisan crafts – a jubilant social interaction.

Supporting your farming economy supports family health while helping new and smaller farmers succeed. Science proves repeatedly, eating from the Celestial Apothecary is the best physician. Corporate food production has bullied the family farm, the backbone of America, into obscurity. Rural people don't simply make a living off the land, the land that is the mainstay of their identities, cultural landscape and their source of well-being. A review by the organization GRAIN revealed small farms produce most of the world's food and are more productive than mega-farms.

Providentially local family farms are making a none-too-soon, strong comeback as sick, fat, unfulfilled Americans awaken from their stupor – conceding food from the Celestial Apothecary is the best preventive medicine as Hippocrates recommended in 400 BC. Traveling about America, I've attended various charming markets that conjure up a comforting antique feeling of simpler times. The key: honest, enthusiastic, dedicated connection to earth's bounty, a palpable dedication to the family farming community, and passion for all things local – a locavore mentality. (Locavores primarily eat food a certain number of miles from where they stand, desirably, from a family farm. Locavores buy local to create a greater connection between themselves and their food sources, and to resist industrialized and processed foods.) Many awakened souls claim “eating local” can be spiritually grounding due to purity and higher vibrational energy – of eating closer to earth. Plus, farmer's markets require less transport, handling, refrigeration, and less time in storage – a magical, ecological win-win.

For the holiest of nutrition and health benefits, focus on whole, unprocessed foods, organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats, local dairy, herbs, nuts, and seeds from sustainable sources. You're oh so worth it! Get grandchildren involved. Drop the iPhones, nudge them towards the colorful produce and gently encourage them to select some seasonal produce to try. Then lovingly and patiently let them prepare a meal.

Please support your community markets frequently until they close in fall. Outdoor markets aren't something to hit and run. For goodness sakes, slow down and plan to stay. There's so much to see, hear, smell, taste and purchase – a brilliant way to spend an afternoon reconnecting with family and community. It's great fun to shake the compost-slinging hand of the person who nurtured the food you're about to eat. Watch in awe the variety change in harmony with the season, like when stone fruit, apples, pumpkins and cider begin to appear. Growing food and supporting local farmers markets are karmic ways to serve Mother Earth while obtaining the freshest, most nourishing energy-packed, health-creating produce.

Friends, in the good ole summertime, it doesn't get any better than working with, and eating juicy, ripe, freshly picked in season produce at its peak flavor, bursting with sun-kissed nutrition. For a happy, fulfilling, healthy life, keep your friends close and your family farmer closer.

 

Chef Wendell hosts Eat Right Now on WISH TV 8 CBS Indianapolis. He can be reached at 317-372-2592 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Visit his website at Chefwendell.com.

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