Food, glorious food

By Jeanne Kliejunas, Alderwoman, District 5

Sheboygan’s early snow melt and other signs of spring have many of us raking our lawns and plotting our gardens in March. I put in some radish seeds two weeks ago and they are coming up. The fresh taste of homegrown vegetables and fruits motivates many of us to do some back-bending work in our gardens every spring.

Even if you’re not a gardener, Sheboygan’s Farmers’ Market, starting in early June, will afford many choices in locally produced vegetables, fruits, eggs, cheeses, breads and meats. Sheboygan County farmers and gardeners will gather at Fountain Park every Wednesday and Saturday from June until October selling the fruits of their labor and land.

There are also CSA (Community Sustained Agriculture) shares available through some Sheboygan County farms. Contact Fred Depies at fkdepies@charter.net or call (920) 418-2718 for more information on how your family can receive a bag (share) of fresh organic fruits and vegetables every week while supporting a local organic farmer.

The local food movement is also taking hold in some area restaurants that make every effort to highlight locally produced food on their menus. Good chefs appreciate knowing where their raw food comes from and how it is produced, and they value the extra care taken to avoid chemical additives and other harmful effects of factory farming.

I believe there is a greater appreciation for the food we eat when we know how it was grown and processed. What would you rather eat – an egg produced by a chicken allowed to graze in a yard or an egg from a chicken drugged and cramped in a one cubic foot cage? The first egg will cost more because it was not mass-produced under extremely unsanitary conditions that require heavy doses of antibiotics.

Some may say that they can buy a head of lettuce cheaper at the supermarket than at the Farmers’ Market, but they will never be able to ask the farmer if their lettuce was sprayed with insecticides, and they will not have the satisfaction of supporting a local business. Many people are choosing to pay more for food that has been produced safely, locally, and they enjoy looking the farmer/ producer in the eye as they pay for his or her hard work.

Ain’t so?


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