We had a great family adventure today. We shopped from local producers at the Henderson County Tailgate Market in Hendersonville, NC. There were three rows of venders, and there must have been about 40+ venders there today.
Here are the details about the market from the Henderson County website:
Henderson County Tailgate Market – Local, organic and conventional produce, bedding plants, flowers, herbs, baked goods, canned goods. Henderson County Building parking area- 100 N. King Street (between First and Second Avenues) in downtown Hendersonville, Hubert Barnwell, Mgr. (828) 693-7265
Saturdays: 7AM – 12Noon, Open April – October
I believe it is very important to teach my children about local producers, and to buy as much as we can from the local economy. I love to introduce my children to the people who grow the food we eat, and expose them to the business and farming skills these folks need to raise and market their products to local buyers. This was my life for many years. I used to be a local producer of meats, eggs, produce, and hay and sell grains and other items in a healthy food store on our farm. I learned a vast amount of knowledge from that experience that still helps me in my life today. I want my children to also benefit from meeting others who have this lifestyle. I want them to appreciate those who produce the food we eat.
We found lots of farmers and growers selling seedlings and starter plants of every size and variety. Most of the plants were organic. There were hundreds of plants being offered anywhere from $2 to $4 each.
I have had my garden started for over a month, but I found some wonderful plants I wanted to include. One special find were day lilies that stood about a foot tall and had about four or five blooms (not yet opened) on each plant. These plants were selling for $3 each. I love day lilies because they bloom several times between early summer and early fall and they are so bright and colorful.
I selected some borage herb plants to add to my herb garden. I love borage for many reasons. One, it makes a delicious tea, or addition to tea. It is also useful in salads. I love the beauty of the small blue flowers it produces. The humming birds and butterflies always seem to visit this plant when it is in my garden. I buy borage oil capsuls as a super food to boost my GLA intake, a very important fat from the borage oil seed. This oil is very useful for women and supports the ovaries and reproductive cycle. So borage is a very valuable plant to grow and benefit from.
Another wonderful display of plants was at the Hill Farm display. She had several items for sale from her gardens. She also had the cutest farm boots turned into herb gardens, and wonderful full grown mini gardens for sale in planter containers. She said she has a lot more fun gardens planted in wagons and things you wouldn’t think of back at her farm. She also had containers of “The World’s Smallest Tomato” and said she had been raising this product for nearly 10 years. She told us she would be selling lots more of her unique planter displays next Saturday and Sunday for the garden festival on Main Street. So we hope to go to that and see all her wonderful displays.
There were many venders at the market selling their farm fresh eggs from $1.50 a dozen to $3.50 a dozen. I spotted no less than 7 venders selling farm fresh brown eggs.
However, I was drawn to an elderly man, sitting on the edge of his tailgate with his beautiful brown eggs. The children and I approached him to buy his eggs, and to learn his story about selling at the market. He gave us permission to take his picture and share his story.
His name is Marvin Lowe. He is 83 years old. He has sold eggs, and garden produce at this market off and on for over 10 years. In addition to eggs, when the produce is ripe, he sells potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and several more fresh garden products. But today it was just him and his eggs. You could tell he enjoyed meeting people and selling this fresh local item. He sells his eggs for $2 a dozen. His chickens run free in a fenced lot. He has to keep them behind the fence due to dogs in the area who would try to kill them. But he happily states his chickens roam as freely as possible. He currently has 43 laying hens.
Marvin is a native of North Carolina, however he lived for 30 years in Michigan. When I told him we were from Indiana, he told me he went to the farmers market every Wednesday in Shipshewanna, Indiana for many years. He loved going to the market and visiting with all the Amish farmers, craftsmen, and bakers there. I told him that we also shopped the Wednesday flee market that was full of Amish venders not far from where we used to live in Indiana. He exclaimed that he loved the Amish people and “thems good people.” It was really interesting to visit with Marvin today, and hear about his time he spent at the Indiana farmers markets with the Amish for all those years.
We also met a family of sellers who had two vending spots. The parents were looking after a display of plants and seedlings, and about five of their seven children were several vending spots down, looking after another display of a table full of baked goods. The children have their own baking and canning business. They had cookies, bread, pie, and jams and jellies for sale today. We bought a couple bags of their cookies for a snack for later.
The last couple of venders I wanted to tell you about were selling locally raised meat products from coolers on their tables. They had big signs explaining the cuts of meat they had and the prices. They also had mailing lists you could sign up on to get news of when they were butchering or to place custom orders.
One family was selling whole dressed chickens, eggs, and pork products. And another family was selling beef products. Both of these families raised their animals in a humane way, and allowed the animals large areas to graze and roam. The farmer with the chickens grinds corn and soybeans together to feed their chickens, and they rotate the chickens on fresh pasture each day. The beef farmer raises angus cattle and has pasture for the cattle to roam, and they also fed around 3lbs + of grain a day to their cattle to help them put on weight in addition to allowing them to graze on grass.
However, I did not find any beef producers that were strictly grass fed, or poultry producers that were soy-free in their feed. I think it is really important to buy local, but to also buy according to what you believe. I look at how it is raised, and if it is the way I believe it should be raised.
If you believe in organic, then buy organic. To me, organic doesn’t mean
as much if it isn’t raised the way I believe the animal was created to live. I believe cattle should be grass fed. I believe no animal, even chickens, should be subjected to the horrible side effects of soybeans added into their feed. So for me today, these venders were not on my list of places to buy from. I took time to talk with them and support their efforts. I took time to appreciate them and encourage them. I let them know I appreciated how hard it is to raise these animals and they seemed to be doing a very good job. Then I planted the seed about grass feeding and its benefits, and the dangers of using soy. We all had a very good conversation and no one left offended. The seed was planted and hopefully these wonderful farmers will look into the research about these important methods of farming to maximize the nutrient quality for their consumers.
Where are the local farmers who produce these nutrient dense products? Though I support local producers, these are two very important values to me in buying meat products for my family.
The reason I look for meat that has not been fed soy, is because soy has a lot of negative effects on the animal’s body and the human body. Check here if you would like to read articles about the effects of soy:
One amazing article in particular is a summary of scientific studies done from 1939 to 2008 on the effects of soy on animals (mice, rats, chickens, turkeys, and cows, etc.) and effects on humans. This is truly an eye opening summary of the facts from these science experiments.
Also, giving any grain to cattle basically eliminates:
the CLA in the meat and milk, http://westonaprice.org/component/finder/search?q=CLA
eliminates the vitamin K,
and also changes the Omega fatty acid ratios in the wrong direction.
When an grazing animal is fed grain, Instead of a healthy balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3, the Omega 3 almost disappears and the animal is then has predominantly Omega 6 fatty acids. Humans desperately need a balance of the Omega acids and when we eat food products that are out of balance, then we become even more out of balance in our own bodies. To learn more about Omega fatty acids, please read the article here http://westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/2021-precious-yet-perilous?qh=YTo3OntpOjA7czo1OiJvbWVnYSI7aToxO3M6NToiYWNpZHMiO2k6MjtzOjQ6ImFjaWQiO2k6MztzOjc6ImFjaWRpdHkiO2k6NDtzOjY6ImFjaWRpYyI7aTo1O3M6NToiYWNpZGUiO2k6NjtzOjY6ImFjaWRlcyI7fQ%3D%3D
Another reason I choose meat from grass fed beef, instead of meat from producers who feed grain is because the meat has a much reduced (or almost 0 chance) of being contaminated with E-coli and other pathogens. But when you give a cow grain, you increase the amount of E-coli in their system, thereby increasing the human exposure to this horrible bacteria at the time the animal is processed for human consumption.
In addition, when farmers tell you they feed their animals grain, they most likely are also feeding GMO grains (genetically modified). GMO grains are something we really don’t want to put into the human body. They also usually need to feed supplements and antibiotics mixed into the feed to compensate for the increased health problems the animal faces from consuming grain. Cow’s stomachs were intended to process only grass and herbs, not grains. Grains cause their stomachs to become too acidic thereby giving an unhealthy place for E-coli and many bad pathogens to live. It also causes bloat, over production of gasses, and digestive discomfort. Because of the stress on their digestive system, cows who are fed grains have an increase in disease and a greatly reduced life span.
A wonderful book to read on this whole situation that has happened to cows from farmers changing their food from a grass fed animal to a grain fed animal in the production of cattle as a food source, is a book written by Michael Polan called the Omnivores Dilemma. Michael Polan is a very well known author, and you will be amazed about the history and research that went into this wonderful book.
You can also freely read the hundreds of articles and scientific studies about this subject on the Weston A Price Foundation website. http://westonaprice.org/component/finder/search?q=Grass+fed+beef
I love supporting the local economy, and helping these wonderful farmers and growers to be successful in their business. But I have yet to find a local producer of meat products that farms and practices grass feeding the way I believe in.
So until this changes, I buy my grass fed beef from Tropical Traditions. Through Weiser Natural Foods discount ordering service, we can buy 40lb cases of 100% natural grass fed ground beef from Tropical Traditions for $5.91 a pound including shipping to our location. That is a steal of deal when you consider the nutrient dense quality of the food they are producing. These animals are raised on lush rich grass from start to finish, and never given any grain. You can read about their grass fed cattle here http://www.grassfedtraditions.com/grass_fed_beef.htm
I would encourage everyone to search out the local markets in your area and find out what farmers and growers are producing that will meet your needs. It greatly helps the local economy to put your dollar there rather than at Walmart or Aldi or the big chain stores. One great resource to find growers and farmers is on the Local Harvest website. http://www.localharvest.org/
If you can’t find a local producer for the products you need, then find the next best thing. Find another farmer or grower somewhere else ! Find someone who cares about what they are producing, and has done the research to know how to raise it in a
way that maximizes human nutrition. Places like Tropical Traditions, and others listed in the Weston A Price shopping guide, who really are a step ahead of the rest and have the scientific studies to prove this is the best way (for both the animal, the land, and the human) to raise products for human consumption.
Happy hunting at the local level, and at the nutrient dense level!