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President’s Day is around the corner and President Obama stated in the most recent State of the Union address that our goal should be using 80% of clean power by 2035. It may seen a far ways off, but we can start today with Organic Foods.

Though they might not be the most economical choice, they are by far the healthier and “greener” choice. Locally grown vegetables and fruits where you know the farmer and the soil where he grows them. These should be the easy choices, eat clean and healthy foods and your body will thank you.

How does organic food help the environment? With organic farming you are no longer contaminating the land with harmful chemicals. Farmers take measures to produce foods without hazardous chemicals and grow crops that are indigenous to the area. This sustainable farming practices preserve and save the land for future generations.

By joining CSA’s that support organic farmers, you are supporting the movement towards a “greener” world and getting delicious vegetables and fruits without all those harmful chemicals.

Enjoy your organic veggies. Make a small change for a healthier environment and an even healthier you!

– Wende

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In my hometown of Buffalo there used to be this restaurant situated across the Niagara River called “Old Man River”.  It was ol’ shack of a place that served up your normal greasy fare – hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, rings, shakes, etc… I fell in love with one item on their menu called the Bunny Dog.  Basically,  it was just a grilled carrot placed in a hot dog bun. I’d put all the regular fixins’ on it – ketchup, mustard and relish – and it would turn into the yummiest vegetarian hot dog I have ever tasted.

Well,  Old man River has sinced closed (sob!), but the Bunny Dog remains alive at my house. Last night we grilled some of the CSA carrots on the grill for about 30 minutes.  I then placed in a toasted hot dog roll and added some ketchup and a tad of mustard and ouila! homemade, ORGANIC bunny dog!  It tasted delicious and brought back memories of my youthful vegetarian years. sigh.

***UPDATE. I just googled Old Man River and it seems NOT to be closed?! Perhaps they reopened cause I thought it went out of business. Well, hmm, this is great news and I’ll make sure to visit next time I’m in town.

I’m not your typical organic shopper.  Frankly speaking, it’s just too expensive for me to buy organic, even more now that I have a family.  However, having a family should be the very reason why I need to jump on the organic bandwagon. I want my children to eat wholesome, chemical-free food, especially with some of the new research coming out on the harmful effects of pesticides*.

When I saw the Ozone Park CSA flyer, I was amazed to see how affordable the membership was.  $15 per week for fresh, organic veggies is a ridiculously low price considering the amount you’d typically pay at the supermarket. I joined the group the very next day, rejoicing that I’d finally found my way into a more organic lifestyle without having to break the bank.

Last night was the Ozone Park CSA’s first official distribution.  I was like a little kid in a candy store receiving my bags of fresh goodies. Handed over to me were two large bags of yummy looking greens.  There was so much I had to do a bit of rearranging in order to fit it all into my fridge. 

Eager to dive into my new stash, I decided to cook something up right away.  I don’t consider myself that great of a cook, as my typical preparation of dinner veggies involves a frozen box and a microwave.  It took me a couple of minutes to figure out what and how to cook, but then I remembered someone at the distribution saying something about sautéing kale.  I decided to add a tad of olive oil to a pot and throw in some of the kale, a few grape tomatoes, and some salt and pepper for taste. I wasn’t quite sure how it would come out, and I had my doubts when I saw the finished product.

I tried a spoonful and it was simply amaaaaazing. I put my husband to the taste test and he was also in complete awe. My meat-lover hubby actually turned to me after dinner and mumbled something to the effect of “maybe I can become a vegetarian”. Too many evenings filled with frozen broccoli could have played a factor in his revelation, but I’d like to think that most of the credit goes to the fresh veggies…and most definitely not my cooking.

As for cooking, I’m planning to make some pesto this weekend with the garlic scapes. I’ll let you know how it goes.

-Meredith Torres, organic newbie and member of Ozone Park CSA

*  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37156010/ns/health-kids_and_parenting/

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