The best way to get fresh, organic food is to grow it yourself.
Unfortunately, not all of us have the time, gifts or resources to do that. For those of us who aren’t farmers, the second best way to get organic fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses is to purchase it from someone who is.
Virginia farmer Joel Salatin is a modern-day Johnny Appleseed when it comes to promoting naturally grown food. Salatin has gained celebrity for the quality of the eggs and meat raised on his sprawling “beyond organic” Polyface Farm, nestled in the Shenandoah Valley.
Salatin, who is also the author of a number of books on organic foods, says the only meaningful guarantee of organic integrity comes when buyers and sellers can look one another in the eye, something few of us ever take the opportunity to do.
He believes consumers must enter into a partnership with local farmers if they wish to truly purchase organically produced food. That means getting to know the farmer in your community to learn how he grows the fruits and vegetables that end up on your dinner table.
The best way to do that is at a local farmer’s market. The Johnson City Farmer’s Market is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. through November. The Jonesborough Farmer’s Market is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon through October.