It pays to be health conscious. These days, they’re getting addicted to a diet that includes homegrown vegetables and fresh fruit. There are a lot of benefits you receive from re-tooling your diet to include these, but you also get to help other people.

Not everyone will eat each vegetable they’re offered in a farmer’s market. However, you should start eating more of them and learn to love them. Here’s why.

Onions against Cancer (Lung and Prostate gland)

For people who love onions, this is good news. Onions are a good source of phytochemicals that significantly brings down the risk of lung and prostate cancer; that is, if you eat it raw, or at least, don’t cook it at high heat. It also makes for a fun dip—mixing it with tomatoes, avocado, and jalapeño peppers creates a health-friendly salsa dip to go along with your favorite chips.

Kale, White Bean against General Sickness

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Ever find yourself catching cold easily? Try some Kale and prepare White Bean in a soup or otherwise. These give you Vitamin K and Lutein, good for your blood and eyes, respectively. You also receive the added benefit of Vitamin C—you can eat it along other Vitamin C-rich food to create an effective barrier against sickness and other health problems involving the skin and, more importantly, your heart.

Peas against Cancer (Stomach)

The next time you think of spitting out that green pea in your mouth, think again. In a study done by the International Journal of Cancer, the daily consumption of green peas—along with other legumes, of course—significantly lowered people’s chances of contracting stomach cancer. Along with that, green peas are also a good ingredient to put in most soups and dishes.

Tomatoes against High Blood pressure

Tomatoes are mostly everyone’s favorite food and a main ingredient of ketchup. That being said, the red food that’s also a main ingredient in making Bloody Marys is a good source of Vitamin A. All those Vitamin A will do wonders for your vision, as well as give you a healthy immune system and a big boost to your reproduction. It’s also a good source of Vitamin C.

against Cancer-causing Oxidants

You’ve probably heard of anti-oxidants and cancer-causing free radicals. The former fights the latter, and the latter helps cancer cells multiply. Brussels sprouts—usually something people cringe at when thinking of eating—help a great deal in fighting off the Big C. It is also a good source of Vitamin C and helps fight against heart diseases—quite a resume for a leafy green.

Now that you’ve seen the benefits of these vegetables, it would be good to get into the habit of eating more of them and shirking away from avoiding them. It’s for your health and prolonging your life naturally, after all.

There are many reasons to support small town farmer markets. There are the benefits you get from eating vegetables; the support you’re giving these farmers and their families; and the different options available to buy which doesn’t include a single drop of man-made stuff. However, you do have to drive all the way out of town to buy some.

Here are a few more benefits you receive from buying from these small farmer markets, if you are still looking for a reason why you should buy from them.

Reason 1: True Flavors

Looking for something tasty and fresh? They don’t come any fresher than they do in farmer’s markets. Here, you get your pick of freshly-plucked fruit as well as newly-dug up or picked vegetables. They will look good as salads or ingredients and will taste nicely as a shake or as fruit juice. If you’re looking for healthy options with good taste, go organic and support small town markets.

Reason 2: Organically Grown

Gardeners and home-farm advocates usually take a page out of these small-scale farmers; most of their fertilizers are organically-made. When you go to a small town farmer’s market and you see a product labeled ‘organically grown’, you can be sure they’re saying the truth. The freshness of the fruit is likely a by-product of the naturally-sown seed, which is grown and produced with very little to no chemicals involved.

Reason 3: Naturally Ripe

Sometimes, mass production food is ripened out of their season for max profit. Using chemicals, these fruits and vegetables are grown forcefully. Farmer’s markets don’t feature produce like those in big commercial stores; instead, what they have are seasonally-grown fruits and crops. While these may be limited because of the way they are grown, you can be sure they’re naturally fresh.

Reason 4: Rare Finds

Being a natural market, you usually find great vegetables and food sold in farmer’s markets you don’t usually find anywhere. Examples of these are red carrots and purple cauliflowers. These are naturally-grown; they aren’t your chemically-grown variety. There are a lot of these that are normally sold there and they also are great if you want to mix up your diet.

Reason 5: Very Affordable

The best reason to go to these markets, perhaps, is the price you get for the produce you buy. Usually, these vegetables aren’t that costly and they also are healthy. What better combination can you ask for?

Taking the extra mile in going to these weekend farmer’s markets gets you the best of what nature has to offer. You get two-fold benefits here, by the way; aside from the support to families, you also get to support your health.

The organic lifestyle is picking up speed because people are beginning to focus more on their health. However, small organic operations usually only supply their wares; it’s the large organic operations that are reaping the benefits of that awareness.

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There are still ways to get off the ground and turn your small operation into a large one. If you or someone you know would rather remain small, then here’s what they or you can do to run with the big boys.

Sell at your Farm. This is best if you have neighbors around who can buy or if you’re a bit techie. Do note that, if you choose to do this, you’re responsible for selling your own produce. Learn to advertise or even create your own website if you decide to do this. You’re going to have to create awareness about your products. If you want a wider reach than just posting ‘for sale’ notices on lamp posts, then the Internet is the way to go.

Go for CSA. A CSA, or a Community Supported Agriculture, helps you get the community involved by offering parts of your farm as ‘shares’ or  ‘subscriptions.’ It’s also a plan where you could get volunteers by offering these schemes to volunteers. Many farms do this as a way of helping others, while others do it solely for profit. It’s a lot of work to get one started but it’s definitely worth it.

Sell Small. This is the usual situation when you’re in a small town or near several small towns: most of the small grocers/co-ops there are your best chance at selling your produce. Organically grown food is a big hit at these grocers, and recently, people have gone out of their way to buy from them. If you want to make a profit with your produce, learn to speak to some grocer owners near you.

Online Selling/CSA. Again, if you’re a bit of a techie, you can opt to sell most of your produce or, perhaps, look for volunteers or CSA partners online. This requires a quality website as well as people willing to invest or buy from you. While it may be hard to sell bigger produce online, most people would look for organic herbs and food as well as substitutes for everyday items like soap and lotions online.

We might be living in further modernized times right now, but organically-grown, natural food is still popular. They keep you healthy, rarely have chemical ingredients, and are also a cheaper option.

Organic Love: Shopping your Way to an Organic Lifestyle

Have you ever wondered why simpler lifestyles in the country or a rural setting has supported—or spawned—longer lives and healthier people? It’s because they live off the land and have better lives than us, despite the urban setting having statistically the best chance at modest living and because they usually have lesser problems stemming from […]

Have you ever wondered why simpler lifestyles in the country or a rural setting has supported—or spawned—longer lives and healthier people? It’s because they live off the land and have better lives than us, despite the urban setting having statistically the best chance at modest living and because they usually have lesser problems stemming from the modern life to think about.

Another added asset is they probably ate off the land too. Vegetables, leafy greens, and produce—animals and dairy—off the land is what they had. Here’s how you could emulate them too.

Local Staples

The best organic replacements for processed food come from your local farmers or, better yet, your own backyard. If you can’t afford the time to grow or cultivate your own food, you can start by buying local produce like free range eggs or chicken meat as well as farm-grown vegetables and fresh fruit. It’s a form of supporting farmers as well as creating a better diet for your body.

The Fine Print

The problem sometimes with people buying products is that they rarely read the labels—particularly the ingredients. Most of the products you buy on store shelves are made to last through the use of chemicals. If you’re shifting to organics, you should learn to read labels. Have someone with you that can read or have your reading glasses with you. If you probably don’t know some of the ingredients, then it’s not organic.

Weekend Market search

Most local farms sell their wares in weekend markets. These are often out of the way and mostly set-up in the outskirts. If you’re searching for organic food, though, your best bet in buying one would be to drive up to these markets. You shouldn’t mind the extra mile if you want your fill of locally-grown food; it’s your way of supporting these farmers and their lives, after all.

Talk to your Local Farmers

Farmers are anyone who grows or takes care of food that goes to your table. If you’ve got farmers living locally, you should go out of your way and talk to them. More often than not, they’re in weekend markets and, sometimes, have stores where they sell their wares near you. If not, their products might be at the shelves of your favorite store. You’ll never know until you manage to talk to them.

Cultivate your Own

It might require a lot of time on your part, but you should start growing something—anything—in your backyard. This is helpful if your work is particularly stressful. The joy of growing something, coupled with the thrill of harvesting your own food, can be a source of relaxation for most people.

There are different ways how you can start an organic lifestyle. In the process, you’re helping people; your local farmer is a prime example. You’ll also learn a lot about plants if you plan to grow your own garden. Either way, going organic gives you the benefits of a healthier life.

When you’re on a diet to lower blood pressure or bring back your norm, they say greens are the way to go. Aside from being naturally grown, greens don’t also feature preservatives or chemicals that are man-made. You know what they say about man-made greens; if it’s man-made, it’s probably got a few cons for you.

If you’re planning a green diet or want to have a greener one, here’s what you should go after.

Substitute Junk Food with Celery

If you’ve seen celery sticks being eaten raw, that’s because they have good benefits. Their green color is a natural aid to losing weight and increased metabolism of the body. Apart from that, celery sticks are also a natural source of potassium. Potassium, for those who want to know, brings back a bit of lost energy as well as lowers blood pressure, helping your nerves and blood.

Fruits and Vegetable for Happiness

Looking for a way to stay positives? Studies have shown that vegetables and fruits are a natural aid in staying happy. People who have a steady diet of them also are more positive and more optimistic than their non-eating counterparts. Aside from that, eating papaya and green tea leaves—particularly—gives you a better fighting chance against diabetes, which is another reason to be positive.

Peas and Green Juice—stay young

If you’re looking for the fountain of youth, the color of the liquid would be green. That is one of the benefits of green vegetables. Specifically, green peas help in increasing your immune system’s health. Another benefit of these vegetables is that they help in stopping blood from clotting as well as a natural source of Vitamin K, a stop-gap for certain conditions because of age.

Spring Greens and Broccoli—for health

If you’re looking for something that helps keep your body strong and young at the same time, go for leafy spring greens and broccoli. These vegetables are a good source of Vitamins C and K, as well as a good source of folate and sulforaphan and indoles, respectively. Folate helps you regulate cell growth and reproduction while sulforaphane and indoles are naturally occurring compounds.

A Natural Cancer deterrent

Cancer, specifically of the colon, cowers when you have kale and mustard greens in your body. Broccoli and cabbage have the same effect—a study done in 2011 showed that eating these greens gave the body a higher fighting chance against cancer. Colorectal cancer chance was reduced to 1 out of 15 when the presence of these greens was in the body.

The next time someone offers you salad or celery sticks, you know what to do. You should learn to love vegetables; aside from being generally easier to eat than meat and usually a cheaper choice, they’re also healthier for the body.

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Small Farm, Home Farm: Tips on Starting your own Backyard Farm

Maybe you’ve begun to take a liking to eating fresh plants and fruit you’ve grown yourself or you’ve started thinking about getting the best food for your family. Whatever your reason, starting your own backyard farm is not an easy task. Completely different from organic gardening, this requires a different type of learning and adaptation. […]

Maybe you’ve begun to take a liking to eating fresh plants and fruit you’ve grown yourself or you’ve started thinking about getting the best food for your family. Whatever your reason, starting your own backyard farm is not an easy task. Completely different from organic gardening, this requires a different type of learning and adaptation.

It can be an idea if you have a wide area in your home, but it’s something you should be prepared for if you decide to begin it.

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Study Farming/ Farming should be studied. That’s correct, because you don’t only raise plants and vegetables here—if you decide to go all the way, you’ll be dealing with dairy and poultry. The good thing is that there are a number of books on the subject you can buy or topics you can search for on the Internet. Whatever your source, you should study.

Choose your kind of Farm/ Your kind of farm falls into this category. If you’re looking to support your family by presenting fresh meals, you’ll be good with a hobby farm. Small farming businesses and homesteads do sometimes blur into the other. If you’re looking to start a small farm to support your family or the community, the latter two are great ideas.

Quick Start plants/ If you want the feeling of success, then you should choose plants according to your climate and ones that are easy to grow. Pick radishes for being a relatively stubborn grower. You should also realize root crops are pretty easy to grow. However, planting plants that you and your family will eat are more important than planting them for how easy they are to cultivate.

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Go Wild/ Don’t be afraid to experiment with a lot of plants you can grow in your garden! Variety is the spice of life and you should enable your garden to be as diverse and as different as possible. Aside from the colors and vibe they bring, they also give a substantial benefit to the soil; diverse plants promote a healthy ecosystem and is also a natural pest deterrent.

[Optional] Give Back to the Community/ Maybe your garden has started to become a full-fledged operation; maybe your crops are too irresistible to keep within only your family. Once you have this sort of arrangement, consider joining weekend farmer’s markets. You’re not only getting profit, you’re also promoting a healthier choice of food for people.

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Starting a farm is one of the most basic ideas people can have when thinking of feeding their family. It’s also a great way of making sure your money remains with you and you leave the problem of feeding expensive food to your family behind.

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