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Frugal organics: Grow your own!

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These days in our hurried and busy lives, we tend to overlook one vital aspect - nutrition. We forget that the key to health is simply to eat right.  Eating organic has become a such a popular trend, that it's almost a buzz word no one really seems to understand.  What exactly is organic? How do we even start to eat organically?

WHAT IS ORGANIC?

Organic foods are those that have been produced according to organic farming and processing standards. Organic farms do not use man-made fertilizers, pesticides or insecticides. Soil rotation, and composting, and the "old ways" of farming are vital parts of the organic food movement.  This results in food that is higher in vitamins and minerals, not to mention being superior in taste.

Genetic engineering is not allowed in organic farming.

Organic foods are processed with minimum processing and only a limited number of natural processing aids are approved.  Certified organic products are labeled and must go through many steps to meet strict guidelines.

If you've explored the world of eating organically at all, you've probably realized it is quite expensive to purchase organic foods over their commercial counterparts. 

SO HOW CAN I AFFORD TO BE FRUGAL AND EAT ORGANICALLY?

It's simple.  Grow your own. 

Want to explore growing your own?  Try a small kitchen garden this spring and summer.  Start small.  Plant some no-fail crops such as onions and easy-to-grow herbs like rosemary and thyme.  As you gain confidence in your gardening skills you can branch out and try all sorts of things! 

There is a great local company at the Piedmont Triad Farmer's Market that can help you get started with growing your own little garden.  Check out A. B. Seed at the market.  A. B. Seed has been providing Triad residents with beautiful, unique landscape plants as well as a wide array of gardening supplies since 1956. The store is filled with beautiful plants and garden supplies and plenty of knowledgeable people who can get you started on learning to grow your own.

I DON'T HAVE TIME TO GROW MY OWN.

It's okay.  You have options too!

There are local farmers who would love to help you!  A growing trend in America is the idea of community supported agriculture or CSA's for short.  CSA's are farm share programs where you can pay a local farmer to provide you with a week's worth of produce each week, all growing season long!  Check out Local Harvest for a CSA near you.  CSA's can be pricey, but they are worth it for those people who want to have organic produce without the time and hassle of growing their own.  Participating in a CSA is not only good for you, but also good for the farmer it helps support!

Dodge Lodge Farm has a great CSA here in the Greensboro area. 

Happy growing and happy eating!

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