In the quest to eat better, we’ve made a conscious decision to back off the mass-produced, packaged foods we’ve all come to know and love and incorporate fresh and local food into our diets. During the month of the June, we participated in the annual Eat Local Challenge, where for 30 days, we were challenged with eating only food grown, caught or raised within a 200-mile radius of New Orleans. And a challenge it was indeed! But how gratifying it was to know that everything (ok…almost everything) was fresh and local. Not only were we eating better, but we were also contributing to the local economy by supporting our farmers and fisherman.
One of our favorite places to frequent during the Eat Local Challenge, which has become a must for our weekly groceries, is the Hollygrove Market and Farm (HGMF) on Olive St. Open three days a week, HGMF provides New Orleanians a place to buy local produce, dairy, and meat.
What’s really great about HGMF is the weekly produce box. For $25, customers get a great mix of fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Let’s take a look at what we got yesterday in the box:
4 apples, 3 peaches, 2 cucumbers, 2 red potatoes, bag of okra, bag of cremini mushrooms, 3 bell peppers, 3 limes, 5 peppers, bag of micro greens, and bag of natural basil (and the produce in the box is a mix of naturally --organic methods, but not certified-- conventionally, and organically grown fruits and vegetables).
The produce in the box changes weekly as fruits and vegetables go in and out of season. So even though you might see strawberries at Sam’s and Wal-Mart this time of year, HGMF will only have them when Mother Nature decides is the right time. Furthermore, the HGMF box makes you get out of your comfort zone of the eating the same produce week after week. Things like zucchini, squash, and eggplant may not be part of your diet normally, but when it comes in the box, you certainly don’t want to let it go to waste. And thankfully, HGMF provides recipes every week to coincide with the produce of the week’s box.
Now, some of you may say that $25 is a little steep for a box of fruits and vegetables. And we agree…to an extent. We can’t afford to buy a box EVERY week, but if you can find the money for fast food, restaurant eating, and junk food period (things you WANT), you can find the money for what your body NEEDS. We can’t always afford the cheese, milk, and eggs offered at the market, but we make little strides where we can…maybe eggs from the market one week and eggs from Rouses another week.
We really appreciate HGMF’s commitment to local farmers as well as to the local community to provide better food options.
Hollygrove Market is open on Sundays (10:00pm-2:00pm), Tuesdays, (12:00pm-6:00pm), and Saturdays (10:00am-2:00pm).
For more information about Hollygrove Market & Farm, please visit their website, Facebook, and Twitter.