To Your Health…

Grapefruit on our backyard tree

From tree to glass…it doesn’t get much better than that!

The slow food movement has gained momentum lately in our area, promoting the benefits of supporting and eating locally grown, organic food for one’s health, for the economy, for the environment. Having grown up on a family farm in NC, this kind of talk always makes a lot of sense to me, and we support the closest member farm to us, Worden Farm, by purchasing their vegetables each year and enjoying the best possible flavors of locally grown fresh food.

But there’s nothing quite as satisfying as growing your own food and sitting down to the table knowing exactly what went into the food you are putting in your body. This morning, after a vigorous walk, I went out to our grapefruit tree and picked a bucketful of grapefruits, rinsed them off, cut them up, juiced them with the hand juicer, and in less than half an hour I had a half-gallon of sweet, tasty, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice.

Bucketful of grapefruits
Getting a rinse off in the sink
Sweet smell of citrus fills the air as we cut them open
Juicing the grapefruits...

It’s not just that I got this food right from my backyard. It’s the whole process of growing and gathering and preparing it that I love. I love the feeling I get when I spend time outdoors with the plants around the house, during the very simple act of gathering the fruit from the tree, while I’m washing, cutting, juicing… all those simple motions serve to nourish my mind and spirit as much as drinking the juice from the grapefruits nourishes my body. Each step deepens the connection between me and the plants and the land that provides my food. (having John Denver singing to me in the background doesn’t hurt either)

But even more than that, the whole act of taking time to prepare your food makes you  think about where it came from and the family you will feed it to and gives you a chance to anticipate what it will taste like. And locally grown fresh food ALWAYS tastes better than refrigerated, packaged, or processed food. Every week when we get our vegetables from Worden Farm, I look forward to the time spent rinsing the sand off the leaves, chopping and preparing the vegetables, and sometimes even finding an interesting creature among the harvest. Collecting my backyard fruit is no different. It’s about living life instead of rushing through it…

So, drink up… here’s to your health and a healthy planet.

Sweet taste of fresh-squeezed juice.

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