Lately, there has been a renewed push to promote wellness and healthy living in Grundy County. One of the ways we can do this is to eat locally grown foods. You can start by planting your own garden, whether it is in your yard, a community plot or even on your porch in pots. Gardens can be personalized to the foods that you enjoy eating. Iowa State Extension has resources available to help you plan your garden.
Raising your own food can be a very rewarding experience. You get exercise and time with nature while you tend the garden. You get fresh food in its natural state. If you are blessed with an abundant crop of fruits or vegetables, you have the opportunity to share it with others. Please consider donating your produce to the food pantry in your community. Or maybe start a garden exchange at your place of worship or your favorite hangout. Last summer when I didn't want to preserve any more cucumbers or tomatoes, I appreciated that Operation Threshold (Grundy County's Food Bank) gave them to people who could use them.
If caring for a garden does not work for you, I would encourage you to visit our farmers markets. I challenge people to patronize these events, so they can continue to grow and support more vendors. Also, year round, we have local producers offering pork, beef, eggs and dairy products.
In conclusion, I encourage everyone to consider adding locally grown foods to your menu. Grundy and Tama counties have a rich agricultural heritage and we are fortunate to have access to a variety of locally grown foods.