with containers you already have in your shed or garage. You can make it really easy and grow from a seedling you’ve gotten from a local nursery or you can start from seeds. The idea is to start thinking of ways to supplement your food needs. What vegetables do you eat the most? Start with 3-4 of those and use this as an opportu- nity for educating your children or grand- children. Working with the earth can be very therapeutic as well. You can have raised beds with simple boarders, or a small plot in your yard. Perhaps sharing your “crop” and barter with neighbors. It’s empowering to grow your own food, and you may find you really enjoy it.


Here’s a wild idea, learn about for- aging and/or forest farming. Forag- ing is a great way to supplement

your food sources, as long as you know exactly what you are foraging. Study books, take an online class, use plant id apps, learn from an instructor. Foraging is free, promotes exercise, and is absolutely fascinating. A great book you can start with is “Backyard Medicine” by Julie Bruton- Seal & Matthew Seal You can also learn about forest farm-

ing which is planting specialty crops to eat and sell in the woods where there is natu- ral shade and conditions. Eliana’s Garden in Stoneville, NC teaches forest farming and foraging classes.

shocked at how close they really are. Plug in your zip code to “Local Harvest” (www. to find the closest farmer to you. Besides growing your own, this is as fresh as it gets. Many times the produce has been harvested within the past 24 hours or less. This means FRESH vegetables and


fruit, picked at the absolute peak of ripe- ness so the flavor will be at the maximum. Your money is going directly to your neighbor/farmer, no middle people in this food chain. Some local farmers have CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) you can join. This is a fantastic way to partner with your local farmers. For an annual fee, you are purchasing “shares” that give you first “dibs” on the produce harvested. Most are weekly, some operate seasonally and some operate year ‘round. CSA’s are a ter- rific way to start building a relationship with your local food grower, so if and when our supply is threatened again, that relationship is already in place, ready to go. That produce did not have to be trans- ported anywhere; it went from the field, and you picked it up. Less gas, less emis- sions, less time spent. It is a win-win-win for you, them, and the environment. Many local farmers have websites with online shopping and no contact pick up.

Shop directly from local farmers. If you think there’s not a farmer near you, you are probably going to be

directly, or perhaps there just isn’t one near you, there are a ton of roadside stands and farmers markets in your area of the Triad from which to choose. Winston Salem, High Point and Greensboro all have farm- ers markets. Find the one that is closest to you (make it easy so you will consistently use them) and commit to support them. Many of them list their vendors and you can order online and drive by pick up. The chain is now field, trucked to the farmers market, to you. Still a short food supply chain and a reliable way to obtain food.


ask if they buy food from “local growers” ask them where their farmers are. Some grocers unfortunately use deceptive adver- tising but the ethical ones really do buy food from local growers, sometimes not as local as your immediate area, but more regionally. Field, truck, to small grocer or for larger companies field, truck, to distri- bution center, to more trucks, to grocer, to you.

5 Another case for having a shorter food

chain is less chance for contamination. The chance of food contamination is small, but it doesn’t hurt to shorten that supply chain. The Budding Artichoke in High Point (un-

Shop from a local/small grocer that buys from local farmers, some of which are co-op grocers. Be sure to

Shop at Farmer’s Markets and local farm stands. If you don’t establish a relationship with your local farmer

Christen Duke, ANP-C Christen Duke, ANP-C

Christen Duke, ANP is a board certified Adult Nurse Practitioner with over 18 years experience in adult medicine. Using a natural, holistic approach, she encourages and assists people to maximize their health through optimal nu- trition, supplementation, and bio- identical hormone replacement. She continues to expand her mas- tery of other integrative issues. Christen’s goal for her patients is for them to live healthy lives feel- ing their best.

336.768.3335 16

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