Locally Grown On the Panhandle-South Plains

A few years ago, I made a serious effort to find high-quality food to put into my body. I read a book call The Maker’s Diet by Jordan Rubin, and decided to adopt the ways of eating he prescribes. Most people take one look at the book and and toss it aside as an impossible way to eat and live. Maybe it was my farming heritage, or maybe it was simply stubborn willful determination, but I committed to feed my body as he suggested, in spite of the challenges.

At first, it was no easy task. The book calls for eating REAL food, not things that come from a box, a package, or a can. It also calls for eating organic as much as possible. AND it calls for foods that I had no idea where to find. It declared that pastured-this, free-range that, and raw everything were far superior foods. Such would have been simple enough if this were still 1978 and farming/ranching were a part of my life. The only beef I ever ate back then was raised on pasture, and while WE didn’t raise chickens (the only thing we didn’t raise at some point), I knew plenty of people who had them roaming their barnyards. It certainly wasn’t a foreign concept.

Thirty years had past and something was lost along the way. I had to find the good stuff–real food–but where to look? The search was on. Being a techie, I scoured the internet. There were plenty of places where I could order pastured, free range, and organic food, but who wants to pay THAT much money. We’ve been conditioned to feed ourselves as cheaply as possible. It was painful to see what eating this way might cost.

Gradually I began to find local sources for these super foods. First came the eggs. Divine coincidence led me to a small family farm west of town where chickens roamed freely wherever they pleased. Later, I found out this family and another just up the road raised pastured beef to sell through local outlets. The prices are a little higher than grocery store products, but not so much that I had to leave my children unclothed and unshod.

Over the years, busy-ness has caused me to abandon my Maker’s Diet for the most part. Even so, I have continued to consume whatever I can find locally and healthfully grown. A few things I believe are worth having shipped to me. Here are some of the resources I have discovered in my search for quality food:

David and Debbie Horn, Nazareth, Texas–Free range eggs, pastured beef

Paidom Meats, Nazareth, Texas–Pastured meats of all kinds

Apple Country Orchards, Idalou, Texas–’nuff said

Tule Creek Apiary, Tulia,  Texas–Raw Honey, not specifically local, but a product of the central plains states. The raw honey price is VERY reasonable when compared to raw honey products in stores.

Soil Mender Products, Tulia, Texas–Organic soil conditioners, potting soil, fertilizers for wannabe gardeners.

Angie Cox (that’s me!), Tulia, Texas–Free range eggs, seasonal produce

One imported item I can’t live without:

Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil–I haven’t seen many coconut trees growing in these parts, so this is something I order off the internet. There are health food  stores that carry virgin coconut oil, but none that I have found have the taste, texture, and buying options available through Tropical Traditions. If you are using store bought canola oil thinking you are doing something great for your heart, you have been shammed. Do some research on the topic (somewhere other than the canola oil industry, of course), and I think you will agree that coconut oil is a healthier option.

One other recommended food item that can be purchased locally is raw milk. Unfortunately acquiring raw milk for human consumption is a bit tricky. Once a source is found, a person should respect the producer’s generosity by keeping that information quiet. It seems most state agencies frown on the sale of raw milk. Keep in mind, too, that consuming raw milk has its risks, which you must weigh and accept responsibility for. In other words, don’t blame me if you get sick and decide it was the milk. It’s probably healthiest to avoid milk completely, but if you are a milk drinking family, you might want to investigate the research related to consuming raw milk and then make your own decision. Personally, I feel guilty giving my family the store-bought stuff knowing what I know.

Keep checking back as the options for locally grown foods are expanding. Plans are underway for a Local Foods Day in June and subsequent Farmer’s Market. Would you like to be a part of the local foods move? Get a large flower pot and some Soil Mender products and plant something, even if it is nothing more than herbs in your kitchen window sill. Your body and your taste buds will thank you.

Do you know of any other sources for locally grown foods? Post them here!

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