On your next trip to “The Farm” be sure to pick up one of our reusable shopping bags for just $2.50. They’re a great way to shop eco-friendly and can hold an abundance of fresh, seasonal food. They’re practical and easy to clean. Not to mention, eating fresh foods is always in style. So be sure to pick one up today and grab one for a friend.
A new year inspires a fresh start; especially with the foods we feed our bodies. Dieting trends come and go, but simply getting back to nature will always be the best nutritional approach to health which promotes weight control and disease prevention. Even some popular diets (i.e., Paleo, Clean Eating) promote whole foods that are closest to their natural state over pre-packaged, processed and fast foods. The concept is simple: eat like our ancestors, before the modern diet of refined foods and unnatural fats, which are major culprits in obesity and degenerative diseases like diabetes and heart diseases. Freshfields Farm is the ideal place for fresh, whole, superior foods at affordable prices. Follow these tips when shopping fresh for your best health:
Fill your cart with:
Foods with little/ no processing: those which are perishable within a week or so, with very few ingredients. A once-a-week stocking of the refrigerator with a monthly stocking up on dry goods is the most healthful way to shop. The following foods should make up the majority of your daily diet:
Lean meats, poultry and seafood: great sources of protein, B vitamins, iron and healthy fats. Look closely at your labels. For instance, Freshfields Farm offers Farm fresh chicken with no water or sodium “enhancements” added
Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables like grapes, pomegranates and blueberries and greens like spinach, kale and collards, which offer disease prevention. Use our Colors of Health in-store signage to determine the specific health benefits of each color.
Healthy fats such as avocados, fish, nuts and seeds: promote healthy cholesterol levels.
Seasonal Produce: For instance, in winter months, citrus, collards, cherries, and asparagus, just to name some.
Natural Detoxifiers: Incorporate produce that naturally helps rid your body of toxins including grapefruit, beets, lemons, limes, garlic, artichokes, broccoli, ginger, red radish and apples.
Try keeping your refrigerator and fruit bowls stocked with fresh items instead of your pantry stocked with processed foods with long ingredient lists, and see how much better you look and feel this year!
So, what’s the beef on ‘Local’ anyway?A hot topic, the awareness of local foods continues to climb an exponential slope. So, why all the interest? Is it all just a marketing ploy by nearby farmers? How do you define “Local” anyway? While definitions vary, we use the definition acknowledged by the USDA, which points to any product that’s transported less than 400 miles from its origin. That’s also about one day’s drive. What’s within 400 miles of you? Grassfed beef? Peaches? Cage-free eggs? Citrus? Well, that depends on where you are and, for many items, the growing season.
It’s easy to see what items are local while you’re at the Farm. Any item with a red sign is one of our “Local Picks.” If you’re curious what Local Picks are in-store before you shop, check your Jacksonville or Orlando store’s online Live Market Board, which highlights current local items at the bottom.
Our team of buyers searches the marketplace 12 hours a day, 7 days a week looking for the highest quality products available. So, you can be confident that our Local Picks are top notch – not a sub-par item that was selected solely because of where it was grown. We don’t just support local farmers; we support local farmers doing excellent work. It’s how we ensure we live up to our mission of bringing you the finest quality, freshest meat and produce at a great value.
Earl McGrath, Freshfields’ Director of Produce Operations with a ripe Envy™ Apple tree (in Hawkes Bay)
Earl McGrath, Director of Produce Operations recently had the pleasure of visiting several of our produce suppliers in New Zealand. The Oppenheimer group, a distribution arm for Enza Company’s Jazz™ Apples, Envy™ Apples, Taylor’s Gold Pears, and Zespri® Kiwifruit in the U.S., gave us a Farm-peak into some of these harvest-ready orchard farms.
Harvest Picking! Beautiful orchard of sweet Envy™ Apples in Nelson.
What makes Envy™ Apples so special? Grown in New Zealand, these high density apples are packed full of sweet crunch! We like to refer to both Jazz™ and Envy™ as ‘children’ of the Braeburn and Gala apples (similar genes!).
The size and weight of an Envy™ Apple is larger than most apples, adding to attractive nature. Active hand-picking of these blush beauties (hints the envy) only happens a few weeks a year at the end of apple harvesting season, making them a seasonal specialty native to New Zealand. Look for them at our Farm in the coming weeks!
Zespri® SunGold Kiwifruit in Nelson, New Zealand, just a week out from picking. Look for them at the Farm soon!
See to the left, the ready-to-pick Envy™ Apple tree–can you tell that the tree is bending at the weight of those delicious apples?
In Nelson, New Zealand, McGrath traveled to a kiwifruit orchard. Just one short week before picking, he witnessed the postcard-worthy golden fruit before it hits our shelves. The canopy of leaves, reaching to about 5 feet soaks up the sunlight to hide the true golden prize below, the SunGold® Kiwifruit.
Thanks to YOU, Freshfields Farm sold the most Taylor’s Gold pears in the WORLD per store for 2013 and 2014. That’s a whole lotta pears! Let’s make it a three-peat!
Some of the Farm’s favorite summer fruit are Lane Peaches. In season from June to August, these Georgia delights are sure to be a highlight to your summer. Mr. Duke Lane III of Lane Southern Orchards gives us more insight as to what makes Lane Peaches so special:
How long has Lane peaches been around?
“Lane Southern Orchards is a century old farming operation in the heart of Peach County, focusing only on peaches for the last century and pecans for nearly 60 years now.”
How is a Georgia peach different from a California peach? Is there a difference?
“Georgia is known across the country as the ‘Peach State’. While Georgia grows less than 10% of all the fresh peaches cultivated nationwide, peach eaters know Georgia is where the flavor is! Georgia’s red clay soils and ridiculous hot summer nights create the perfect environment for flavor, flavor, flavor!”
How do I know when a peach is ready to eat?
“First off….DO NOT REFRIGERATE peaches until fully mature. Peaches lose flavor and moisture in refrigeration. While necessary at times, minimize cold storage. Peaches are ready to eat when they give slightly to touch. I like chin-dripping juicy peaches…the softer the better.”
What makes Lane different from other Southern peach growers?
“Our peaches make the difference for us. Sweet, Georgia Peaches…we have been blessed to be able to cultivate them. Our attention to detail ensures we get the right peach to the right customer. We hand pick and hand pack every single peach.”