The new frontier for foodies and farmers is flavor. Customers have come to expect that food at local farmers’ markets will be produced thoughtfully and more sustainably, and include ethical treatment of animals. Now, they also are embracing the local farm model because foods just taste better .
Farmers To You founder Greg Georgaklis is on a quest to maximize the flavor of foods that his roster of 80+ farmers produce. At a recent gathering at the Wellesley Hills Branch Library, he described how he personally consults with farmers to consider ways to produce the best tasting food possible. Poultry and eggs, for example, can yield more health benefits, more satisfying texture and better flavor when chickens are allowed to roam in pastures and choose their own foods from among farm vegetable discards. And, he says, consumers can taste the difference when they compare with meat and eggs from chickens fed standard fare of cracked corn-based food, which often includes dozens of additives and drugs.
“We are hard-wired to seek out flavor because it is a marker for dense, health-giving nutrition,” Georgaklis says. “I take the credit when folks complement my meal, but I know that the elevated taste is due to the ingredients I order from the Wellesley Farmers’ Market,” says Wellesley resident Jeff M. Wellesley parent of two Dawn K. agrees: “I can’t say enough about the quality. I order weekly and I keep discovering new things. Recently, I’m loving the fire-roasted red peppers and the pancake mix, which only has three ingredients. You just can’t compare the flavor with what I purchase at grocery stores.”
“How often do you hear parents complain: ‘My kids don’t like vegetables’?” Georgaklis asked at the Hills Library event. “Well, if a carrot has a sweet, delicious flavor, the way it should if grown in healthy, nutrient-rich soil, then there is no doubt your kids will like vegetables. Children still have sensitive taste buds – the natural intelligence of their bodies,” he says, adding, “too many of the vegetables we eat are flavorless and bitter because they are mass produced in soil that has been stripped of beneficial nutrients over time.” For vegetable growers, the key to flavor can be found in the soil, he explains. Good farmers concentrate on tending to the health and vitality of their soil – and everything else takes care of itself. “Healthy plants taste good!” At the Hills Library gathering, attendees sampled sweet carrots, crisp watermelon radishes and an assortment of Vermont cheeses on thin slices of fresh-baked baguette as they listened to Georgaklis talk about how he encourages farmers to pursue better tasting food. “Farmers To You farms are small scale. Animals have healthy, happy lives and this yields the most delicious and nutritious products, both meat and dairy products.”
The Wellesley Farmers’ Market has partnered with Farmers to You to make a wide range of over 300 delicious products primarily from Vermont farmers available each week, year-round to Wellesley residents and those working in town. Wellesley customers can make selections and place orders online by midnight on Sunday to receive their deliveries on Thursdays between 1-2:30 p.m. at the UU Church parking lot. Try a selection of produce, baked goods, cheeses, cider, syrup and honey, nuts and dried fruit, meat and poultry, greens and more this week with no commitment to continue if you are not satisfied. Try it for the convenience, the fact that only one truck is used to transport products from farms to our town, or the fact that by supporting these farmers you are helping to build a healthy food system that grows and produces the food you want for your family. You may find, however, that it is the flavor that keeps you coming back for more each week.