I recently took a Saturday stroll to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. The museum is currently hosting Green City Market every Wednesday and Saturday from 8am-1pm. Green City provides local, sustainably-grown food while offering education about high-quality food and how important its source can really be. Dozens of local farmers bring in homemade dairy products, organic fruits and vegatables, baked goods, and more. I bought a few apples and pears, which are delicious but also pesticide-free.
I’ve researched in the past about pesticides and why its so hard for farmers to stop using them. (Check out The War on Bugs by Will Allen for some great info on farming and pesticides.) Of course bugs and other crop-eating critters slow mass production, but how do organic farmers make up for it?
The truth is, we need to start taking into account “natural systems and processes rather than ignoring or fighting against them,” says the Union of Concerned Scientists. Humans need to find ways to produce food that make them a part of ecosystems, not dominating or destroying them. More natural and integrated farming practices can still be extremely productive, yet do not rely on the use of pesticides.
This is why local farmers should be supported. Find organizations in your community through which you can get involved. CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) can be found through Local Harvest, a website dedicated to finding and buying from local organic farmers. Search using your zipcode or city, and the map will show you the farmer’s markets in your area.
If you live around Chicago, visiting the Green City Market at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is a great way to start buying sustainable products and to connect with other people who share your interests. The museum offers many programs for kids and adults to begin involvement in the natural community.
Here’s a video I made of some photos I took at the market. (The music is particularly spectacular, I know.) Enjoy!