Natural Awakenings Twin Cities July 2022
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Featuring: Food as Medicine, and Better Sleep
July is our annual Food Connection issue and this year, more than any year since I purchased Natural Awakenings Twin Cities, I am reminded of how much our local farmers are instrumental in the wellbeing of our community.
Though I have been aware of the increasing prices in the grocery stores for some time, the past two months seem to be more than any other time that I can remember. Many food items that our family uses on a regular basis have not only increased in price by 20 percent or more, but have been drastically reduced in size. I empathize with families that were already struggling and are now just barely making it through.
I am left to contemplate what my family and I can do, what all of us can do, to help ourselves and others through these trying times. Having made a commitment a few years ago to purchase as much as we can from local farms, we are doubling down on our efforts. Social media makes it much easier to locate the products we need, and as a resident of Minneapolis, we are blessed to have access to farmers markets throughout the surrounding area.
To locate the services you need, do a simple search on Facebook for “Farmers Market” and your location. Visit the websites of the markets you find to identify their vendors, make your shopping list and know their hours. Learn how to can and freeze the produce you purchase so as not to waste any of these precious goods.
If you are searching for quality meat and eggs, join the Farm Direct Minnesota group on Facebook. Local farmers share when they have goods for sale, and the prices are now comparable to what you might find in your local superstore. An added benefit is that we can help support a family here in Minnesota plus we get high-quality food for our families.
Planting your own garden, whether in-ground or raised, can be a big investment, but there are ways to mitigate your costs. Straw bale gardening is quite economical and effective, and there are how-to videos on YouTube to teach you how to start preparing your bales so you can be ready for next year. This allows people with little space and bad soil to plant gardens that are easy to maintain and usable for two to three years before composting down to a beautiful soil for your container gardens.
There are also highly effective ways to reduce our costs for health and beauty products, vitamins and paper goods, providing us with more cash for our grocery and fuel bills. I have recently been reintroduced to couponing and was shocked to learn of the many rebate apps that significantly reduce the prices of oral care, skincare products, cosmetics, baby products and more. I have personally been able to save 70 percent or more on these products, allowing me to give them to friends and family, and donate to those in need. If you are interested in learning more, be sure to tune in this month to “Green Tea Conversations” wherein I interview some of the people who have taught me how to save money through couponing.
Though these are trying times, I believe this gives us the opportunity to move away from being dependent on big-business operations for our basic needs. There are many things we can do for the well-being of our families and communities, and with the resources we need now readily available, we are indeed fortunate to be so empowered.
Wishing you wellness!