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Experiencing Farm-Fresh Produce

The sun was warm and the kids were ready. Their eager feet carried them out of the car and into the sprawling field, without stopping until well into our drive back home when their weary heads finally succumbed to sleep. A chance to run around, play in the dirt, and to see, feel and taste where their food comes from is such a treasured experience for my little city kids. 
Those of you who were at the farm day had a chance to see my two boys eagerly “assisting” me throughout my demonstration. To them it was as if we were at home in the kitchen helping mom with dinner. But this time was a bit different – I was sharing with you all. Not the voice behind a newsletter, but face-to-face and it was such a joy.
At the event, I shared three salads that use raw vegetables. I could go on and tell you how eating raw preserves many of the nutrients in your food and that eating raw can reverse or stop the advance of many chronic diseases. But instead I’ll tell you why I love using raw vegetables in salads – it is so quick and easy. In the course of my twenty minute demonstration I made these three salads, while trying to wrangle my “assistants” and talk into a microphone. Making the salads was the easy part. 
I also love the taste of raw produce. As I opened up the box of fruits and vegetables that I was to use during the demonstration, I was giddy. There is little better than a sweet carrot just plucked from the earth. Or fresh fennel, so crisp with a soft licorice flavor. With great produce there really is so little you have to do to elevate it. 
These salads are also a great way to get a bite of freshness in the dead of winter when you want nothing more than a crisp, bright taste to remind you of summer’s bounty. 
Thank you to all who joined me at the demonstration. It was so great to meet a few of you. And for those who couldn’t make it, I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do.
by Ashley Rodriguez
food blogger