City Shoppers Going Back to the Farm for Groceries

A new trend has shoppers getting their groceries straight from the source

Four kids means a lot of grocery shopping for Laura Waldinger.

However, supplying her fridge and pantry doesn't mean a trip to the grocery store. Instead, the Naperville mother goes to the Green Earth Institute farm, right around the corner from her house.

A dietitian by trade, Waldinger likes the idea of knowing exactly where her produce comes from -- in fact, she can even harvest it herself if she wants to.

"If you can eliminate some of the pesticides that are used, that's an advantage", she says.

So every other week this summer, she stops by the farm and picks up a bag of fresh vegetables, often with her kids in tow.

The executive director of the farm, Steve Tiwald, says it costs up to $600s a season, depending on how much you want, and how often you want to drop by the farm.

Tiwald adds it's more than good food -- it's health care.

"This is what I call primary prevention," he says. "Let's stay healthy in the first place, so we don't have to go to the doctor or hospital."

Farms like this are sprouting up all over the nation, part of a movement called "community supported agriculture." And when so many of the shoppers here live no more than a few miles away, there's a huge enviornmental benefit. Getting the food from farm to kitchen leaves almost no carbon footprint, because there's no shipping cost: no gas, no truck AND no driver on the road for hundreds of miles.

As for the Waldingers, there's also an educational advantage. Laura Waldinger says no trip to a grocery store could teach her kids so much about where the food they eat comes from.

"It's nice for them to come out and see how all the different vegetables are grown," she says. The Waldinger kids love it so much, their mom says, they sometimes say "they wish they could skip school and go back and wash the vegetables."


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