We bring you Part 3 of this series by RCM contributor, Ashley Sparks, on eating healthy on a family budget. Read Part 1 and Part 2 of Ashley’s series in the RCM archives.
These are always an excellent source of local and sustainably grown produce, but did you know you can also usually score farm fresh eggs, raw milk (for your ‘pets’), pasteurized farm fresh milk, cheeses and more? Some even have artisans who make things like soaps, lotions, decor and, of course, art. Often offering the most diverse options and a fair-like atmosphere, these are always worth checking out! Below are some of my favorites
Greene Street Farmer’s Market – Held every Thursday evening, May through October in Downtown Huntsville
Madison City Farmer’s Market – Held every Saturday morning, April through October in Madison
Ayers Family Farm Market – “Ayers Farm is a family owned and operated business. We have supplied the residents of Huntsville with farm-fresh produce for over 30 years! We strive to give the freshest produce available to our customers – some produce is even picked on the very day of its sale. During the months of May through October, on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we travel to Ethridge, Tennessee. There, we visit the Amish community to buy fresh produce that they have grown specifically for the residents of Huntsville. The produce we purchase is available for sale on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at our Market.” -from the Ayers Family Farm website
Rocket City Mom has put together their comprehensive directory of local Farmer’s Markets and U-Picks under our ‘Eat & Shop’ tab – you’ll always find good sources of fresh produce there.
There are several grocery stores in the area that exist specifically to promote wellnesss and eating whole and organic foods.
Garden Cove Produce – Though it can be slightly pricey, this store offers old-fashioned service, a wide range of fresh, local and organic options and lots of wisdom!
Earth Fare – Still somewhat the “new kid in town” in Huntsville, Earth Fare is a great bet for quality whole foods at reasonable prices. Their unwavering commitment to sell nothing with HFCS, preservatives or hydrogenated oils is a peace of mind when shopping, and their cafe offers delicious food! They also have great online coupons if you sign up to receive their newsletter. (Did I mention up to six children eat free on Thursdays with a paying adult? Win!)
Community Supported Agriculture or CSAs
There was a fabulous post on Rocket City Mom recently about what CSA’s are and how they work. Here is a list of a few of my favorite local CSA’s:
Grow Alabama – This is a ‘non-traditional’ CSA that doesn’t require any volunteer work. For a set price each month, you receive a customizable “VegBox” weekly delivered to a pick-up location of your choice. They are constantly adding locations all over the state! (Psst! If you use the code aen503 when you sign up, you get 20% off your first VegBox! Don’t say I never did anything for ya!)
I am also including a link to a whole wealth of resources I found online, but as I am not familiar enough with many on the list to personally vouch for them, I will simply include the link here. Please comment if you have experience with any of these! Alabama Fresh Produce Buyer’s Guide
I hope this helps get you started on your journey to healthier, whole foods eating! You will be surprised at what you will find and the money you save by avoiding ‘the boxed stuff’.
Bon apetite, everyone!