Monday, June 17, 2013

Celebrate a couple Ag-friendly holidays (and the start of summer) this week

By Logan Garner
Logan is the Water Quality and Initiatives Program Manager for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture-Division of Soil Conservation.

It’s time to celebrate!  You may not know it, but this week is particularly ag-friendly.  That’s right, there are a couple lesser-known holidays this week, and today is one of them.  Besides, the summer solstice is in a few days and the beginning of most everyone’s favorite season is reason enough to be happy.
2009 photo contest winner, “Heirloom”.
Today (June 17th) is national Eat Your Vegetables Day.  Yes, it’s a real thing.  And while it may seem like a day meant to goad your kids into having a balanced meal, it’s also an opportunity to celebrate your local farms and the produce they supply to your grocery stores and farmer’s markets.   So why not visit your neighborhood food hub and stock up on farm-fresh veggies?  It may seem a little early to some, but asparagus, lettuce, beets, broccoli and even carrots are all in season!  If today’s feast day isn’t reason enough for you make a produce run (or if you just don’t feel like eating vegetables right now), maybe tomorrow’s will help…
June 18th is international picnic day.  I don’t know how these days are chosen, but it doesn’t matter much to me.  What does matter is that you don’t just have an excuse to get outside today for good food and good company, you are encouraged to! 
If you’re one of those people who doesn’t give much credence to these low-echelon holidays, chin up.  Summer officially starts on Friday.  If nothing else, at least celebrate that.  Summer in Indiana means picnics almost any day you like, fishing, fireworks and farmer’s markets…not to mention the best sweet corn in the world, grown by our own Hoosier farmers.

Happy Eat Your Vegetables Day and happy International Picnic Day.  Here’s to a great summer in 2013.

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