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Farm to Table - a Wild Hare Expedition

Shauna believes in eating whole, organic foods and supporting our local farmers. Or try your hand at growing edibles in your own backyard.

Eric Clapton gently nudged me from the blissful state of slumber. What the hell? The sun wasn’t even up yet, but Slowhand was relentless.

No, this wasn’t a dream folks. This was my alarm clock telling me it was time to support our local farmers. You see, I had signed on for a ride-along to get a first-hand view of how the concept of farm to table works.

Store just before it opened

Store just before it opened

Cheryl Bryant, owner of Wild Hare Kitchen and Garden Emporium

Cheryl Bryant, owner of Wild Hare Kitchen and Garden Emporium


Back Up

One day, as I was stopped at a red light on my way to the grocery store, I noticed a ‘coming soon’ sign in the window of a vacant shop. I was elated to learn that the new occupant would be offering fresh, locally grown organic produce. Having the Mrs. Greenjeans mindset that I do, I kept a watch on the storefront until it looked like the hustle and bustle of stocking the store was in full motion.

Naturally, being a writer and environmentally conscious, I made it a point to welcome the curator to the neighborhood and ask for an interview. Cheryl obliged and a friendship soon formed. I posted a few articles about this awesome woman and her business, which is less than a mile from my home, on I’m the official Orlando Green Living Examiner for that site, although I have since stopped writing for them. I’m going to get a little off point here, but I don’t find that particular site as rewarding or personable as HP, although I did learn how to write from a reporter’s point of view.

Back to the point.

For 20 years, Cheryl Bryant had a dream of opening a business using the term “wild hair” somewhere in the name. Yes, you have it right. Cheryl had a wild hair up her – well, you know.

Although she had been selling her homegrown produce on the weekends at a local farmers market, Cheryl wanted to do more. She made some phone calls, was introduced to some of the areas’ farmers and her idea blossomed. Farmers introduced her to more farmers. Cheryl wanted to expand her business and support of locally grown foods to the community outside the farmers’ market level. In April 2013 Cheryl’s passion for organic foods and supporting our local farmers culminated in the opening of Wild Hare Kitchen and Garden Emporium, in Longwood, Florida.

The Barefoot Farmer in Samsula, FL

The Barefoot Farmer in Samsula, FL

Squash and beets from The Barefoot Farmer

Squash and beets from The Barefoot Farmer

Cauliflower from The Barefoot Farmer

Cauliflower from The Barefoot Farmer

Rainbow carrots from The Barefoot Farmer.  I never knew carrots came in so many pretty colors!

Rainbow carrots from The Barefoot Farmer. I never knew carrots came in so many pretty colors!

Pack ‘Em Up and Head ‘Em Out

Cheryl’s enthusiasm for supporting our local farmers is infectious. She cuts out the middleman by personally driving to the various farms each Friday to pick up what she needs to fill the store for that week. This practice eliminates the need to jack up the prices in order to cover shipping costs. Additionally, she personally inspects every product before loading it into her Honda Element. You’d be surprised how much produce that little car can accommodate!

Anyway, I asked Cheryl if I could schedule a ride-along to see how it’s done. This brings me back to Eric Clapton. My alarm was set for 4:30 a.m. on a Friday in May when Eric Clapton chose to be the one to raise me from my sleepy state. Our day was to begin at 6:00 a.m.

When I arrived at the shop, Cheryl was loading the Element with produce trays to return to the farmers, large coolers and three roosters. Yes, I said roosters. Apparently, they were bought as pets by a couple of Wild Hare customers who just couldn’t handle the inopportune cocka-doodle-do-ing. Cheryl was sure she could find them a new home, which she did.

Our first stop was The Barefoot Farmer in Samsula, which is about 30 minutes southeast of my hometown. There we picked up some beautiful squash, purple beets, cauliflower and rainbow carrots. This farm is 3rd generation and family owned.

Following the Barefoot Farmer, we were scheduled to meet The Farmer’s Wife from whom Cheryl procures fresh raw milk. We were a little ahead of schedule so we stopped to drop off the roosters at their new home before swapping dollars for milk.

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Roosters are noisy pets

Roosters are noisy pets

Holy Smoke!

As Cheryl was putting the roosters in a cage, I noticed smoke coming out from under her hood. Now, I would have panicked in this situation. Not Cheryl! She was cool as a cucumber. She called the repair shop to let them know we were on the way. She also called the milk lady and diverted her to Wild Hare so the milk could be immediately refrigerated. Cheryl arranged for a rental so we could carry on with our day. All this scheduling and rescheduling happened in the 15 minutes it took us to drop off her car. I’m telling you, this woman doesn’t skip a beat! Within minutes the rental agent picked us up at the repair shop and shortly thereafter we were hooked up with a Ford F-150. Cheryl was a bit shocked that the Ford was a truck (she’d never driven one before that day), but took to the wheel like any seasoned big rig mama. Even with this little diversion we were still ahead of schedule so decided to stop for lunch.

Kale from The Farm at Rockledge

Kale from The Farm at Rockledge

Assorted peppers from The Farm at Rockledge.  I've never seen purple peppers before this ride-along.

Assorted peppers from The Farm at Rockledge. I've never seen purple peppers before this ride-along.

Baby egglplants from The Farm at Rockledge.  Aren't they cute?

Baby egglplants from The Farm at Rockledge. Aren't they cute?

Veggie plants from Natural Farm and Educational Center

Veggie plants from Natural Farm and Educational Center

On the Road Again

With full bellies and settled nerves, it was time to hit the road again. This time we headed to R & B Farms in Melbourne, then on to The Farm at Rockledge, which is about an hour to an hour and a half south from where we had lunch. Here I was introduced to produce I’d never seen before. In addition to the familiar kale and chard, we picked up some peppers in every color imaginable. Have you ever seen purple peppers? I hadn’t until I joined Cheryl on her farm-to-table jaunt. We also picked up some baby eggplant. Too cute!

Next we were headed to Natural Farm and Educational Center, located in Groveland, which is clear across the state. It was getting to be a long day for this little non-farm girl. Nevertheless, onward we went. (Meanwhile Cheryl is still cool as a cucumber). We loaded up the truck with tomatoes and potted veggie plants. Before heading back to the shop to offload the goodies, Cheryl wanted to stop at a farm she had not yet done business with. It was just down the road from Natural Farm. We were able to find The Food Forest at Beautiful Bamboo Farm with no trouble. This is a small farm run by a husband and wife and sits on 2 ½ acres. Their mainstay is bamboo plants in all varieties and sizes. (I now have an appreciation for the bamboo that grows wild on my property.) In addition to bamboo, they are propagating a food forest which, in layman’s terms, is a garden that mimics woodland forests and features perennial edibles. This area of the farm is a work in progress, but it is impressive to see what this couple is doing to promote natural living.

Wild Hare carries local organic honey

Wild Hare carries local organic honey

Locally made organic jams and canned goods available at Wild Hare Kitchen and Garden Emporium

Locally made organic jams and canned goods available at Wild Hare Kitchen and Garden Emporium

A sampling of the day's efforts

A sampling of the day's efforts

Are We There Yet?

We got back to Wild Hare Kitchen and Garden Emporium where we painstakingly, but ever so gently, off-loaded the day’s catch and took the food inside where it was bundled, put into baskets or the cooler and priced. Cheryl still had one more stop to make, but by this time it was 7:00 p.m. and this little girl was pooped. How she does this by herself every Friday is beyond me. I guess I should double up on my spinach intake.

This, my friends is how one amazing woman brings farm fresh produce and dairy products to your table. She also carries non-GMO organic seeds, fresh organic honey, homemade jams and canned (jarred) goods. Oh – one more thing. Cheryl believes in recycling and refuses to use plastic. Paper bags and baskets are used to package your produce after purchase. Milk is stored in bottles and the egg crates are the old-fashioned kind. Wild Hare Kitchen and Garden Emporium not only supports our farmers, but the environment as well.

How Can You Do Your Part?

You can help our environment and the local economy by supporting the farmers in your area. Buy organic. Buy fresh. Keep it close to home. Help our local farmers thrive. In the end we all win.

Charlie Daniels - The American Farmer

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Shauna L Bowling


Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on October 26, 2020:

manatita, her little store has grown quite a bit since I posted this. I notice she now has trucks deliver to the store. Although now that I think about it, I haven't seen any since the COVID breakout. She must be picking up the produce again. She also sells non-GMO meats in addition to the veggies and dairy products. She puts together healthy meal kits and local artisans provide breads, body care products and she even carries CBD products now.

She's really made a name for herself.

I love the rainbow carrots, too. I'd never seen them before this trip.

I find it interesting what your friend said to you. I've often thought that, especially with the BLM stuff that's going on now. But don't dare say it out loud!

Thanks for visiting this article, manatita. I appreciate you!

manatita44 from london on October 26, 2020:

I like your message at the end. This woman is a visionary, driven, creative and with great insight. Only today a friend was saying that we as black people could do more ... that we hold our selves back. Who knows the ways of heaven?

I like the carrots too. Interesting colours! - Lantern

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on October 02, 2020:

Thank you, Sankhajit. The experience was fun and enlightening. I was happy to share.

Sankhajit Bhattacharjee from MILWAUKEE on October 01, 2020:

an interesting piece of writing...

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 06, 2019:

That's awesome, Kevin!

Kevin Howell from Maysville KY on September 05, 2019:

I surely hope that continues to be the case. I raise grass fed beef and sell to consumers.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 03, 2019:

Kevin, Americans are realizing the importance of homegrown foods that don't poison our bodies or landscape. Doing the ride along with Cheryl was a lot of fun and quite educational.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing in the journey!

Kevin Howell from Maysville KY on September 01, 2019:

I enjoyed the article. I love reading and educating myself about these topics. I love the new trend that growing across America in agriculture. Go out and help farmers cut out the middle man. You’ll be glad you did and live longer I’m sure

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 01, 2015:

Sheila, it's a shame you don't have quality produce at your local farmers market. Kinda defeats the purpose, doesn't it? At least you're growing your own, so you're ahead of the game!

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on September 01, 2015:

She sounds like a wonderful woman! I applaud her for opening her own business and supporting the local growers. I tried to shop at our local Farmers Market, but the produce was beyond sad. Hubby and I still grown most of our own vegetables, but I would like to see a store similar to what your friend has. Apparently, no one check the produce that is apparently "dumped" into the bins at our Farmers Market. I would love to do business with someone who really cares!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 27, 2014:

Margaret, Cheryl is awesome. Her business has grown. She now offers seminars in her store, farm to table dinners, and has created a weekly farmers market event in our town square. Her passion is spreading!

Margaret Schindel from Massachusetts on November 26, 2014:

This is a beautifully written and photographed article about a wonderful business and its owner. I wish I lived in Florida so I could shop there!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on May 08, 2014:

Eira, from what I understand, the water situation in California is affecting agriculture. It's so sad. Fresh foods - especially organic foods - are so important to our health and the livelihood of so many families.

Processed foods have so much crap in them. I try not to buy anything processed or pre-made. I'm an avid label reader. You'd be surprised at the unnecessary ingredients that are thrown in our foods. It's enough to make you sick - literally!

Eira L'osee-Fukuda from California on May 07, 2014:

Great hub! I live near the Pacific Coast in Northern California, where we have a LOT of farms producing amazing amounts of food, and the farmers' markets to go with them. As I'm sure you know, it can make all the difference to their livelihood to connect with people like Cheryl and yourself; and it does make all the difference to customers who eat real food, rather than the processed food substitutes most of us have become too accustomed to settling for. It's very encouraging to see how widespread awareness of these issues is becoming; thanks for this wonderfully informative, personable article.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on February 17, 2014:

Cool, Guest User and thanks for helping me test out the comments capabilities. I'm also pleased you find my writing style interesting!

Guest User on February 17, 2014:

You have a unique and interesting way of writing. I enjoyed reading about how one person makes the journey to insure farm fresh products are available for all. I only live a few hours from this so next time I'm in the area.....

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on February 04, 2014:

That's the name of the game, Victoria!

Victoria Van Ness from Fountain, CO on February 04, 2014:

Very nice! Not only do your purchases support the community and your local farmers, but you get be healthier as well! Very nice!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 04, 2013:

You got that right, Drive By Quipper!

Drive By Quipper from Wrong Side of Town on December 04, 2013:

Yes, regional produce and products will sustain regional economies. Up the corporate establishment with their factory farms, distribution networks, chemicals and waste.

How can you beat Central Florida for growing year around?

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on October 08, 2013:

Lyricwriter, if everyone had the passion for our farmers that Cheryl does, we'd see more shops like hers. Thanx for checking in and sharing. I know Cheryl appreciates it!

Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on October 08, 2013:

Voted up, useful, awesome, and shared on Facebook. Great article Bravewarrior! I find it great that she was able to follow her dream after so many years and make it come true, that's awesome! Corporate America has hurt farms, it's no secret. We should all support our local farms and business. Great article, well designed and written. Bravo :) Best wishes always

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on October 08, 2013:

Hey, Paula! I'm glad you have organic options where you live. I've discovered many people don't. What a shame.

Suzie from Carson City on October 07, 2013:

Sha...Interesting, helpful and VERY ecological, my dear! I'm with you all the way on this one!.....I shop often at our local Co-ops. I love organic foods!...UP+++

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 19, 2013:

Made, I wish there were more Cheryls in the world, too. We'd be so much better off!

Madeleine Salin from Finland on September 19, 2013:

Wow, this is great. There should be more Cheryls in this world. This is a quality hub about quality food.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 10, 2013:

Same to you, Eddy. So glad to see you here!

Eiddwen from Wales on September 10, 2013:

What a wonderful read Shauna; voted up and shared. Here's wishing you a great day .


Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 07, 2013:

Faith, how fortunate that you can buy fresh locally. A lot of the comments received, state otherwise. That's such a shame. Hopefully, that will change in the near future. Thanx for sharing. I know Cheryl appreciates it and so do I!

Faith Reaper from southern USA on September 07, 2013:

Yes, Slowhand will do that to one no doubt! Wow, Sha, what an excellent and well-written, insightful write here! Thankfully, around these parts where I live, we are able to buy fresh locally!

Thank you for sharing here of Cheryl's Wild Hare Kitchen and Garden Emporium!

Voted up ++++ and sharing

Hugs from southern USA, Faith Reaper

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 05, 2013:

Amen, Martie. I saw Cheryl today. She is so full of life! I hope all who read this take heed and support our farmers.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on September 05, 2013:

So wonderful to know that civilization has not yet destroyed all that is farm fresh and healthy. May Cheryl’s Wild Hare Kitchen and Garden Emporium grows from strength to strength.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 04, 2013:

Pearl, Cheryl is awesome. You'd love her. She loves what she does. She's very knowledgeable. Cheryl's eyes get excited and her whole face lights up when she talks about her farmers.

I'm sorry you were having trouble leaving your comment. But you made it! Yay!

Connie Smith from Southern Tier New York State on September 03, 2013:

bravewarrior, I need to head for Florida! Not only to see you, but to check out awesome Cheryl! I have a great deal of respect, as I know you do, for anyone who appreciates our natural environment. We try to eat organic whenever we can find it, especially produce. Chemical-laced lettuce and berries are not on my menu!

I love that Cheryl uses no plastic--and that she embraces times gone by, when small farms were the backbone of this nation.

Thanks for your long day's journey into organic, and for sharing it with us, my friend ;) Pearl

Voted Up+++++, pinned and shared

Hooray! I finally got to submit this comment!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 03, 2013:

Nell, how fortunate for you to have fresh produce available to you! Thanx for spreading the word. Hopefully, we'll see more and more businesses like this pop up all over the world.

Nell Rose from England on September 03, 2013:

This is great! I live next to an allotment, and I get potatoes, cabbages and all sorts, so yes I support this one hundred percent! great read, and voted up and shared!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 03, 2013:

It sounds great. I'll check it out!

CraftytotheCore on September 03, 2013:

Yes, I'm not supposed to link to it here but it's the one called White eggplant recipe. I made it with pasta and garden tomatoes. It was delicious.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 03, 2013:

Crafty, is the recipe posted on HP? My mom's a master gardener, too, but she grows themed gardens that are included in garden tours. She doesn't grow any food.

CraftytotheCore on September 03, 2013:

Brave, I wrote a recipe about the white eggplant. I think it's different and delicious. My neighbor is a master gardener. She grows the most unique things.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 02, 2013:

Elias, I'm so glad this store opened up and that it's so close to home! More people need to support our farmers and do the same.

Elias Zanetti from Athens, Greece on September 02, 2013:

Great hub and such a great initiative. Growing locally your own veggies is amazing.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 02, 2013:

Those are odd places, Crafty. Although, if you think about it, both areas get a lot of traffic, so I guess is makes sense somewhat.

How do you prepare white eggplant? Does it taste the same as the purple variety?

CraftytotheCore on September 02, 2013:

I'm a farm girl, so this Hub hit home! I notice the white eggplant up there too. I made some for the first time not too long ago. The Wild Hare is such a wonderful idea. Around here there aren't many places like that. We have farmer's markets once a week in very weird places. There is one at the post office. One near a hospital one town over.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 31, 2013:

Rebecca, so nice to see you! I actually bought a jar of the Mango Tango jam and it is awesome! When I want a sweet at night I toast a piece of pumpernickle bread and smear Mango Tango on it. Yum!

The ride along with Cheryl was amazing. I learned a lot and we had fun. It was as if we'd known each other all our lives. It's funny how and where you make new friends. Kinda like HP, huh? :-)

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on August 31, 2013:

Nothing beats fresh veggies. These are pretty, and the jams look awesome! This sounds like a really cool adventure.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 31, 2013:

Maria, that was the whole point of bringing Clapton into the picture. Glad it worked! One of these days I have to try those purple peppers. I don't know why I didn't buy one right then and there!

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on August 31, 2013:

You saucy vixen, your first paragraph had me me in stitches and thinking of the slow hands of Eric Clapton...

But then you had me again with the purple peppers in this exciting and descriptive Wild Hare of a tale...outstanding journalism!

Voted UP and across the board. Hugs, Maria

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 31, 2013:

Rose, I've never written a HOTD. It would be incredible to receive that honor, but I think I've been here too long to be eligible. I appreciate that you think this one is worthy. That's as good as receiving any award, in my book! Thanx for the vote!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 31, 2013:

DJ, I think it helps to have passion in whatever you do. Cheryl certainly has it. I'm passionate about her cause. I'm telling you, when you talk to her, you can't help but get as excited as she is. She's awesome! I'm glad that passion for her passion drove my words in this hub. Once I began, I was on a roll!

Thank you for making my day and inspiring me to keep reaching for the stars, DJ!

rose-the planner from Toronto, Ontario-Canada on August 31, 2013:

Excellent article! I find the level of commitment by the Wild Hare's proprietor to provide good quality, healthy, homegrown products incredible. You did a brilliant job showcasing this woman's hard work. Well done! This is definitely HOTD material. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

DJ Anderson on August 31, 2013:

Wonderful article, Sha!!

When we go back to FL., we are fortunate to live in an area that

promotes Farmer's Markets. There are three every week!

Your writing was interesting and informative. I enjoyed the photos

and it was meaningful that you put a face on this hard working woman,

Cheryl Bryant.

Sha, your writing skills have improved in leaps and bounds.

I look forward to more writes from you. YOU GO, GIRL!!


Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 31, 2013:

Carol, thank you for the share and awesome comment. I wish you had a store like Wild Hare, too. In fact, every town should have one. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 31, 2013:

Suzi, I was exhausted! Cheryl continued on to her final stop after I went home. It was a very long day for me, but I'd do it again. In fact, I told her the other day, the next time she wants help, to give me a call.

You'd love her store. In addition to produce and everything else I mentioned, she has some awesome vintage dishes, cookware, nick-nacks, etc. There's something new to see every time I visit.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 31, 2013:

Martin, I am so pleased to see you here! Are you leaving the SF area? I love farmers markets - flea markets, too.

carol stanley from Arizona on August 31, 2013:

Shauna: Loved your day's journey, and I wish we had a store like that here. YOu did a wonderful job describing and getting us into the scene. You are a gifted writer for sure. I am going to share this around all over the place...Great job dear friend.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 31, 2013:

Patti, where near Samsula did you live? That's so cool. If you do venture down this way, please look me up!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 31, 2013:

MPG, I'm delighted to have Wild Hare so close to home. Cheryl amazes me. She still sells at the farmers market in addition to having the store. I don't know where she gets all her energy.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 31, 2013:

Flourish, actually one of the roosters ended up being killed. Cheryl didn't want to put them all in one cage, but the guy who took them (and raises chickens) said they'd be fine until he got home. When he arrived, one of the roosters was dead! That really upset Cheryl, but what can you do?

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on August 31, 2013:

Hi Shauna,

This was fantastic, seriously!! Loved your intro too we are all taking Bill's words of wisdom eh?? You are such a talent and have a true gift for storytelling as shown here! I would love to do just what you did and if I find such a shop here in the countryside I am there!! The organic honey jar looks lush, I want it! I would have a field day in her shop for my recipes for beauty never mind eating! What a brilliant idea for a business opportunity, buying local organic is so good for local farms and i am an avid supporter of buying local and supporting our own workers!

You must have been exhausted but what an experience, well done you!

Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, shared!

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on August 31, 2013:

Thank you for this. Terrific write. I miss going to SF's farmer's markets I think you would get a kick out of them.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on August 30, 2013:

This was all so familiar as I lived near Samsula for years and have visited in the towns along the way that you mentioned. I have not visited your friend's place of business but will set out on a Patti's Great Adventure Day soon as I love to visit gems such as this. thanks for sharing. This was a lovely read from beginning to end.

Angels are on the way. ps

Maria Giunta from Sydney, Australia on August 30, 2013:

I love shopping at farmers' markets even though I live in the city. You are lucky to have a 'farm to store' business so close. I wish Cheryl all the best with this business, although I think she's got it all worked out, she is VERY organised. Thanks for sharing Cheryl's story with us, great interview. Voted up, interesting and pinned.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 30, 2013:

Sounds like a great little store founded on important concepts - buy local, organic, no plastic. The owner sounds very energetic, and I'm glad she helped those 3 roosters. (I was thinking at first maybe they would be farm to table.) I bet you could write all kinds of fascinating hubs stemming from this topic. Beautiful photos, too, by the way!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 30, 2013:

Yep. Shame on us writers, huh?

Anna Haven from Scotland on August 30, 2013:

I am exactly the same. I always notice my errors when the edit period has timed out :)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 30, 2013:

Anna, I was so happy when I discovered Wild Hare was moving in down the street. On another note, I need to apologize for my missing words and spelling errors in my initial response to your comment. Why don't I proof my responses????

Anna Haven from Scotland on August 30, 2013:

Your point came across really clearly and in a very entertaining way. The humour and your engaging narrative style kept us in really close right through the article.

You are lucky being so near to so much delicious produce. Enjoy :)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 30, 2013:

Deb, I wasn't aware of Local Food Awareness Week. I'll have to look into that. Thanx for sharing on your FB page.

I stopped writing for Examiner for the reasons I stated above. I did learn something but they're just another PPC site. If I'm going to write for a site other than HP or my own website, I want to be paid per article, not per click.

Thanx for stopping by!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 30, 2013:

Audrey, you just made my day! I swear, if it weren't for my love of fish and shellfish, I could be a vegetarian. In fact, I was at one time - for 3 years. I have a container of tofu in my fridge. I've lost my ingenuity for coming up with good tofu recipes. Do you have any favorites? A few weeks ago I made burritos out of tofu instead of meat. They were delicious!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 30, 2013:

Anna, I'm glad you drawn in long enough to get my message. I tend to get side-tracked sometimes in my writing. The fact of the matter is, you got the point and that's what counts.

I've never seen purple peppers either, nor have I tasted them yet. Same with purple carrots. Who knew?! Wild Hare is just down the street from me so I will have the opportunity to purchase these gorgeous purple veggies and see what they are all about.

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on August 30, 2013:

Awesome article! And just in time for Local Food Awareness Week, which starts September 15. Speaking of Examiner, I am the Cedar Rapids Healthy Food Examiner. I am going to share this article on my Facebook page.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on August 30, 2013:

You are a fantastic writer! Enjoyed this so much. Been a vegetarian forever and shop from local farmers. They know me by name:)

I would like to see more people buying locally and do what I can to support our local farmers and get the word out.

Like Bill said, your intro is dynamite. Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful, interesting and pinning + sharing. Thank you so much!

Anna Haven from Scotland on August 30, 2013:

I have to second your last commentator. Really snappy, good introduction which pulled me right in.

I have never seen purple peppers either. They look strange but cool.

Great theme as well. Supporting local business is a winning situation all round. If we don't use them, one day they will be gone.

You wrote in an engaging and entertaining style with great pictures and an important message conveyed well. Great job.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on August 30, 2013:

Bill, I'm pleased that the intro gets your approval. I originally was going to write about my ride-along for examiner. They want you to write in the 3rd person and they limit the words (imagine that!). I can't write effectively in the third person. I need to speak to you, the reader and that comes from me, the writer.

Buying locally is very important, indeed. The closer to home, the better for our immediate communities. That can only lead to the domino effect if everyone is diligent about it.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 30, 2013:

Great introduction! You just knew that was the first thing I was going to talk about, didn't you?

Next, fantastic message, interview and article. You know how I feel about buying locally and buying responsibly.....this needs to be read by about 100 million Americans. Well done Sha!

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