Pennsylvania

Medical issues encourage families to eat healthy and grow their own food – Daily Local

Last year, Maria Hernandez Cruz, 40, and her family decided to start growing their own food. So, to meet my personal needs, I set up the Cruz Family Little Farm on an acre site in Douglas Building.

“We have some medical problems and are trying to eat a healthy diet,” Cruz said. “We need something that is chemical-free and grows naturally.”

When it comes to planting and harvesting, it’s a family issue.

Azul, the youngest daughter of Maria Hernandez Cruz, helps her choose Tomatillo in the garden. (Photo courtesy of Cruz Family Little Farm)

“I have one grown-up son and three girls,” says Cruz, who has three young daughters at home while her son grows up. “They help me in the garden with chicken, honey and farmers markets.”

Not only do they provide food to their families, they also share eggs, honey, flowers, produce and herbs with the Pottstown Farm Market community.

“Everything I’m talking about is what we share at the table,” she said, referring to customers in the market. “We sell what we eat from the table, so we share it from the table.”

Their motivation to grow and sell things at farmers markets exceeds the profits from sales.

“We don’t make it a profit,” Cruz said. “It’s like teaching people that you can eat healthy with a small fortune. You don’t have to have a lot of acres to eat. You can do it in the backyard — do it everywhere. You can produce healthy and delicious foods. “

Born in Mexico, Cruz moved to Brooklyn, New York at the age of 10. At the age of 24, she moved to Pennsylvania.

“I didn’t like the city, so I always wanted to live in a place where I could grow tomatoes with a backyard,” she said. “I have always loved nature.”

Cuban oregano cultivated at the Cruz Family Little Farm. (Photo courtesy of Cruz Family Little Farm)

Cruz, the main cook at the house of her husband and three daughters, recently enjoys making “pumpkin flower quesadillas” for her family using the flowers that grow on the pumpkin vines.

“We chop them up, fry them with onions and garlic, then grab the tortillas and put the cheese in them,” she said, adding that she uses corn tortillas and mozzarella cheese.

Quesadillas are topped with a green sauce, also known as salsa verde.

“I have a lot of tomatillos right now, so I roast them with jalapenos, blend them with garlic, and then top them with tomatillos,” she said of Kesadilla.

According to Cruz, the family is now looking forward to harvesting sweet potatoes and preparing for autumn desserts. She sometimes makes pumpkins.

“I’m waiting for sweet potatoes, so I can eat roasted potatoes with honey,” she said. “It’s our autumn favorite dish.”

To make it, she washes the sweet potatoes, then cuts them in half and then adds some sweet ingredients.

“I put a little cinnamon and a little sugar on top to make it crunchy,” Cruz said, adding that she uses white sugar, cinnamon, and cinnamon sticks.

After baking the potatoes in a foil-covered casserole dish, the next step is the final touch.

“I take it out, sprinkle it with honey and eat it as a dessert. You can buy your own sweet potatoes, but when you grow yourself, it tastes better.” She said.

A dessert made by adding sugar and cinnamon to roasted pumpkin and sweet potatoes before sprinkling with honey. (Photo courtesy of Cruz Family Little Farm)

In addition to what they grow for their families and farmers markets, the Cruz family sells herbs to the Blue Elephant Restaurant in Pottstown.

“They love rosemary and Cuban oregano,” she said. “They asked me to grow shiso — the Japanese mint they use for sushi.”

The dish that Cruz enjoys making at home with Cuban oregano is chicken oregano.

“Grind oregano with garlic, vinegar and black pepper and marinated chicken in it,” she said, adding that when ground, Cuban oregano forms a pesto-like paste.

Cruz grew up most of his youth in New York City, so given the variety of foods she was exposed to, she likes to work on different styles of cooking.

“I cook Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Chinese, Mexicans and Italians,” she said. “Whatever my kids want for the day, I make for them.”

Details of Cruz Family Little Farm

Facebook: @cruzfamilylittlefarm

Find them at Pottstown Farm Market

October 2, 16 and 30, 9 am to 1 pm

Smith Plaza, Pottstown

www.pottstownfarm.org

Medical issues encourage families to eat healthy and grow their own food – Daily Local

Source link Medical issues encourage families to eat healthy and grow their own food – Daily Local

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