Sunday, August 3, 2008

Going Further Local

I wrote about starting this process AGES ago when I first started this blog and have tried here and there to do it but didn't do it very seriously until I read Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I absolutely LOVED this book. IT is not what you are thinking. It is not a guilt you into buying a farm, it isn't an elitist sort of handbook (although some small minded people might say it is) nor does it suggest you need to turn your life upside down to live by a set of harsh rules. As much as I wish that I could do everything they did...
1. I don't have a farm or really enough space for my own garden (also, SO many rabbits)
2. I have a 9-5 job (so do many many farmers though and that is terribly sad)
3. No room or laws) for my own chickens and turkeys.
4. I really like ocean fish

So I am trying the best I can to buy local and by the season. I am running into problems already.
Lemons, I use these in cooking but not ever local
Limes, see above
Bananas, banana bread, nuff said

So, I am altering my extreme-ness to the Willistown CSA's locavore pledge:

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family Farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then East Coast
If not EAST COAST, then United States,
If not UNITED STATES, then Fair Trade

I can totally, live with this and really, most of the time will be in the top 2 or 3 (except for coffee). So I have committed our little family to this plan. In order to move forward with our new plan, I went to the West Chester Growers Market on Saturday morning. I had heard so many good things about it after starting my locavore research that I couldn't wait to go. I was not disappointed.
This is part of what I brought home yesterday. All grown or made within 30 miles of me. The thing wrapped in a plastic bag is what is left of the french loaf and the white topped mason jar is what is left of the granola from the same bread bakery (that granola was f-ing insanely addicting), Big Sky Bakery in Delaware (this is a kind of chain but all bread is baked locally from grains raised and ground in the US). The fruits and veggies are all from farmers in Lancaster County, mostly Amish who have adopted an organic way of growing most of their produce (no I didn't ask if they run puppy mills as well, if I find out they do I will not buy from them). What you don't see is the turkey sausage, pork loin and ground lamb I got from Lindenhof Farms. All their animals are pasture fed and hormone free. I will be making keftedis tonight with the lamb along with roasted eggplant and possibly tzatziki if I can find a recipe for it. Also, I have discovered that the Whole Foods closest to us not only carries local foods but also holds a farmers market a couple times a month. That combined with the farm I already can get to on a daily basis, Maple Acres, should sustain us until late fall/early winter. That is when I may have some trouble as canning scares the crap out of me.

Don't worry, I am not going to get all preachy on you (I really hate that to begin with after being told I was probably a lesbian because I had short hair freshman year in college by one of those 'witnessing' 'Christian' people on campus). I will say, however, that the food I have consumed from farmers markets, grown in season has been absolutely delicious. I don't think I could go back to the other stuff if I wanted to (tomatoes are f-ing AMAZING right now) considering my love for cooking and good food. I will report on how I am doing with the whole locavore thing more regularly if not for any other reason other than I love food.

Update: The kefthedes (Greek meatballs) totally rocked and the tzazaiki (sp) made them even better. I could though, kill you with my garlic breath. When I halved the recipe for the tzazaiki, I forgot to half the garlic. There are Greek mothers who will need to burn their recipes after this awsome cooking feat. ;)


Marilyn said...

That sounds (and looks) so great.
I'm buying the book.

Jen said...

Right on, sista. I love Farmer's Market food. Can't wait to read about what you made.

John Deere Mom said...

Our Farmer's Market is awesome. Not to mention the garden in the backyard. :) Everything looks great!

Snooty Primadona said...

We even have a local Farmer's Market here, but if you don't get there at the crack of dawn, it's pretty slim pickens. It's also only 2 days per week. Guess it's a good thing I grow most of my own stuff.

Anyway, good for you! I like your plan. I might even have to adopt that, lol.

MissKris said...

I need to get out more often! By the time I get around to grocery shopping each week at 7 am on Saturdays, I have enough ooomph to get to the local Fred Meyer store here in Portland and just DO the dumb shopping. A - I HATE it with a passion. B - I would love to have the energy to go browse thru some of the local Farmers' Markets but I just don't. I'm pathetic. I know it.

Mom2FiveBratz said...

I would love to have a garden, but I have no idea where to start. The fact that I dont have a green thumb throws me out of the loop too.

A.C. said...

Awesome! I have been trying to eat local/organic food for a while now. It's worked out very well. The only thing that makes it difficult is that the winters here are, like, 8 months long, so it's tough to eat local in the winter.

AJ makes tzazaiki sauce and it's so delicious! We eat it with cold veggies or in omelets.

Queen Mommy said...

I LOVED that book! We live in a super rural area and we could get basically everything, including meat local. It really makes you think.

Good for you!

BS5 Blogger said...

Nice plan - good for you!

Anonymous said...

Scargosun, I am well impressed. The fruit and veg look amazing. Sorry I havent visited for a while.

We are living without a fridge or freezer just now and it has been an interesting challenge for us.

I like the order of priority list so that you can be as ethical as possible without being totally impractical.

L.R. M-J said...

Felicitations my Foodie Friend! I can tell you that we were not suffering in Paris for great food, veggies etc., but that moving to the country has introduced us to amAzing stuff. Having said that, my propensity for things from the sea is sorely deprived here, but we live it up when we go to our place in Paris! You've inspired me to do a natural food entry on the blog...dedicated to YOU!
hugs, L

L.R. M-J said... that eggplant lavender?

Los said...

That's a great idea, Scargosun. My mom used to go to the farmer's market EVERY Saturday morning, until it closed. I'll have to see if there is one around.

Muffy Willowbrook said...

I am marveling at you from afar.

Me said...

I love your counter top but for the life of me I can't figure out what material it is? :)

I had the same sortof of comment (and many more) from those "witnessing" people... which is exactly why I don't like to be preached to either.

Also, I nominated you for an award on my blog if you are so inclined to grab it.