Local Food Friday
Every aspect of our lives is, in a sense, a vote for the kind of world we want to live in.
Frances Moore Lappéauthor of Diet for a Small Planet
Why Eat Local?
We’ve heard the usual reasons to eat local: fresh, in season, nutritious, supports local agriculture...and all of these are powerful reasons to eat what grows in your bioregion, but there are other reasons as well.
Eating local brings us into the web of local life, the life that we can’t afford to miss. If you live in the city, then it’s maybe the people and day to day interactions, as bread is bought, or where you sit at your favorite cafe.
Living in a small town it’s interconnected, from the new fawn and her mother who walk past my house everyday looking for tasty shrubs to eat, to visiting the neighbor's garden and picking raspberries together.
We have a web of shared history around food: pickle making, jam canning, watching children run and grow from potluck to potluck. The buzz and excitement when mushroom season starts, clam digging, zucchinis in a box with a “please take” sign at the corner, Dungeness crabs lovingly brought over by my fisherman neighbor, with the hint of how delicious a loaf of rye bread would be in return.
The shared meal elevates eating from a mechanical process of fueling the body to a ritual of family and community, from the mere animal biology to an act of culture.
– Michael Pollan
Eating local brings us into the mystery, the vastness and incomprehensibility of the microbiome, web of life, soil, water, sea. Our place in it all, because we do have a place, even if it’s just to practice gratitude. Eating local helps us remember that we live in a geography, with distinct seasons, in a particular culture.
To remember that it and we are all transitory, passing, fragile, and that we need this good earth and each other to make it through.
Key in Local Food For Full lIst of Posts
We'll have a different relationship to the carrot pulled from the ground than the one bought in plastic. Carrot seed sprinkled into the row, sprouting up thick and needing to be thinned; showing a child for the first time the magic of what’s not seen, underground, and then becomes visible and sweet to eat, delight; buying beets, red and rosy from the hands of the farmer at the market; conversation at a potluck over this year’s weather, and if someone’s tree is especially heavy with cherries. All of these bring us into a closer relationship with life, and all because we're eating local. We live in an extended gift economy, where there are some things more important than the dollar.
This magical, marvelous food on our plate, this sustenance we absorb, has a story to tell. It has a journey. It leaves a footprint. It leaves a legacy. To eat with reckless abandon, without conscience, without knowledge; folks, this ain’t normal.
– Joel Salatin, farmer and author of Folks, This Ain’t Normal; You Can Farm
Eating local supports our roots. We don’t have to order out culturally, we already have a sustaining way to live well with each other.
In my Town
We share excitements, challenges, and sorrows
We have festivals, cake picnics, and salad socials
We bake for holidays
We break bread together,
Get out the home brew at the neighborhood gathering
We grow grain, beans, vegetables, and fruit
We have orchards, figs, and grapes
Our chickens and pigs are happy, our cows graze on grass
We have goat farms, and cheesemakers
We ferment, bake sourdoughs, brew cider and ale, make wine
We go to the sea, but not like we used to, for fish.shellfish and crabs
We harvest nettles, and chanterelle mushrooms
We have several thriving farmer’s markets, a Food Coop
We have CSA ‘s, soup groups, and supper clubs
We grow food for our food bank, allow food stamps at our farmer’s market, and have an active gleaners group
Our neighborhoods have emergency prepared plans
We know who the elderly and shut-ins of our neighborhood are
Our school lunches are shaping up, as is our hospital food
There’s always room for improvement, but we are working it.
It all stems from the initial concern and devotion to being local, eating local, and coming to a deeper understanding of its benefits.
There is a deep wisdom in eating local
A few Local Foods Friday Posts
Strawberries are the Queen of Spring | June/10/2016
Berry picking to me is a sacred seasonal ritual, we begin with the strawberries and work through raspberries, marionberries, loganberries and our favorite the blueberries each summer.
Grow a 'Small is Beautiful' Garden | June/17/2016
The best place for a kitchen garden is close to the kitchen. Where you can see it when you look out a window, or walk past. Then you think about what’s ready and needs to be used.