Monday, November 19, 2007

Eating Local

In her new book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingslover and her family chronicle a year of eating only things that were locally grown. They made a few key exceptions, such as olive oil, coffee and flour, for which they could not find local sources. The book is a very interesting read. I don't think that it is practical for most of us to try to get that much of our food locally but Stephen and I were inspired to try to increase the amount of locally grown food in our diets. Not only does this mean that the food we buy from local producers will have more nutrient value, it means we are making a smaller carbon footprint. We saw a program on TV the other day in which it was stated that the average meal in our country travels 1500 miles by the time it gets to the table. That takes a lot of that stuff that a war is being fought over right now.

I have been trying to include at least something local in every meal. This has meant making an effort to get to the farmer's market every Saturday. Last night a friend came over for dinner and most of my haul from the farmer's market was sitting on the table. It is just to pretty to put in the 'fridge until I have to. Most of it won't last long enough to need to be refrigerated anyway. My friend said that I should take a picture of it and I decided that she was right.

I have been overjoyed to find so many fall tomatoes. We had very few this summer due to too much rain. I have eaten so many that my mouth has gotten sore and I have had to stop eating them. I got some last Saturday anyway along with baby eggplants, various colors of sweet peppers, apples, and Meyer lemons grown only a few miles away. I also scored some wonderful oak leaf lettuces, sweet basil and garlic. I missed out on eggs and mushrooms this week. When I got there just after 11:00 they were already sold out. Oh well, there is always next week.

If I really did not want to get out to the market, I could have Greenling deliver local organic produce to my door. We can also get locally produced olive oil, although right now it would be cost prohibitive to buy enough for cooking and soap making. Texas wines have come a long way in the past few years and if we chose, we could get as much wine as we could drink from no more than 70 miles from home and not feel deprived. We don't drink enough wine to make that an issue. Wheat is also grown here but I am not sure where it is processed into flour so I will do the best I can for bread making.

Of course, the best way to 'eat local' is to have a garden of your own. So far, I have not had a place to do much of that. I hope to remedy that in the next year or two. In the mean time, I have a blast at the farmer's market where I can take Lani if I choose and listen to live music while munching an organic pastry as I do my shopping.


Laurie said...

That is a wonderful photo. Thanks for sharing it!

The Minstrel Boy said...

shaker lemon pie

this rocks out loud with meyers.

seventh sister said...

Thanks, Laurie

I'll bet it does, mb, and I have enough to make it and some pie crusts in the fridge. Maybe I'll make it tomorrow. Of course, I think a lot of things rock out loud with meyers, especially fish of any kind. Just cut the meyers thin, put the fillets on top, squeeze a little more juice with salt,pepper and dill on top and put it in the oven. Cooking time depends on the thickness of the fillet and the type of fish.

Brave Sir Robin said...

I have a Meyer's tree in my back yard.

It is a constant struggle to keep it insect free. I refuse to put poison on it, but nothing organic I've tried works.

Any thoughts?

seventh sister said...

I don't know anything about growing them. Have you tried neem oil? You have to be careful with it or you can damage the tree. I would research it online. Citrus behaves differently than other species. Diatmaticous earth will kill just about anything but I don't know how you would spray a tree with it.

tammy vitale said...

Isn't food lovely?! And local even better.

Much to be thankful for - thought I'd stop through and wish you a happy holiday. =]

konagod said...

Farmer's Market South Austin/Sunset Valley.

That's all I have to say! :-)

LOVED the photo. I've done a number of similar ones. I can't help myself. When I pick stuff from the garden I like to brag.

Angela said...

Oh, yum! What a great photo. And I was *just* talking about Kingsolver. I simply must get a new book of hers.

seventh sister said...

Thanks, Tammy. Same to you.

I agree, Kona. Sunset Valley Farmer's Market rocks. I go to it when I get the chance but if I am working most of the morning downtown, I make do with the one at Republic Park.

Yep, Angela, the new Kingslover is quite entertaining as well as informative. I grew up farming and gardening and still learned a lot.

Dan said...

Great post! The best book I ever read on food was "The Food Revolution" by John Robbins. It's one of the reasons I'm a vegan today.

Anonymous said...

I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.:)

seventh sister said...

Thanks, tc

Hi Dan, Glad you are back. I haven't read Food Revolution. I am probably going to get the Omnivor's Delimma next.