Thursday, November 15, 2007

Local Food

In case anyone is paying attention - um, hello - comments? - this will be four blog entries in four days. I am aspiring towards an entry each day and I can tell you, especially with the kids in school and being kind of footloose in Akron all day, that it is a stretch. But I think it's important and so I will continue to at least make an effort.

Anyway, I was coming up a bit blank for today's subject but then I applied for a job which would require my writing about eating locally, a subject actually very close to my heart. I realized that this was my moment to finally use the food pictures that I took over the summer, and to get a little bit up on my soapbox.

I actually meant to do an eating locally entry at the peak of the harvest season because everything was just terribly rich and gorgeous, but I somehow never got to it. But I do have some pictures and so although pickings are getting slim at the market nowadays, you can see that summer's bounty was just mouthwatering.

I had to take a picture of this - Bubble and Squeak from Laurel's Kitchen with red cabbage and leeks, because the colors were so rich and striking, and truly this picture doesn't do the dish justice. We especially like to eat this with Amish 'bangers' (English sausages) and it is very delicious.

Anyway, I do trek off to my local farmer's market every Saturday morning, rain, hail, shine, and once, in a blizzard, because I believe in and love buying my food from the people who grew it.

Every Thursday for the past fifteen weeks my friend Joanie has turned up on my doorstep with a bag of produce grown on a plot of land she was given for the purpose, with dirt still under her nails and her sweet little five year old in tow. We pay her $15 a week, and she is supplying twenty families with a grocery bag of fresh food, and sometimes, when we are really lucky, sunflowers or handmade soap - every week! She is amazing.
These are her rutabagas.

These are her carrots.

We drink milk that comes in glass bottles with the cream on top, beef that was fed grass, and eggs that were laid by hens in a farmyard. Bananas and oranges don't grow around here, so they are a rare treat for us, and I can tell you that when those first strawberries ripen up in April - ohhh boy - are we in heaven.
My favorite part though, is when I lay dinner out on the table, and once we have said grace and started to eat, I get to point out where all the dishes came from. Most nights, especially in the summer, our whole dinner is food from local sources. The kids know who grew their food. The health, environmental and community benefits of this are so profound it makes me want to weep. So - eat your veggies, and buy them locally!

No comments: