Monday, November 26, 2007
It seems like everywhere I look there are going local efforts being made across America (as opposed to everywhere else in the world where eating local is the norm). This all started back in February when we joined our CSA, Abbondanza, and began getting a weekly organic produce delivery from Denver Door to Door Organics. Both began to slowly change our eating...planning meals around what was "in our box" (i.e. in season!), weekly visits to the wonderful Boulder Farmer's Market, the "happy chicken eggs" farms, Cure Organic and Red Wagon Farms' farmstands and prompting more discussion with the kids about where our food comes from. Our book for bookclub in August was Kingsolver's acclaimed Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which truly changed my life. Suddenly it all fell into place. From there, we joined the Eat Local Challenge in September. Far from being easy, I was surprised and disappointed in myself at how simple it was to eat out, pick something up on the way home, grab that can of beans from...who knows where? I did better in October, and came across the Dark Days Challenge for October and beyond. This has been easier because I have the tools and resources now to source out the ingredients I really need (and to buy organic or Fair Trade when it's unavailable-like maple syrup and coffee!). The Thanksgiving challenge was not even aimed at my section of the US, but it had a cute logo banner so I grabbed it to remind myself (and anyone else who happens to read this and is interested) that it IS POSSIBLE to plan even a lavish feast with local produce. While the meal was thought out in advance, certain things were left up to the CSA pickup 2 days before. That's OK! Our basement box of CSA squash and potatoes are doing well; our fridge lower baskets are full of carrots, beets, turnips and cabbage (all keep beautifully in the cool, dry environment). Bring on winter! Soups and stews with homemade bread will keep us warm and cozy. Occasional feasts of greens will surprise us sometimes and now I know what to do for next winter. I know to blanch and freeze any excess greens in the spring (I've frozen so much shredded zucchini...we will have zucchini bread all winter-yum!), to cook up the delicious tomato sauce I discovered and freeze that for impromptu spaghetti, and to always stock up on the local jams and jellies around Halloween at the local pumpkin patches (YUM!) I am already looking forward to the first Farmer's Market in April, determined to do even better next year. For my family's health. For environmental reasons. For the supremely tastier flavor of local, fresh, in season foods. For FUN!