Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Local Eating Challenge: Day 1

Finally, someone is forcing me to do a local eating challenge! Today, I started my two week foray by purchasing $90 in vegetables, $65 of which went toward 13 pounds of dried Sangre de Torro beans (a Mexican red bean brought to Tierra Farm by one of their Mexican employees). The woman, Evie, who sold me the beans was stunned asking, "Are you SURE you want all these beans?" Don't worry. They aren't just for me as I'll be sharing them with my classmates (I hope!).

For this assignment at least, I define local food as entirely produced within the surrounding 100 miles. Looking at this map, I feel a seafood craving coming on! But I wonder.... Last week, we toured a local organic dairy. At first, I had no thought of whether or not to consider them local or not - they are only 20 miles away. On the tour, I learned that they often purchase internationally grown grains for their cattle feed. Wow! That's a lot of "food miles" going into those cows. This is just one example of how much we ship things to & fro & how something that seems local may rely quite heavily on this system. We could consider the same question for vegetable seeds, soil amendments, etc. I decided not to use this criteria in my selection of foods, however, as it would likely promote starvation or, at best, malnutrition. :(

Today, I ate a delicious array of fresh veggies & fruits starting with homemade yogurt that my friends made (they even milked the cow) & a big, juicy peach from Nik's tree. Then, I bought about a billion kilos of beets, potatoes, sweet corn, beans, etc. at Tierra Vegetables' farm stand in Santa Rosa & promptly began chowing on it. I wish I had taken a photo of my dinner tonight (it was pretty!) but I was apparently too ravenous to think of that before inhaling it. What I can tell you is that it was indeed delicious: garlic mashed potatoes, & steamed cranberry beans & roasted gypsy pepper with Anaheim pepper, red onion, garlic & marjoram sauteed in Napa Valley olive oil. I also made some tasty & refreshing lemonade this afternoon, which I very much enjoyed on this very hot day!

Some resources to help you take your own local eating challenge!:

* 100 Mile Diet - www.100milediet.org
* Local Harvest - www.localharvest.org
* Locavores - www.locavores.com
* Eat Local Challenge - www.eatlocalchallenge.com
* Local Foods Wheel (SF Bay area) - www.localfoodswheel.com

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

it's on!

The feeding frenzy is getting in full swing here in lovely Sonoma County - plums, peaches, nectarines, peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, figs, apples, mustard greens, arugula, cucumbers, basil, cilantro, snap peas, blackberries from friends, neighbors, our Eco Ag garden at school, my backyard.... Hooray!

I'm currently contemplating the concept of "food as medicine" & realizing that a significant meaning in it for me lies in sharing food with others. This is the cure for my loneliness: invite people to dinner!

I wish that I had more time to keep up with the blog but, well, I don't. Everyone has probably stopped checking it by now anyway. Some day I'll be back in full force. Some day....