No doubt you’ve realized by my lack of posts that it’s been a really busy spring at Chiot’s Run. It would be nice if blogging was my full-time job and I could do it all day, but alas, I’ve got bills to pay just like you all do. In case you don’t read my daily blog, here’s an update: This spring has been especially busy since we’re getting the cottage and gardens ready to put them on the market. We’ve made one exploratory trip up to Maine looking at houses, we even put an offer on one, but that didn’t work out. Yep, we’re planning a move to Maine. Why? Because it seems like the right time and they have a great local food network. And WHY NOT?
Now that the Dark Days are over (was that challenge a little too long for everyone else like it was for me?), I’m excited to talk a little about non-local food. I’ve never wanted to be a 100% local eating gal, I like tropical food too much. You see I grew up in South America, right on the equator, so the foods of my youth were mangos, papayas, avocados, citrus and all things tropical. We had a banana plant in the front garden and a big papaya tree in the back. I’ll choose a mango over an apple any day, hands down! These things will always hold a special place in my diet and I will never give them up simply because I live in the North. About 95% of my diet is local, much of that homegrown, the remaining 5% is tropical. That being said, I’m not running out to my nearest grocery store to pick up a mango when I want it. I’m searching the internet to find small organic farms that sell through LocalHarvest or on their own websites.
My most recent score was a box filled with beautiful avocados and another filled with blood oranges. They were both from Trethowan Organic Farm in Rainbow, California. We’ve been enjoying avocados with every meal, even breakfast. If you’ve never have a fried egg smothered in fresh guacamole you haven’t lived! Who can resist a quick snack of a half an avocado dusted with sea salt & freshly ground pepper. It’ll keep you full until the cows come home, or at least until the dinner bell rings!
I’m also enjoying the last of the Rio Red grapefruit that I got from G & S Groves in TX. This year I joined their fruit of the month club. As a result I’ve been enjoying a grapefruit every day, some mornings I even bake them. If you’ve never had baked grapefruit you’re missing out. Here’s how I do it.
We can feed our hunger for connection by eating seasonally and also by buying directly from small farmers at the farmer’s market. Forming relationships with the people who grow our food, and taking up opportunities to visit their farms, is a healing practice. It is important for the farmers as well. The majority of small farmers are not in it for the money – farming is no longer lucrative. They do it because they have a love of independence, because they love working with the land, and often because they believe in building a food system that is based on relationship. They get immense satisfaction when their customers take an interest in their farming practices and in how and why they grow their produce.
Jessica Prentice – Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection
Even if you do enjoy things that aren’t local, I’d like to encourage you to still find them as seasonally and as sustainably as possible. Not only will you be enjoying the healthiest product you can have, you’ll be building a rich network of small farms around the country. You’ll be helping a small farm survive to provide food to it’s own immediate community.
If you had to choose one non-local fruit or vegetable as your favorite which would it be? Have you found a small sustainable source for this item?
I can also be found at Chiot’s Run where I blog daily about gardening, cooking, local eating, beekeeping and more; Eat Outside the Bag blogging about all things food & cooking; Your Day Magazine and you can follow me on Twitter and on Facebook.