Saturday, June 7, 2008

To Market

How's your local meal coming along?

Phil works every Saturday so a few years ago Hadley and I decided that we would make it a ritual to head to the Farmer's Market for some girl time while Daddy was away at work. At first our trips were mostly social. We didn't really buy much food aside from the token treats we couldn't resist and handicrafts for gifts. Gradually we began purchasing food from the local growers and then last year we added purpose and Amelia to our trips to market. I bought most of my produce as well as bread, eggs, and meat from local sustainable farms. I bought boxes of peaches and tomatoes for canning and we enjoyed dozens of beautiful jars of delicious food with our meals.

Sometime in late August I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, and it cemented many of the things I believed about food, and changed the way I intended to eat and feed my family. Then winter set in. Every time I went to the grocery store I felt guilty and stressed about everything I was buying. Instead of feeling like I was able to eat the way I wanted to I was feeling like I needed to just fill the pantry and put food on my table. I gave myself permission to ease up on my food goals. These things take time.

So now it is spring again and I'm able to get a jump start on eating sustainable, local foods. I hope to preserve as much seasonal produce as possible, and though we will not go totally vegetarian, we have committed to buying only local, sustainable meat, and eating much less of it than before. That's one nice thing about me staying home. I can now focus more fully on how I feed my family instead of just getting something on the table. I will likely never be able to be a Kingsolver copy, but I'll do the best I can and let the rest go. I still plan to have snacks in the pantry and ice cream in the freezer. Maybe as time goes by, however, we can make our own ice cream with local milk and seasonal berries.

One thing I've already noticed about eating local produce is that by the end of a run of something I'm pretty much sick of eating it. Asparagus for example. I love it! I buy it every week and we eat lots of it. But I'm getting sick of it already. What I need to do it buy a bunch to pickle so we can savor it in winter.

This was my haul for this week:beet greens, spinach, asparagus, green onions, chives, eggs, and milk. Total cost: $10
(the milk and eggs came from a new little market we have downtown that carries lots of local and organic produce.)
I can't wait until things start getting a little more colorful!

7 comments:

  1. I think that we are going to do our local meal on Tuesdays. I found a local blog with some great links to local food so I am really excited. The farmer's market are a ways away and the closest one is brand new and not very big yet so I am keeping my eyes open for roadside fruit and veggie stands. I would like to start eating less meat, but Jai is such a carnivore. But every little bit is a step in the right direction.

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  2. I also feel the anxiety when I go to the grocery store (not to mention the anxiety attack I have when I put a disposable diaper on my kid). Sometimes I wish that I wasn't so uptight and that I wouldn't get stressed out about things that other people never think twice about, but I guess that just isn't me. I guess it would make my life easier, but not better.

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  3. balance is good... its so hard to do what we are trying to do all the time in todays society with the habits we have ingrained in us and what is available-- we just have to do the best we can and feel good about that and be happy that we do care, and we are trying, and that every good intention we have and each small step makes a big difference and that even though its not easy--jen is right-- its better, and hopefully it will just keep getting easier over time as we do it more and more and encourage others to do it!
    p.s. your local stash looks sooo good!

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  4. That's a beautiful haul! And only $10?? Juliet and I went to a farmer's market yesterday and for the little bunch of asparagus alone they wanted $5.00. Same for a dozen eggs...I guess I was feeling cheap, but I just couldn't do it! Other than those two things there wasn't much more "edibles" available to buy...lots of herbs and flowers, bread was sold out by the time we got there. Sigh. We've got more farmer's markets near us, though, and I'll plan on checking them out later this week.

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  5. I'm hungry reading your grocery haul! I love love love asparagus -- share your pickling recipe! I can't wait till I make it through this month so I can go celebrate organic local growers!

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  6. $10??????????

    I can hardly believe that!!!

    I love the fresh inspiration you're giving to this topic. I'm passionate about it too but it certainly is HARD in the winter.

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  7. Oh how I miss that Saturday market! I loved living in walking distance from it. I think my local goal this week is to find local meat...

    I love the picture from the market! inspiring. -S

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