Enjoying the Local Bounty
Danielle from Naturally Knocked Up issued the challenge of eating locally for the month of August. She lists four good reasons why we should in her post. I haven’t officially signed up but she definitely made me stop and think. I had that idea in mind as I shopped at the farmer’s market this morning.
I grew up in a small business so I saw first hand how money handed to the business owner went to support that person’s family. I like handing my money to the farmer who grew the food and I also like being able to ask him or her about how it was grown.
We’re fortunate here in the Nashville, Tennessee area to have great farmer’s markets. I drove a bit further to go to the Frankin Farmer’s Market today because they have the best selection of meat – the one closest only has beef and fish. This is one of my favorite places to buy meat:
The bag on the counter is mine. I’ve found that organic meat tastes better and makes me feel better than what I used to buy at the grocery store. When I’ve let it thaw for two or three days (it’s usually only available frozen), and open it, it’s virtually odor free. It smells clean, for lack of a better word. And there is evidence that grass fed beef and pastured eggs are healthier.
I have a pork roast from another seller in the crockpot right now. When I asked about how they grew the pork, it was in their front yard.
This is another booth I’ve bought from before. Another benefit of the farmer’s market is that they often have tips for cooking what they’re selling. I learned about roasting green beans today from the woman here. (Rub with olive oil, add a bit of garlic, salt and pepper then roast at 475° for about 20 minutes until it starts to carmelize.) I bought some of her green beans and will be trying that in the next few days.
My produce purchases today (top photo) made me very happy. I’ve never tried tomatillos before and didn’t know that either they or apples grew in this area but I found both. The tomatoes in the center are heirloom varieties – for those who don’t know, that means varieties that our ancestors grew. Heirloom varieties tend to have more flavor but might not be as pretty as those in the store. I’m ok with that trade off.
Am I going to try eating completely local? I like the idea of it but I wouldn’t be able to eat almonds or avocados, bananas or saltwater fish. I’m going to do my best to eat locally including signing up for a new CSA this winter that will have bi-weekly boxes of greens and winter veggies like broccoli and cauliflower. But I’m not ready to make the total leap into local.