When did the local eating – which now seems entirely normal - begin? Was it our time in Bolivia, when local was mostly the only food we had? Was it with that first North Carolina peach eagerly awaited and lovingly described by my then fiance (and now husband) as we drove from Chicago to Ocracoke, and then consumed in one delicious minute? Was it when we lived in Southern California and bags of oranges awaited us at the weekly market? Who knows? All of these experiences, and many others, feed our now routine local habit.
Since we have returned to Northern Virginia, we have slowly but surely replaced much of what we eat with locally sourced food.
We started out with the farmer’s market. Produce and bread were our main purchases. Berries, apples, asparagus, and peaches were eagerly anticipated and rapidly consumed.
This initial entre was accompanied by a vegetable and herb garden of our own. Tomatoes were the primary focus here.
We began to purchase bacon at the market and slowly purchased more and more of our meat from the market.
Next up was the CSA. Weekly produce deliveries of what was most bountiful. After an underwhelming start, we now rely on the CSA from June through November. The CSA has expanded our produce comsumption and we now look forward to garlic scapes, butternut squash, and bok choy!
Then our local beer garden and market added a local butcher. Now I could get local beer AND meat – my husband couldn’t have been happier – and we discovered a new (and expensive!) love of hanger steak.
And at the beginning of this year we started to have our milk, eggs, and butter delivered. And we soon discovered that we could have milk and cheese and cider delivered too.
So now it seems that NOT eating with a local emphasis requires substantial effort. Tonight linguine with pesto from our garden and a salad from the farmer’s market, last night sausages from the dairy and roasted cauliflower from the farmer’s market, the night before homemade chicken noodle soup made with a hen who used to lay eggs for our dairy and a multitude of vegetables from our CSA….and so it goes.
What might be next?
Have you followed a similar journey to making local food a centerpiece of your diet?