Friday, July 11, 2008

Locavorish

So, there's a big upswell in the locavore movement these days. It got me to thinking that I've been a sorta-kinda locavore for most of my life. Not intentionally or consciously from a "cause" standpoint, but just from life. I mean, I was seven when my parents bought the farm (um, that'd be literally, they really bought a farm, not figuratively as in "kicked the bucket") and we ate what we grew from that point on - vegetables from the gardens, fruit from the trees (including the BEST plums EVER until the plum tree went barren, *sob*) and lamb from the barns. Lots and lots of lamb. Lamburgers, lambloaf, spaghetti and lambballs. Mom used to claim that we couldn't tell the difference between ground lamb and hamburger, but sorry, none of us ever believed that! (Let me say that I have eaten lamb exactly once in the 20 years since I graduated high school and moved away from home. Lamb isn't exactly on the menu at college cafeterias, and I have never, ever of my own volition bought, cooked, or ordered lamb in a restaurant.) My mom canned and froze things - what items we didn't grow we'd go pick our own or buy from neighboring farms, like corn and peaches - and we used to trade a lamb for a pig, so we'd get fresh meat that way too (including the Best. Bacon. EVER. Mmmm, bacon.) We also would go crabbing and fishing down the shore in the summers, and one year we were really way too successful when the bluefish are running - it took over a year to kill that bluefish supply downstairs in the basement freezer. (Like lamb, I have never and will never eat bluefish again. Unless, you know, George Clooney invited me over for dinner and served lamb and bluefish stew. Then, I might eat it.) I mean, we weren't like Little House on the Prairie with Mom churning butter and making her own Frosted Flakes for us for breakfast or anything. We shopped at the grocery store but we did eat as much local food as we could. (We did have an old-fashioned, churn-it-'til-your-arms-fell-off ice cream maker. Dad's favorite recipe for it used strawberries and oranges. It was...........interesting.)

So, flash forward a coupla decades, and I'm locavorish again. We have, as I've posted about previously, a food garden in our little, suburban back yard, as well as a berry patch. (The raspberries and blueberries are just coming in to ripeness, though I'm bummed that the blackberries I got from a fellow Freecycler have not done well with the transplanting - I don't think I'm going to get many berries off them this year. Darn.) I really love going out into the back yard and picking the food for dinner there, like last night when Hubby said "oh, we're out of lettuce" so I popped outside and brought in a freshly-picked head of Romaine that tasted deeeelicious on our bacon cheeseburgers. Oh, and that bacon and hamburger? I buy from a local butcher (almost the Best. Bacon. EVER but not quite what I recall from childhood, but still a thousand, million, zillion times better than what one can buy packaged at the supermarket). I buy all our cold cuts, cheeses and most of our other meats from the butcher. (I get chicken mainly frozen in large quantities from the warehouse club store, as well as the chicken "dinosaurs" that the kiddo prefers. She basically only will eat chicken in some sort of breaded, animal-shaped nugget form. Sigh.) During our area's growing season, I frequent the farm stands within a 5 minute drive from our house, and there I buy our fruits and veggies to supplement my itty-bitty (4 ft x 8 ft) garden. The kiddo and I also do pick-yer-own all summer/fall long - everything from apples to berries to peaches, all right around the corner from our house, fresh, cheap and delish! (Oh, and we have our own, newfangled ice cream maker too - just plug it in and your arms will thank you! We tend to make ice cream following Ben and Jerry's recipe book. Mmmm, Ben and Jerry's!)

So, without consciously trying to be a locavore, I really sort of am to a good degree.
I like knowing where our food is coming from (especially when I'm picking it myself), I like knowing the pesticides that were - or weren't! - used on my food, I think fresh food tastes better and I really like that it tends to be significantly cheaper. I also feel good about supporting local farmers, having been a local farm family myself back in the day. What about you? Do you try to eat locally? If so, why? Convenience? Cost? Cause? Health/nutrition? Other reasons?

2 comments:

Kendrawolf said...

Congrats on being a Saucy Blog this week!

Cher said...

I have my own garden, but an infestation of spidermites has killed all my peas, and done a number on my beans. I still have tomatoes, and there's hope for my zuchinni still....

I have NEVER had lamb, until trying GYRO-BURGERS from the allrecipes website, and now I'm hooked!

I live out west in a tiny town, who wouldn't know a Gyro is even a food item!...So I was pleased as punch to find a way to do them myself!!!! but yeah, our store doesn't always have ground lamb....so it's hit and miss when I can make them...but they're really good, you should try it!