Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Eat Like You Live Here: February

The year is well under way now, as is our challenge to increase our own (and others') awareness of local foods.

In January, I built on some of Matt's excellent suggestions for supporting local food growers and producers that started off small: education and sharing ideas with others, along with taking a closer look at the foods we eat.

How'd you do?

I discovered that one grocery store in town is getting much better at labeling the origins of its produce, and though they're not carrying a whole lot of local fruits and vegs at this point, I did have my choice of two varieties of Ohio-grown potatoes last week, one of which ended up in my Saturday breakfast.

Another local grocery store, though not so great on the produce front, does have a good variety of locally processed foods, especially in terms of cheese and other dairy products from the nearby Amish country.

And though I have yet to visit the local grist mill to stock up on cornmeal and flour, they know I'm coming!

On top of all that, I've had the chance to introduce the topic of local foods in conversation with other people to start making them aware of the issue. One such conversation was with my Fabulous Aunt, who immediately lived up to her nickname by sensing my enthusiasm and asking lots of good questions about why local is better.

So what's next?

Since February is a short month, I won't make too many demands on your time. But since we're coming up to Valentine's Day, why not share your love of local foods in small ways?

1. If you've talked with any grocers or local food suppliers or restauranteurs about wanting to buy local foods, and they've been helpful in pointing out or supplying such things, thank them. Express your appreciation, both verbally (to let them know what they're doing right and to encourage them to do more) and financially (money talks!).

2. Think of ways to express your love of local foods at home. If you have a garden, it's not too early to buy your seeds for the year (think heirlooms! think organic!). And if you don't have a garden, why not plant a few seeds or herbs in pots and keep them on your windowsill? You'll be glad you did when you see and smell green things growing.

3. Why not try making just one dish with as many local ingredients as possible -- perhaps for your sweetheart on Valentine's Day? If you do, please share with the rest of us what you made and what local ingredients you used!

I'm finally starting to make a dent in the local produce stashed away in the freezer and the kitchen cupboards, so I hope I'll have lots of tales of good local meals to share with you throughout the month. I'm also going to find some time to sit down and read the Fedco seed catalog from cover to cover, dreaming about what I'll plant this year.

I'll check in with you in a month!


At 2/06/2006 7:05 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

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