Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Eat Like You Live Here: May

The lilacs are blooming, and my backyard is greening up nicely, so it must be time for May to arrive, bedecked with baskets of lusciously fragrant flowers and greenery. And, truth be told, I'd rather be outside, sprawled in the grass, than in the kitchen.

But since it's time for your May challenge (and mine), I must tear myself away from my rapt concentration on a field of perfect violets and ask: How did you do with April's challenge?

Dear Reader Tina tells me that her local farmers' market is already open (lucky Ann Arbor!) and that she has already made a very fruitful visit. Tina, I'm so jealous! But believe me, I'm counting down (4 weeks from this coming Saturday) until our local market opens.

Aside from digging up and potting some of my Moroccan mint to share with friends, I haven't planted anything new as I won't be working my big garden this summer. I have, though, been enjoying the wild edibles of my backyard as well as the perennial herbs (esp. borage and dill) now making their appearance.

And while I've found some other local snacks (like tortilla chips), I've mainly been concerned with working more local ingredients into my own snack-baking, such as a delectable blueberry-lavender pudding cake or a refreshing new herbal brew.

Now that the warm weather is encouraging more local produce to get growing, here's hoping it will be easier for you to eat local! This month's suggestions include:

1. Visit your local farmers' market or look for local produce appearing in the grocery store. Buy some and enjoy!

2. Look around your area for local food producers that offer tours or at least a somewhat closer view into their operations. Just in a fifty-mile radius from my home, there's a local dairy that offers tours, a world-renowned manufacturer of jams and jellies, two wineries (one of which I've already visited and will tell you more about later), a couple of chocolate makers, and heaven knows how many farms! Schedule a tour -- if not for now, then for later this summer -- and enjoy sampling local foods.

3. Have you planted anything yet? If you're in the area, Crown Point Ecology Center in Bath is having their second annual plant sale on Saturday, May 20th. I may stop by there to pick up a couple of organic tomato plants!

4. Need more inspiration? Locavores has made May their challenge month for eating local as much as possible, and the authors of the Hundred-Mile Diet series have set up their own Hundred-Mile Diet web site.

As always, I'd love to hear your additional suggestions or adventures in eating local -- I'm always open to inspiration.

And until next month, eat well -- and eat local!


At 5/04/2007 10:56 AM, Blogger Christina said...

Hello from Columbus, Ohio! I found your site thanks to my wonderful sister-in-law, and am curious as to where you are in Ohio? My SIL (and her husband) and I (and my husband) have decided to do a CSA this year with a farm south of Columbus. We're looking forward to fresh weekly produce! We're just now learning all of these exciting options for fresh healthy food so I look forward to more of your posts and learning where you are shopping for your dairy products, chocolates, and wine!! Thanks for sharing!! Christina


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