Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Summer seasonal eating...

Early summer (May or June)
What to eat/natural abundance:
Summer berries, cherries, early summer squash, shelling peas, roastingchicken, lettuces, plums, salmon

Summer has arrived (June or July)
What to eat/natural abundance:
Honey, sweet corn, tomatoes, fresh lavender, green beans, apricots,salmon, buffalo, beef, homemade ice cream

Height of summer (July or August)
What to eat/natural abundance:
Basil and other fresh herbs, eggplant, peppers, heirloom tomatoes, peaches and nectarines galore, salmon, cucumbers, melons, grapes

Foodsheds and Farmers...

Continuing with my San Fran theme....I read an article from the San Fran Chronicle about a challenge to only eat food within your foodshed. Basically, that means, only eat food that was grown within 100 miles of where you live.

Wow. That is some serious challenge.

However, it got me thinking. I mean really thinking about the way we view our food. For awhile I was really congratulating myself on eating organic. I thought I was so neat, so environmentally conscious, such a "hip" mom. This was certainly a wake-up call.

Sustainable agriculture is different than organic. It used to be that when I bought organic, I could almost always tell you what farm it was from. Now, organic foods come from all over and from really big, really commercial farms. Which, of course, makes it more affordable...more mainstream.

But in order to really "sustain" small farmers and our earth...it makes so much more sense to buy from local farmers and to eat "in season." It's the way we were meant to eat. I want to give small farmers my money, I really do. I don't want to support the Walmarts and the Starbucks of the organic world. I want to support the guys like my stepdad who struggle to make ends meet because he's busy growing the crops that feed the cattle that he refuses to give antibiotics or grown hormones to. The guys who can't afford to certify themselves organic, but they know their cows and feed them everyday.

So after reading this I've decided that I will go to the Trader's Point Farmer's Market every Friday until it closes for the season. I will teach my kids about where their food comes from. I will make every effort to eat within my foodshed and within the season.

Why? Because I think it's best for my body, for my kids bodies and for the earth I live on. Because it makes sense to support local farmers.

Dare I challenge you to do the same?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

San Fran and it's motivation...

I usually visit San Fran a couple of times a year. Each time, I am amazed at the difference between the people here in the Midwest and the people in that city. I am awed by the restaurants, the farmers markets, and the appreciation the San Frans have for the fresh, the home-grown, the beautiful.

Every time I come back, I am motivated to only buy organic, to fix every meal my family eats from scratch, and to spend more money on what goes into our mouths and less on "stuff."

And every single time, a couple of months out from my last visit, I find myself stuck in the same old rut....wondering how I ended up back in the land of tacos and casseroles.

That's when I need to go back to San Fran...to regain my motivation.

Everyone should go to San Fran. Just once. Or, maybe, like me -- a couple of times a year.