nurturing self-care & community: be a locavore

To my mind there's always been a romance to eating locally. I was raised by artists who gardened, so I have marvelous childhood food memories. Digging potatoes at night, reaching into dark loam to unearth that treasure, smooth and yellowy white, mirroring the full moon. Reaching under the downy breast of the hen and bringing out that treasure, still warm, speckled brown. Gathering wild fiddlehead ferns in earliest still-snowy spring, how amazingly delicious they were with lots of butter. Early morning trout fishing with my father, followed by trout-for-lunch; my mother rolled them in flour and fried them in a big cast iron skillet. That's what "eating locally" conjures for me. I'm very excited that this is a philosophy that many people are beginning to embrace; the rewards of local eating are huge, going way beyond the positive social & environmental impact. The rewards include increasing the sensual pleasure in our lives, connecting more deeply with our place and with the cycle of the year, connecting more deeply with our community, both physically and socially. On a subtle level I believe this kind of connection, when nurtured, leads to a deep and ineffable sense of ease and rightness in our lives which so much entertainment and consumption just won't bring.

I am blessed to live in a place which has always boasted a wealth of beautiful food. The original foods of this place are salmon, shellfish, venison, wild greens like nettles, chantarelle mushrooms, also berries, so many berries. We eat all of these things directly from our wild home. For the last century or so, agriculture has become a part of this place, so home food options now include milk, cheese, and eggs, lamb & mutton, grass-fed beef, apples, and vegetables and herbs galore. The eggs I eat come from hens that I can watch from my windows as they happily forage in the grass. I make blackberry smoothies all year from the blackberries I gather in two or three happy sunny September days right on my own property (the photo was taken last September). Clams and oysters are regular summer fare, after a walk on the beach with a bucket and trowel. What are the foods of your place? Do you know what the indigenous foods were? Do they survive? Do you eat locally? How? How does it make you feel? I'd love to hear.


Madame One Tree said...

What a wonderful post! As I read, the smells of the freshly broken earth came to greet me. I love "digging in the dirt" as we southerners call gardening. I have already harvested blackberries, at least what my pesky little squirrel family didn't make off with. Greens and beets and radishes, okra, swiss chard and an abundance of snow peas early this season. I talk to my plants so I thanked them for providing me with all this wonderful food.

Tomato, cucumber, and zuchini are next to give up the bounty. I can not wait!

Cheri said...

I could imagine and talk about locally grown foods endlessly. One of my favorite local foods is in my kitchen garden beside my back door at the cottage. It is an herb garden. Not only does it nurture me visually all summer long, but also it brings delicious dimension to my food preparations. Instead of looking in my recipe book for inspiration as I prepare supper, I just take my scissors and select flavors from my garden. Something I learned from my father, who loved to cook, was to jam, pickle, and preserve foods in their season. He also used to buy a barrel (wooden) of sauerkraut from a local farmer every fall. We ate that as salad in the winter, or my Mom would cook it in a stew of pork hocks. Some of my best food memories include eating with my dear Woodpoint friends. A favorite treat at their house was a midnight salad of greens picked in the backyard garden by moonlight and tossed with olive oil and fresh pressed garlic.


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