Lessons Learned | Eat Local

I didn’t think 30 Days could go by so quickly. But even more than flying past, these 30 Days have been delicious. Haven’t they? I’ve tried some new and exciting vegetables, new recipes, and amazing local products. And outside my kitchen, I’m growing veggies and supporting farmers with my CSA and Farmer’s Marker patronage. I’ve learned plenty about my adventurous tastes and ability to mix veggies into just about any dinner (chips, quiche, pasta, dips, anyone?). And I’ve enjoyed my local cuisine.

But here’s the most important thing I learned about eating local. It’s not about the veggies or meat or diary or the packaged products. Eating local is all about community. “Local food is a handshake deal in a community gathering place,” writes Barbara Kingslover in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. “It involves farmers with first names, who show up week after week. It means an open-door policy on the fields, where neighborhood buyers are welcome to come have a look, and pick their food from the vine. Local is farmers growing trust.”

I’ve met some amazing people this month: at the Farmer’s Market, at the Ambrose Family Farm CSA picnic, each week when I pick up my share. And discussing recipes with my mom’s group, on a hayride, or in the strawberry fields brings us all together, unified over a shared interest in local food. It’s a beautiful thing, to be unified over something healthy, something so productive, something so completely positive. There is no downside.

So my eating local adventure continues. Tonight we at local shrimp sauteed in local onion and garlic with local grits and roasted baby cabbages. I like cabbage, even more than I like beets. Who knew?