I just finished reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Time to ‘fess up: I have avoided pretty much everything she’s every written before this because one of her novels was assigned in my high school — not even to my class, to some other English class — and I’m totally, unreasonably biased against any contemporary author assigned by my old high school. I know. It makes no sense. But I loved Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It’s the author’s account of her family’s year of “eating local” — actually, really local. They grew all their own food for a year, including poultry, and except for things like spices and coffee were completely self-sufficient. Now, I live in a major city, in a neighborhood filled with overpriced trendy furniture shops, three coffee shops within six blocks, enough sushi to induce mercury poisoning… but I’m totally taken by the idea of locally grown, made from scratch.
Perhaps it’s Little House on the Prairie syndrome. As a kid, I checked out one book after another from the library and holed up in our cookie-cutter suburban house dreaming about things like making headcheese and going to the general store for bolts of pretty fabric to make a real dress. Regardless. The book made me remember that what we eat comes from somewhere, not just the grocery store, a fact that I often forget when I’m zombie-walking through the crowded aisles of the Jewel looking for something I could call “dinner”.
Last weekend I went to the grocery store looking for local fall produce, thinking that I could at least start now and find something grown within 100 miles. But I saw asparagus from Peru labeled “farm stand” and apples from New York mixed with apples from Michigan, so I figured maybe that wasn’t my best shot, and I need to hit up a real farmer’s market. Also, Eliina and I are going to this; lemme know if you want to join us.