Thursday, January 13, 2011

Revisiting the purpose of The Goodness of the Garden . . . All the Year Round

Last week a friend who read my blog asked: Where do you get the vegetables during the winter?

From the jars on our shelf.
From our freezer.
From two small businesses that sell local produce.
Directly from area producers.

Fifteen months after I challenged myself to try to eat, as much as possible, from the garden throughout the year, I’ve identified a number of area sources for food that is produced within 100 miles rather than flown or otherwise shipped, sometimes thousands of miles. Yes, I like a banana once in awhile and they don’t grow in Kentucky so I don’t buy them very often. And finding the fruit that I want in the region is my biggest challenge, but that’s only because I haven’t fully transitioned to using locally produced grains. That is part of my challenge for this year. I often buy Weisenberger Mill flour but need to expand my search for additional regional producers.

I began this challenge because I thought it was important not only for the health of my family, but also for our world. We, in the United States, have largely forgotten when foods are in season. We take for granted that we can get whatever we want to eat whenever we want it. We don’t think about all of the energy that is used to transport, grow and package our foods. I think we need to consider those things not only for our individual health but also for the health of our planet.

Besides all of that, I find it highly enjoyable to grow, preserve and cook my own food. In fact, other than the writing I do (writing is as vital to me as breathing) it’s probably the most rewarding thing I do. It provides me with a creative outlet, a way to enjoy the outdoors, produce to share with people who are hungry and plenty of great meals at home.

I’m still learning to live from that wonderful Goodness of the Garden and I don’t anticipate the lessons will end any time soon. Have you learned some lessons about this along your journey? Please share them. We can all learn from one another.

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