6.10.2008

me and a box of vegetables

I am about halfway through Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. She tells the story of moving to the Appalachian Mountains with her family and living off of the local land. the book is part memior, part persuasion, part recipe book. I like all of those genres, so (no pun intended) I am eating it up.

Her journey is fascinating, but it isn't for everyone. We don't all have a cabin in the mountains awaiting our decision to live off the local land. We don't all have flexible employment that allows to pick and move or tend to a garden on moments notice.

Eating local is tough. And it is economically disputable. Local seems like a fancy buzzword for middle class people to use when hoping to feel superior while sitting on the side of a soccer field. And yet this is my second year as a member of the Three Rivers Community Farm.

I joined Three Rivers on a whim that it would be a fun experiment to eat crazy vegetables that were grown so close to home. These days, my membership is a reason for my sister and I prepare and eat dinner together once a week. It is a way to support independent agriculture. It is a means of being connected with the community around me and reminding me of the farm town I call hometown.

Joining a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm this late in the game is probably a long shot. But you can get on a waiting list. Or visit your farmer's market (Local Harvest can help you find lots of local food sources). Or get in touch with the Slow Food movement in your area. And if the concept of local food totally overwhelms you, check Animal, Vegetable, Miracle out at your local library. Kingsolver might inspire you.

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