i have really fond memories of going to local farms with my family and picking tons of tomatoes and eggplants. eating them fresh for weeks and freezing or pickling (pickled eggplant!) what we couldn’t finish. of course growing up in florida, you can’t really help but eat local, with the mass amounts of oranges, lemons, mangos, avacados and grapefruits literally falling of trees into your hands. i’ve stopped at a strangers house to ask if i could pick their tangerines, and they grab the grocery sacks, press them into your hands and and say “yes, please, there are too many for us to eat.” at my parents place i grew up plucking loquats, mulberries, prickly pears and papayas off the plant and sticking them in my mouth (ok, ok, not the prickly pears. they require use of a special picking tool and complex cleaning to avoid cactus needles in your face).
despite this, markets are full of seasonless imports and most of us have gotten into the habit of expecting anything anytime, i know i have.
but a few weeks ago i went to a workshop on sustainability and education. hearing about so many awesome ideas and projects really got me fired up. my favorite lecture of the day was about economics (a class which i fully slept through in high school and have never revisited) and the local foods movement and it illuminated SO MUCH for me. all of the attendees got a copy of barbara kingsolver’s “animal, vegetable, miracle” which (like her fiction, which i’m a big fan of) was an amazing and engrossing story.
and now, like so many others (thankfully) i am getting amped to go local.
i think the local foods movement should just be called being awesome! i mean, you give your money to actual real people in your community who work really hard doing something they love. and then, you casually get to eat fruits, vegetables and meat that actually taste like fruits, vegetables and meat.
so i’m gradually trying to educate myself on what comes from where here in pennsylvania and starting to research what i can expect to find once i move to gainesville, fl. incidentally i’ve gotten a renewed sense of excitement about cooking and baking.
being back on familiar ground will be nice, things falling of trees will be nice and getting to know the more agricultural central florida will be awesome. yay exciting!