A good read…and good eats

Last year, we joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) at a local farm. We will be members again this year. Over the summer, it was nice to establish the ritual of visiting the farmers market each Saturday morning as a family, picking up our share of the farm’s produce harvest and interacting with others. My little one loved going from booth to booth looking at the colorful vegetables. Our farmers market offers everything from handmade jewelry and naturally raised meats and poultry to homemade dog treats, spice rubs and honey to fresh-made salsa that doesn’t last past the weekend at home.

In preparation for making use of the bounty of produce that will begin rolling in this May, I am reading, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver. The author (who also wrote one of my favorite books The Poisonwood Bible) and her family moved to a farm and pledged to grow their own food and eat only locally grown/produced food for a year. I have now read a few months into their adventure. The book is full of inspiration for eating seasonally available foods and for not relying on processed foods, lost concepts in the age of the unending aisles of our supermarkets, with produce shipped-in from all corners of the globe. Do we really need to eat asparagus or watermelon in January? As I read the book, I fondly remember summer days growing up on the farm, eating sweet corn and green beans from our backyard and cherries from my great-grandmother’s tree.

I would love to make an attempt at a small vegetable and herb garden this year. What a great learning process for my daughter (and fun for me). So many ideas…

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4 thoughts on “A good read…and good eats

  1. i’m reading a book right now that is making me think alot about the definition of “food” as well…it’s gotten to the point that walking through the grocery store has become a dizzying experience as I realize that things i once thought of as “food” actually are only “food-like substances”. Quite an awakening for me! Though I have to confess to buying asparagus from Peru yesterday…oh well!

  2. I can relate, Ashifa. I am enjoying the book but haven’t exactly cleaned up my eating habits! There is a new book I want to read – “Food Matters” by Mark Bittman. It takes Michael Pollan’s ideas and helps apply them to real life, with a combination of recipes and other info. I have one of Bittman’s cookbooks and like his simple, straightforward approach.

  3. Another good thing to read (not exactly well-written, but good info and fairly entertaining) is “Twinkie, Deconstructed” by Steve Ettlinger. He explains how they make all those ingredients in a Twinkie (and many other processed and even not-so-processed foods) come from – high fructose corn syrup, polysorbate 60, etc. It’ll definitely change how you think about food.

  4. Isn’t this a great book! Eating local is such a worthwhile goal, made much more difficult by the industrialization of agriculture. I keep hoping things will change, and we’ll move back to smaller, independent, diversified farms – the way it used to be. Knowing the producer is the way to go! Victory gardens are a great thing for everyone!

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