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Tree Hugger Tuesday: Ode to Summer… FOOD!

July 5, 2012

A special Tree-Hugger Tuesday pictorial edition!


Instead of dispensing sage advice in too many words this month (awwww shucks I know), I decided to simply spread my l-o-v-e for local food, it being July (fuck! already!) n’ all – the time of year when I am head-over-heels for farmer’s markets and PYOs!


Eating local does have significant benefits for your community and your world. Food is typically shipped far shorter distances, grown on a smaller scale and more environmentally conscious, often organic, and buying locally means you put money directly back into the community you live in.  You can also reduce your waste by using your own bags, and it’s not processed (which has high energy costs) or heavily packaged (energy AND waste!).

Now. A word of caution: In my local neck o’ the woods, farmer’s markets have strict guidelines about who can sell, in terms of how far the food is moved, how large the farm is, etc. Not all farmer’s markets have such guidelines, and there are rumors of people buying from stores and selling at markets at a higher price. This, of course, is fairly easily avoided by talking to the organizers of your local market (they almost always have a table or booth) as well as to the farmer’s themselves. Find out where there farm is, how big it is, who runs it, etc. If they’re truly local, they’ll probably be happy to talk with you!


And that’s all I’m gonna say about the environmental and community impacts of buying local food this summer – instead I’m hoping to convince you because food is just better this way by showing you.

My evidence:


Typical day in the life of my counter top… in summer. Tomato n’ mozz with balsamic at center.

… rainbow chard…

… grilled summer squash with Parmesan, basil, and garlic…

… summer greens with strawberries, tomatoes, goat cheese, and almonds…

… local-caught grilled haddock with green beans…

… these are seriously like candy. Like, seriously.

… one of my most favorite/easiest meals: tomatoes, corn, arugula & other greens, sweet red onion, basil, blue cheese, balsamic. Chop and toss. Cheers!

In the photographic evidence submitted here, exactly FIVE ingredients are not local: the almonds, Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and grapeseed oil I use to saute. Everything else I either picked myself, or is from farmers within 50 miles of my house, and people that I know. Yep, even the wine!


And all of it, without a doubt, will drop-kick whatever you buy at the grocery right out the window.


Keep in mind that a great alternative to the market is purchasing a share in a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). I don’t do this because it’s typically far more food than I can handle, and I just love going to the market and picking out my produce. Word of caution: definitely discuss the CSA in depth with the people providing it. CSAs were originally to connect people with their farms and food, and this isn’t necessarily happening any more.

How do you find local markets? Why, THE INTERWEBS! Really, if you live in the US, simply type in “find local farmer’s markets [my area]” and you should find something. Additional nation-wide databases are available at


Local Harvest: http://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/ and their guide for CSAs, http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

Local Farmer’s Markets: http://www.localfarmmarkets.org/

The US Dept of Agriculture even has a directory: http://search.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/

Another great resource for changing how you eat is the Slow Food Movement. Find a local chapter here.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. July 5, 2012 1:53 pm

    Beautiful food pics, I’m hungry now…..

    • July 6, 2012 9:17 am

      Thanks! :D

  2. July 6, 2012 1:50 am

    drooling…

    I host a CSA link party and would love for you to add your link…http://inherchucks.com/2012/07/05/whats-in-the-box-33/. Hope to se you there!

    • July 6, 2012 9:17 am

      Thanks! I’ll definitely check it out!

  3. July 7, 2012 12:02 pm

    Your photos are gorgeous! Love the salad and the rainbow chard. Do you participate in a CSA or buy weekly PYO?

    • July 9, 2012 9:29 am

      Hey thanks!

      I don’t do a CSA as it’s typically too much food for me – and I really like going to the farmer’s markets on weekends anyway. I also do PYOs (Pick Your Own) but mainly for fruit – strawberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches.

  4. July 9, 2012 10:59 am

    Wow, love the photos! I wish I could achieve that in my blog. And I’m totally trying that chopped salad with corn. Amazing.

    • July 10, 2012 1:49 pm

      Thank you! And yes absolutely try the salad – it’s ah-mazing!

  5. July 10, 2012 9:08 am

    The photos are amazing! We have our own vegetable garden at home going crazy. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll have lots of heirloom tomatoes, squash, eggplant, etc. We also have wild raspberries in our pasture and my husband planted blueberries. I’ll have to take some pictures when the harvest comes in.

    • July 10, 2012 1:56 pm

      Oh you win! :D Definitely post some pics! Isn’t summer fab??

Trackbacks

  1. Tree Hugger Tuesday: Eat Local, Be The Ant. « Women Are From Mars

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