Monday, February 22, 2010

The local food truth...

From the country…

Just today I am implementing a new rule for myself. To do something in the house every day that needs to be done (cleaning and/ or organizing). It is a horrible job but equally satisfying when all said and done. Today was the front hall closet and the fish tank (I did 2 things today and will take tomorrow off.. heh heh).

As I was turfing out random clothes, odd mitts and broken hangers, I came across a bushel basket of garlic from last years harvest. I picked through the basket, tossing the dehydrated, rotting garlic (which by the way, really smells) and keeping the rest. This is the truth of local eating. As you can see by the picture, this ain’t no pretty garlic. It has a purpose though and considering we eat a head of garlic a day here, we love our garlic. We cherish our garlic. No matter what it looks like.

The funny thing is we polished all the primo garlic to sell and we eat the scrappy seconds. This is the truth of being a market gardener. All the pretty, picturesque veggies go out the door and the knobbly stuff stays right here.

We eat about 85% local foods. All the veggies we eat this time of year comes from cold storage, the freezer, or jars preserved from the harvest. We barter/trade with other vendors at market (Mark does this because I am the worst at bartering…) for other supplies such as coffee, mushrooms and the odd loaf of bread.

I do break down though. I buy the odd thing from the discount rack at the grocery store (like the eggplant that made a very nice curry) and purchase some bananas for the kids. How can you live without lemons or limes? The problem for me is during the prime months of spring/summer/fall when our province is bursting with fresh produce why are people buying apples from New Zealand? There is no comparison to a fresh Ontario Strawberry to that of its weak tasteless cousin imported from California.

Just this week though, I had a weak moment at the grocery store and returned home with a head of broccoli. It is during these winter months when your mouth starts salivating for produce to come. It won’t be long now before I am eating a spring salad fresh cut from the greenhouse or a hot skillet of buttery fiddleheads. I can almost taste it.

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