Sunday, June 01, 2008

One Local Summer


Every Sunday, all summer long, I will be posting about a meal that we eat that consists of all locally produced food. Everything in the meal, but for oil and seasonings, has to be produced within a 100 mile radius of home. This link will bring you to all of the One Local Summer participants' blog posts, which will be posted there by Tuesday.

Our first meal consisted of hamburgers, salad and roasted vegetables. The grass-fed beef came from our friends at Riverview Farms in Ranger, GA. The salad lettuces and the boiled beets that were cooled and then mixed into the salad came from our farm. The roasted beets, garlic, carrots and onions were from our farm. The turnips (so sweet when roasted), and the radishes in the salad came from Gillen and Jesse's backyard farm. The potatoes were from a friend down the street.
Everyone contributed to the preparation. Gillen and Jesse collected their vegetables. Nicolas drove to the farm, five minutes away, to collect the rest of the vegetables. Once we realized that we couldn't use any of our condiments on the burgers, I thought of a cheese-free pesto that we could make with our basil and garlic. I thought of it, but didn't make it. (I was busy starting a novel. : ) Gillen and Nicolas generously made it, with a cheese version put aside for later in the week.

For dessert we had plums from our farm and strawberries from another local farmer. Gillen ate his strawberries dipped in organic, raw milk that was produced by a local dairy.

We included Tuki in our local feast. She got her own burger.But not enough.


While I did the dishes, I listened to last year's annual "poultry slam" episode of "This American Life", about the tiny bird that is described as representing the soul of France. It is illegal to eat it anymore. Mitterand ate it as part of a huge last meal feast, thinking he was going to die, and when he didn't die he refused to eat again for the next eight days, until he finally did die. The narrator of the NPR story described eating it himself and how conscious and silent he had to be in order to eat it. It is Act Two of the episode. It made me think about how unconscious we all are so much of the time when we eat. We talk a lot about this as a family and as members of Slow Food. Tonight, we were made more conscious of what local really means. We missed our condiments and thought about how much work will go into making them all ourselves. And we talked about what a luxury it is to have this farm and our honey bees and to know local farmers who raise meat.

Later, the farmers hoed, staked the tomatoes and spread fertilizer in the backyard farm, and we talked about what they'll have grown by the end of the summer.
Anyone in the Atlanta area who is interested in getting more local produce, we are part of a large group of organic farmers who sell our produce every Sat. morning at the Morningside Farmers Market. Here is a national web site that can help you to find the local resources near you.

13 comments:

Kat said...

How neat that you can do an all locally grown meal! I think you are right that we do need to be more conscious of what we eat...and where it comes from. Especially with the rise in gas prices, simply getting things locally makes sense.

On Memorial Day, I made strawberry shortcakes (from scratch - which is novel for me!) with strawberries we picked ourselves. Such a sense of accomplishment!

I actually took pictures while cooking...I ought to make that my next post!

Cami said...

How lucky you are to have all that deliciousness so close by! The meal looks wonderful, can't wait to see what else you produce.

denise said...

Awesome. We try to eat locally as much as possible too (but for things like coffee, sugar, etc.). SO delicious. Look forward to seeing what you have each week.

Madeline said...

I've been reading about the Irish potato famine today (started out as research for the book but I got completely engrossed) and have become even more conscious of the history of food as a commodity rather than a local source of sustenance. I am glad that you are all interested in this. I would love to see your strawberry shortcake, Kat. And I think I'll try to post more than one local meal a week - after this novel writing month is over!

Kat said...

We have an issue of Calliope Magazine that is completely dedicated to the Potato Famine (wanna borrow it?)...which Katie read this year when we studied it for history. We both found it really interesting...

Jessica said...

Your local meal looks absolutely yummy! I just found your blog and I look forward to seeing many more of your local meals!

Angie said...

Love the pictures of your meal! It looks delicious. If I had more energy and time :), this would be a great thing to join. We too are trying to eat only locally produced food and are fortunate enough to have quite a few options close to us. It always helps when you can walk into the back yard and fill your basket with goodies, doesn't it?

Tonight we had our own roasted chicken, roasted root vegetables from our garden, steamed spinach and cherry pie from our own cherries.

After our long winters, there is literally nothing like fresh food. Makes you wonder why you wouldn't live somewhere where that could happen more often!

How is the novel coming? Sending you strong writing vibes:)

kelli said...

Wonderful meal! And I know where I'll be traveling to on Saturday mornings :) I'm so excited!

Ché & Fidel said...

just stumbled upon you...what a delight! I'm interested in "unschooling"...I'm a freelance journalist (as well as mum & yogini) in Australia and I've just written an article on alternative schooling. Would you be interested in telling me a bit more about unschooling over an email? look forward to hearing from you,
Jodi x

Madeline said...

Angie, cherries? Your own cherries? Wow. That makes all htat cold somewhat more bearable, eh? We love cherries.

Kat, I have read too much about the potato famine now. But I'd love to read it next LEAD session. Thanks.

Denise, Jessica and Jodi, nice to meet you. Thanks for the comments. Jodi, the unschooling link I have on my blog with Sandra Dodd's web site is fantastic. But I'll email you later too.

Madeline said...

Kelli, the market is not near Gainesville. : ( But we will find other excuses to get together and give you vegetables. Are you here right now house hunting?!!

kelli said...

Yep, I know :) I map quested it, but you're still probably going to see me and Wendy down there. It's 56 minutes :) And yes we are in Cumming right now and I think we found a house, Yay!

Madeline said...

Kelli! That is so exciting, on both counts - a house for you , here in GA and the fact that I'll see you guys at our market. It's surreal!