Monday, September 22, 2008

Learning from the "vegetannual"

As you know, I've been enjoying Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle this late summer/early fall and the further I get into the family's journey of through a year of eating only local, sustainable food, I'm having a harder and harder time shopping in a conventional grocer. Just yesterday I ran into the local supermarket for some TP and paper towels and thought, "Hmm... I am out of apples... I'm sure they've got some fairly local ones..." Not quite. The apples I found in the organic section... ugh... I couldn't bring myself to purchase them. Why, you ask? Because they were from New Zealand. New Zealand! Really?

Granted, I know Australia and New Zealand are leaders in the organic and biodynamic farming fields, I was just surprised (yet again) that so many of these supermarket chains continue to ship in these varieties bred to survive travel and provide little in terms of taste and nutrients when there are certainly plenty more local resources.

So... as I looked around and saw asparagus, spinach, pineapples, lettuce, sugar cane and every other product of a plant you can imagine I was reminded of "The Vegetannual" that Kingsolver uses as a guide to lead those of us who are, eh hem, agriculturally-challenged, through the growing season. So many of us have grown so used to picking up a bunch of bananas at the grocer we don't even consider the fact that they have traveled far and wide so that consumers worldwide can enjoy some tasty potassium anytime they please. It's rather greedy of us to expect to have this vast selection year-round, don't you think?

So I departed the shop with my paper goods and drove over to this wonderful stand at the intersection of Route 99 and Bethany Lane, where I found some delicious peaches that offer a unique pinch of pucker with their sweetness. Perhaps I have persuaded you to visit a local farmers market and stick to what is in season right now? Here's what you can expect to find:

Sweet corn
Cucumbers
Garlic
Onions
Herbs
Peppers
Potatoes
Summer squashes
Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes
Eggplant
Melons
Watermelons
Apples
Peaches
Raspberries
Blackberries
Pears

This is a great time of year for shopping your local farmers market. Admit it, that is a pretty tasty selection listed above!

2 comments:

Holly said...

I've joined a farm co-op for next summer. 20 weeks of FRESH fruits and veggies delivered in season. So much that I'll be able to freeze a lot of the veggies we can't eat fast enough for the winter. :)

blog admin. said...

Wow! So happy to hear it. :-)