Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Our farmers market is the best
I have been making a conscious effort to live a life more "green". Not because NBC devoted several weeks to working it into every story line, but because I feel that it is part of the charge to us as christians. Obviously we have to drive the evil gas guzzler due to the number of kids we have, but I am feeling like lately we are really doing our part. I have been shopping at the farmers market for the last several weeks and have received many benefits from this. My favorite is seeing and shopping with people that I know in a more leisurely fashion, instead of the rush into the grocery store "Hi" that I usually give people. I also love knowing that the food feeding my family has only been off the vine for about 24 hours. From a green viewpoint, my food has only been driven at most 25 miles to reach my table and most items are grown with organic methods. Some people have commented that one gets such a limited selection of food at a farmers market, but isn't that how our families lived for years until we were fooled into thinking that grapes are a year round food? Where does summer squash come from when its not summer anywhere near me? Do I really want to know? What's wrong with making a menu based on what's available instead of what the recipe calls for? I was not tempted to make an heirloom tomato gratin until I saw the beautiful crop of tomatoes that were at my market, but I can assure you that it will be all the sweeter because the fruit came off the vine yesterday. Making an effort to buy locally or even within the state makes a big difference to our economy and to our tastebuds. My kids know now to ask "Where did this come from?", and meeting the person who grew our food is very exciting to little ones. I use my reusable shopping bag and return egg cartons and fruit baskets to the sellers at the market, but I can't seem to get a handle on actual recycling. We have a small amount of space (which is also very green to live in less than 1100 sq ft), but it does present a challenge with what to do with the stuff until I can get it outside to sort it. Fortunately, buying fresh has eliminated the space wasting green been cans and we are using 2 liter bottles for greenhouses as we attempt to grow more gardenia and hydrangea bushes from clippings. And when it comes right down to it, what is better than shucking fresh corn, finding a caterpillar in it, letting the kids play with the worm until the corn is done, and then watching children enjoy what is really good in our lives.