One Local Summer – Week 2

color photograph of dinner OLS 2 (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

It’s only week 2 of One Local Summer – which now has its own website! – and I already feel the impact of seasonal eating: no more asparagus, and no potatoes and onions yet. But there are still heaps of leafy greens in their prime, juicy young garlic and garlic scapes, and the newly arrived raspberries.

This week’s local dinner consisted of:

  • Salad: squash, tomato, cucumber and goat cheese

color photograph of cucumber-tomatoe-squash salad (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

  1. the cucumber, squash and garlic scapes were bought at the Brookline Farmer’s Market (walked there) and were trucked there from the fields of the Enterprise Farm, in Whately, Mass (111 miles, as the truck drives – less than 100 miles as the crow flies)
  2. cilantro from my potted herb garden (0 miles)
  3. garlic and herb goat cheese are Capri from Westfield Farm in Hubbardston, Mass (64 miles as the truck drives)
  • Staple: focaccia

color photograph of focacio (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

The focaccia was bought at the Farmer’s Market from Clear Flour Bread, but it was made with non-local ingredients.

  •  Veggies: collard, kale and zucchini

color photograph of collard, kale, zucchini (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

  1. the kale, collard greens, zucchini, garlic and garlic scapes were also bought at my Farmer’s Market and also at the farmstand (my favorite) of Enterprise Farm, in Whately, Mass (111 truck miles)
  2. the tomatoes are hydroponics bought at Whole Foods, but nevertheless local: from Water Fresh Harvest in Hopkinton, Mass (33 miles)
  3. herbs (oregano, cilantro, dill) from the herb garden (0 miles)
  4. butter was bought at Whole Foods but still local – though not in-state: it was Kate’s Butter from Old Orchard Beach in Maine (still only 100 miles away!)
  5. salt and pepper not local
  •  Meat: chuck eye steak

color photograph of steak (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

Yes, there was meat, and I ate it! Though my husband cooked it, really well too. It is naturally raised and 12-28 days aged beef. Wow, was it good.

It was my first meat in over a year. I thought hard about my reasons for not eating meat, and I decided that humanely, naturally and locally raised meat falls outside of those reasons. I’ll write more about this later.

  1. steak bought at the Farmer’s Market from River Rock Farm in Brimfield, MA (63 miles)
  2. butter: Kate’s (100 miles)
  3. salt and pepper not local
  • Dessert: strawberries and raspberries

color photograph of strawberries and raspberries (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

  1. the strawberries were bought at Allandale Farm (3.5 miles from my house – we drove) and are “very local,” though the shopkeeper couldn’t quite say wherefrom exactly
  2. raspberries are from Enterprise Farm in Whately (111 miles)
  •  How did I do?

I did better than last week, if I may say so myself!

I broke out of my old Farmer’s Market mold, which used to cover only veggies, fruits and herbs. This time I also got meat and goat cheese, two food items I will now no longer buy at Whole Foods. Did I tell you how very very good that goat cheese was? Wait, let me show you again:

color photograph of goat cheese cucumber squash tomato salad (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

Over the weekend we visited Allandale Farm – the even more local alternative to the Farmer’s Market – but their offering isn’t very large yet. Will go back there later, though.

I bought some ingredients for this meal at Whole Foods. I am not against shopping there – indeed, it’s a necessity for many non-food and dry-foods items – and I made sure I got their local produce and butter. Still, another point of eating locally (for me) is to buy as directly as possible from the farmer, so that he/she gets the biggest share of the food-dollar. Our Farmer’s Market doesn’t offer butter, but I could investigate a more direct local source of it. As for the tomatoes: they’ll be at the Market soon.

  • Grains, pasta, rice, corn, and beans?

I’ve been following other One Local Summer participants and grains, pasta, rice, corn and beans seem to be the Achilles heel of Local Eating in many parts of the States.

I was happy to see, in Liz’s posting about her garden, that she is growing corn, for cornmeal. But what about bread, and pasta? Is it possible for a homesteader to grow enough wheat, let’s say, for his/her family? I haven’t seen (m)any online homesteaders do it…

And what about beans and rice, here in the North East?

  • Next week

Yoghurt! I’m going to “grow” my own yoghurt!

Join the Conversation

3 Comments

  1. We grow a little bit of wheat each year, but have had much better luck with the flour corn. This year, we’re trialing several varieties of soft wheat, and hopefully we’ll get some decent yields.

    In truth, though, wheat is a pain in the ass… growing (and fighting off the rodents), threshing, winnowing, grinding. All to replicate $.80/lb organic flour at the co-op? It’s hard to see that it’s worth it, really.

  2. Hi Liz,
    I thought as much: growing grains (and I bet rice, don’t know about beans) seems like a lot of intense work, requiring lots of land. And if it’s just for consumption by the homesteader and the family… As you say, it’s not worth it. But does the organic flour at the coop come from a local source?

  3. It’s locally milled, but not locally ground, which is unfortunate. But, it’s still supporting a local business.

    Beans, on the other hand, are wicked easy. We grow enough that we never have to buy any, and they’re actually fun to thresh!

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