Sunday, March 18, 2007

Eat Local--from your own backyard

Ok, so I'm planting a garden. Yes, me. And yes, a garden... where plants are expected to grow, thrive, produce edible fruits and veggies, and feed me. It's crazy, right? I mean, I have trouble keeping my living room clean, yet I'm going to keep delicate plants alive. (Trust me, I feel your skepticism).

Those of you who know me well know that each summer I set a goal... something to get me outside and moving around; something new to try. Last year, I took up cycling, trained for a century ride, and bonded with my bike. This year, I'm going to grow my own food.

Besides the satisfaction of learning gardening, it's a small exercise in eating local. If you haven't heard of the eat local movement, it's very cool and growing pretty rapidly. I first read about the movement several months ago when an article about it came through on one of the many e-newsletters I read each day. I was fascinated by the concept and was kind of disgusted to find out the average dinner travels 1,500 miles from field to plate. As a person who is always touting the moral reasons to choose fuel efficient vehicles, I thought it was time to do my small part and grow a few vegetables of my own. I'm also going to make more of an effort to shop at Farmer's markets this summer.

Eating local isn't that simple though. There's a lot of discussion about whether it's better to eat organic foods shipped from miles and miles away or locally grown foods that use pesticides. Time Magazine had a great article about this issue. I think I'd look for local organics, but opt for local non-organic over organic food flown from far away.

I'll keep you posted on my gardening adventures. My first stop is buying this book. It seems like a good beginner's guide. Wish me luck!!!


Loree said...

I'm expecting some tasty salsa. I actually read that Time magazine article... I thought it was pretty interesting. I wasn't aware there was a local vs organic debate until then.

NKYGAL said...

So its the year of the Garden>
Very cool.

I am a little shocked that you have not been to Findlay Market yet. It is a weekend tradition at our house, so much that we are starting to get recognized and are on a first name basis with the Herb guy.

Maybe we can be garden buddies this year - You know, trading veggies that we have too much of? Last year I planted some sqaush and it about took over my entire garden.

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