Jan 25 - Local Food - Week 1
Written by Christine Laymon of farmfolkways.com, Yellowbird Member
Well, here we are almost a week into my local foods challenge and let’s just say it has been d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s! If the above snapshot of our lunch Tuesday is any indication the meals have been appealing to both the eyes and the palate.
Here we have meats, beef and chicken provided from our own farm, and the beans were grown by an Amish friend and then hulled and canned by me, and the salsa came from our own tomato and pepper harvest this summer. The greens, potatoes, onions, garlic, and dairy products were all compliments of Yellowbird Foodshed and their growers. The corn chips were from Shagbark (also purchased through the Yellowbird Foodshed store) and the corn used to make them was grown in Ohio as well. The only thing not produced by ourselves or another Ohio grower was the zucchini a left over from shopping before the local foods challenge - oh and the herbs. . . although I did use some of my own sage.
We also used our chicken this week to make a stock which then became the base for a chicken stew using a variety of root vegetables, wild rice, spinach, and chunks of chicken.
This week we also made the Seasonal Vegetable Hummus from The Creative Kitchen by Stephanie Hafferty, you can find it on Amazon here. I used our Instapot to steam the squash before incorporating it into the hummus. I would recommend cooling the squash first, which I did not do but will do in the future.
And I used the cabbage included in the CSA box to create sauerkraut which will be ready to eat in a couple of weeks.
Because we have spent many years working to provide as much food for ourselves as possible I choose to make almost everything we eat from scratch, which means extra time in the kitchen. And my insistence on creating things this way is further complicated by the following facts:
I am a horrendous planner, I actually may have a phobia of it, which means that I am always throwing dinner together at the last minute,
I refuse to own a microwave, and
I do not love to cook, seriously, I make a lot of mistakes and burn things and seldom have all the right ingredients.
The only way that I am able to overcome 1-3 and feed my family is because I am very concerned, perhaps even fanatical, about how the health of our environment is affecting the health of our bodies. I want to know where the food I am fueling myself and my children came from and what was used to grow it.
For myself this idea of local foods, of knowing your farmer, of growing and raising and producing things for yourself is not a fad, it’s not a trend, it’s a lifestyle. It is a choice that I made several years ago that now is just a part of who I am and who our family is.
It’s not always popular with my children who often lament that there is nothing to eat here because what they mean is “there is nothing I can eat right now without doing something here.” And it doesn’t mean we don’t order pizza on occasion. Because we do, although I can no longer eat it - but that’s another conversation.
So all that being said, if I can do this so can you, just remember that it will all be ok, every little step in the direction of your goal should be applauded. If your goal is to eat more vegetables - then eat the ones you like, if your goal is to shop locally - start small and with things and people that you like, if you want to farm start right where you are, there is no acreage requirement or skill level or certification needed to begin farming. If you have read this far then chances are you are interested in making the world a better place, and to do that we all must do something, even if it feels like it is the smallest most insignificant of things, just look at how the tiniest grains of sand piled upon each other build a beach.
- Christine Laymon