Sunday, 26 June 2011

We Have a Blog!

After reading books by Michael Pollen, Novella Carpenter, Sarah Elton, Alisa Smith & J.B. MacKinnon and many others I seriously questioned where our food came from.  We were already eating fairly clean with very little processed foods being brought into the house and those we did have were considered "treats" or "convenience foods" for days that were crazy busy.  But the more I read the more I wasn't happy buying foods that travelled great distances, had chemicals added to them to make them ripen at a specific time or coated with chemicals to keep them "fresher".

Last summer we made a huge effort to eat locally and to get to know who grew our food.  We joined a CSA with the Kwaratha Ecological Growers and looked forward to picking up our basket of food each week to see what would be included.  We rushed home, laid everything out, starred at it for awhile, talked about what we could do with it, tried to figure out what some things were and then hit the cook books and internet to get ideas.  We learned really quickly to prioritize our CSA food share into what had to be eaten in the first few days and what could last until the end of the week, not wanting to waste anything.  Flash freezing and canning also saved food when we had two shares when our friend was away on holiday!  Neighbours also received food gifts to help reduce the waste.

We enjoyed the summer CSA so much we decided to join the winter CSA and to be really serious about cooking food that was produced within 100 miles of our home.  At first it seemed daunting but we made some accommodations that helped.  Coffee was definitely staying as was chocolate, tortilla chips, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, cheese and oranges from the USA.  We started reading labels on packaging and asking lots and lots of questions to farmers at our local farms and farmers markets and actually found that most of the items we use as staples can be found quite close to home.  Learning to eat in season brought us back to the food of our childhood, lots of potatoes, apples, squashes, onions, carrots, turnips, parsnips, beans, frozen peas and corn.  What we missed the most was the greens and the fresh fruit, oh the berries!  Thank goodness for the freezer in the basements with all those summer berries tucked away.  I think that is was saved us from going a little stir crazy!

Speaking of berries . . . strawberries are now available and we've already consumed 5 quarts of them!  Soon we will be berry picking so we can have those luscious little gems all next winter!
Strawberries from our local farmer in Raglan!

Strawberries and Vanilla Yoghurt, yummy!

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