Thursday, January 21, 2010

lunch, local foods, and seeds

Well, the holidays have come and gone - this year was one of a lot of emotions. On one hand we were in our new house for our first holiday season, but I've still been recovering from my hand surgery so I couldn't pick up any extra hours at work during the busy time - paycheck was lower than usual for this time of year. I was also scheduled for Thanksgiving eve and Christmas night so that put a bit of a cramp in the usual plans. However, it was a very blessed holiday season all around. We attended a wonderful Solstice celebration with our community. Then, I started coming down with a cold Christmas day, so we opted to stay home instead of seeing our friends as we traditionally do. Yummy quiche made with our cheeckens' eggs wasn't exactly traditional but it was certainly filling both physically and spiritually. Lots of happy tears between my man and I sitting on the couch watching the boy and the girl opening their gifts - we finally did it, we have a house.

We've always had a home - anywhere we've lived has been filled with our family's love and that is what truly makes a home. Now we have roots and a connection with this piece of land - we are caretakers of a particular slice of our Mother Earth. It is an awesome responsibility and not one we take lightly. It feels wonderful though. Finding harmony with this particular place both physically and spiritually is challenging, but oh so rewarding. I just hope we don't let ourselves and our kids down by making bad decisions - all we can do is try - that is the true challenge moving out of our comfort zone and trying new things.

I have been researching more about local foods - my friend Wendy (hi Wendy) introduced me to this concept - I mean I've often shopped at farmer's markets and tried to shop at small independent business whenever possible, but I didn't know that there was any kind of "movement". Growing as much of our own food as possible has always been a goal of mine and now that we are here it's a goal we are working toward. First I have to figure out this whole gardening thing.

Not long after moving in to our new house. I read Plenty; Eating Locally on the 100 Mile Diet a wonderful book and then became more committed to eating locally, though sometimes it's hard and I have to admit this is a goal not an actuality. Today I gave the kids clementines with their lunch, not local by any means, but filled with fiber and vitamin C. You see, I've begun taking an online herbalism course with a very close friend and one of the last "chapters/articles" was about supplementation for vitamins and minerals. One of the vitamins most Americans are deficient in is Vitamin C - it is very difficult to get the recommended dosage of vitamin C in our foods alone - I have started drinking a lot of Rosehip tea because it is high in vitamin C and Rosehips are something I can grow here at home (yes roses are the big goal for this spring/summer). However, I'm struggling with the concept of removing a fruit the kids love from our diet because it's grown too far away especially while it is still affordable and most of what's available to me right now is already grown so far away - it's hard to get local vegis. I'm really wishing we had joined the winter CSA now. The goals for this coming harvest is to have a freezer and freeze and can much more local food. I'd love to be able to open a home canned jar of beans and add those to the many soups and stew we make this time of year.

I've discovered a Maine farm that grows and grinds grains into flour! It is in the far north and I would have to mail order, but at least it's the same state, right? Local flour is a big deal, I love making my own bread and did for years, but my hands have not been able to handle the kneading or shaping the last couple of years. Now that recovery is progressing so well, I'm hoping to start making my own bread again soon - it would be really cool to use Maine grown flour.

The seed catalogues have arrived! I just don't know what to choose! Those of you who have been doing this for years, I'm sure you can relate. It really overwhelming and some stuff has already sold out or gone on backorder. Johnny Seeds - my fav - has almost all their potatoes on backorder. I'm planning on getting some graph paper and colored pencils to map out the garden expansion. The gardening bug is buzzing - hasn't bit quite yet, but soon.


  1. Hi, Hope *enthusiastically waving ;)*

    Going local is best done in babysteps, and like you, when I first started (almost) four years ago (and we're not 100% local by any means - even today!), my concern was with certain vitamins, like Vitamin C. The funny thing is that some things that we might not even think about have Vit C - and lots of it. Peppers, tomatoes and broccoli, and one vegetable that's still available fresh picked in the winter in Maine is kale, which is rich in Vit C.

    For locally grown fruit, there are strawberries and raspberries ... and of course the rosehips you're already using. I was surprised to learn that we can grow kiwi in Maine, and it's high in Vit C, too. Peaches, too ;). I like peaches ;).

    The thing I realized once I started localizing our diet is that if I wanted a well-rounded diet year round, I had to do a lot of preserving, and that's why it takes a lot of time to make the transition. That you've started is the important part. Good for you!

    As for bread, I wanted to give you this recipe. It might come in handy for you ;).

    Glad to hear you're healing. I think of you often :).

  2. Thanks Wendy - that's similar to a recipe on the Mother Earth News website that I have yet to try. I'll have to do some experimenting when my beloved is home - he does the clean up for me - cooking together is one of our favorite things to do.