For a few years now, there has been this movement to support local farmers as to that of food or ingredients from across the continent or the globe. Some people set a parameter of mileage or neighboring states as a standard.
I like to think that I do my part in all ways of life from conservative spending to volunteer work, recycling, gardening and supporting organic farming as well as local farmers.
I appreciate the labor intensive work of farmers. Lord knows, I’ve gardened for years and am familiar with the small-scale losses I have endured. As small as they were in comparison, it was large to my bank account, back, and my ego. My garden has reduced from what used to be a manageable 14 beds in a field down below the house to an even more manageable two terrace garden outside my home as I meander through my Golden Age.
This said, there are times that I will purchase items that are not local and even from the Green Giant. Every year, I attempt to grow my own tomatoes in hopes that I will gain a harvest, but the region I live in is not the greatest for a prolific crop. I once used a pesticide on my tomatoes and immediately after, ran home, showered and completed a full-scale intestinal cleansing. Only to have the tomato plants die anyway. So, I buy Muir Glen Organic canned tomatoes shipped from California or fresh tomatoes from a local gardener when in season and can a few jars of my own. Occasionally, I get a few tomatoes from my own garden.
Regarding buying from local farmers. Provided their pricing is reasonable, I will pay extra but only within reason. I will indeed support an up and coming coop by helping them defray the initial costs of establishing a new crop that eventually becomes the local ingredient that supplies an entire eastern coastline.
However, I’m finding that there is a shift in trends supporting local farms and these local farmers are showing their capitalist side by taking advantage of this new trend. Not that I am against Capitalism, it’s good for a thriving economy, but price gouging I’m opposed.
One local farm (I won’t name here), is becoming increasingly popular with the Buffy and Jody trend setters from Atlanta, who by the way wouldn’t know the definition of organic if they had to define it, but they heard it was the right thing to do, so do they will. To me, the prices for produce and meat from this farm are ludicrous. The trend setters will pay however, then brag to all their friends about stopping and harvesting their own produce all while the farmer is driving to the bank in his Ranger Rover. If this farm can make more money in the long run, I say go for it. I’ll pass. Encouraging local people to purchase from them won’t happen. Not at those prices.
Gardening and cooking is in my blood. This stage of my life, each morning after cycling for my arthritic knees, I grab a trowel and walk out to the terraces and weed, harvest and enjoy. I feel good about what I do and have done that when I don’t buy local, or do buy organic that came from across the oceans or even the Green Giant, I’m okay with that. This is a huge continent, over 500 million people to feed essential vitamins necessary for good health. Vitamin C only grows in a few states. Be it organic or not, citrus fruit can only be delivered to this large population by ground transportation. If you don’t deliver fruit what about pill form? That too has to travel by road.
Organic Growers from this country have reached across the oceans educating people on good safe practices for making their lands productive. This is providing jobs for people who struggled to find work as well as new ways of thinking on preservation. It has taken many years to change the way people think regarding buying organic, and now to turn our backs on an industry that was expected to prove organic was the only future in feeding this nation, well… it seems an injustice. The public and lobbyists as well as farmers alike should have considered transportation within the large-scale of changing farming practices when they were shoving organic down our throats 30 years ago. After all, fuel consumption was a big deal back then.
The point I’m trying to make here is when you do reach for something off the shelf think about where it came from, how it was produced. If you are concerned with the amount of fuel in the atmosphere or pollution in the oceans, carefully consider how much fuel you use every time you taxi your kids from one unnecessary activity to the next. Or leave a light on, use a hair dryer or run your A/C on full blast. How much fuel was used to transport computers, iPhone, brand name clothing, or designer sunglasses, including hair care and skin products all for the sole purpose of satisfying your vanity.
I want to enjoy my meals and don’t want to limit myself to Kale made 20 different ways. I don’t feel guilty enjoying the recent Copper River Salmon shipped from Alaska because after all Todd Palin and fishermen alike are just trying to make a living. (I’m trying to keep the Palin’s in Alaska) The reason I don’t feel guilty is this. I turned right around and supported the local rock shrimp and catfish farms located in my own state of Georgia.
I’m just sayin’.
I bet you were wondering about the Blueberry Peach Parfait….I didn’t forget.
The past couple of weeks have been grueling for me. I suffer from Diverticulosis. Pockets that form on the intestinal wall. This happens when you get older. I can’t eat things with seeds like strawberries, blueberries and corn. I haven’t had an ” itis ” (that’s osis changed when inflammation occurs) in five years. I knew better than to eat these things, but…out of sight out of mind. In other words, I forgot the pain, extreme nausea and surgery removing part of my intestines. I was hypnotized by all the freshness and that landed me in the hospital and now I’m on antibiotics and restricted to a certain diet. That of which consists of low-fiber meaning no fresh vegetables or fruit …and yogurt. Lot’s of yogurt to replace the bad bacteria. Thankfully, this is temporary and I can resume a high fiber diet without the seeds.
Anyhoo, neighbors called to check in and being the hostess I am, I can’t let anyone come to visit without having something to eat or drink. I have not been to the store and my husband can take care of himself. All I had in the refrigerator were peaches going bad (can’t eat) and yogurt. A walk down to the gate produced a few blueberries from my bush (thank you deer and squirrel). I had a package of granola in the pantry.
It was that simple.
1 1/2 cups Greek Plain Yogurt
Teaspoon of Vanilla
Lemon juice from half lemon
Mix the yogurt, vanilla and lemon together.
Begin layering with granola, yogurt, peach and blueberries. Repeat as you wish.