Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Garden food

"If you wish to truly make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe." (Carl E. Sagan)
I am deep-down, dug-in, diving fast into a new book: "The 100-mile diet". The story chronicles the adventures of a husband and wife as they try to spend a year eating only food local to their dwelling. A quick review would include words like "witty," "fresh," and "honest." Their writing style is only the icing on the cake, however. Their adventures are inspiring.

I am guilty of what most people in North America are guilty of: a very narrow variety in diet. I might spice them up or vary the sauce or change the method of cooking, but generally we eat a steady diet of (vegetables): potatoes, carrots, broccoli, corn, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes and a little squash. Certainly nothing exotic or unpronounceable, and I don't think I've ever bought something at the market I hadn't heard of before. What I find amazing is that authors Smith and MacKinnon are the types to have a wide-reaching diet, and yet day after day of their experiment they came across new, unheard of foods (mostly plants).

Although it is not my desire to take such a drastic change in our own grocery list, my interest in gardening has been tweaked again. I am excited to get down and dirty in my own backyard, sow and reap the food I find on my plate, taste the delectable difference of fresh-from-the-garden food. I'm also excited to branch out a little next year in food shopping, making a better habit to shop at the farmer's market, and also to visit local farms directly. This year the summer passed as a busy time for the business, which meant most days I was with both kids and without a car. Next year, the car issue will likely be solved. And the kid issue, well, I've decided that if I can't take them along, then I will stimulate the local Orangeville economy by hiring a babysitter. It's worth the $10 or $15 - I am seeing that now.

I'll leave you with one more inspiring passage from the book - food for thought (I couldn't resist!)

"My fresh market salad was different. It was human scale. I could relate each item not only to its place but to its specific farm and to the faces of those farmers. Greens from the Landley Organic Growers; eggs from the Forstbauer family farm; garlic scapes from a shy man named Albert. The foods that overflowed our big glass bowl were not only the flavours of spring, but of this particular spring, this unique year with its hard rain and rare glory of sun."

No comments: