With all of the green re-emerging from the ground at this time of year, it’s time to either start digging a garden of your own or looking for a local CSA farm. Community-supported agriculture is a great way deepen the connection between your food, your community, and the air , soil and sunshine that ultimately feed you. Going to the farm every week and planting and weeding and then – wow – harvesting your food alongside your fellow “villagers” is fulfilling.
There’s a rootedness that happens when you come full circle, and smelling the rich soil warmed by the sun is food for your heart. In my (previous) neck of the woods, there’s Happy Heart Farm and Grant Farms. There’s probably one near you – search Local Harvest for the nearest.
Eating locally is a hot topic these days, it’s kind of hip and green and healthy. It wasn’t really that long ago that there wasn’t even a choice of eating whatever, whenever, from wherever all of it comes from. People took responsibility for their food supplies and grew or gathered or hunted most of what they ate. They made their meals. They cooked the soup, baked the bread, gathered the greens.
How many times each week do most people eat homemade meals?
I mean from scratch, as my mother would call it, not from a mix or a can or a jar. I know there are those who boil pasta and heat up sauce from a can and call it homemade (I used to be one), but I take it to mean starting with the basic ingredients and ending up with a meal. I don’t grind my own flour or make my own pasta, but for most dinner-type meals that I make, I start with whole food, not precooked or premixed or heavily packaged food products. I buy in bulk at my co-op, and order cases of fruit or vegetables in season. I’m a rice lover, so we usually have a 25# bag of organic brown rice on hand as a staple, and it makes a good starting point for a meal, hot or cold.
Even if our food is not all from our region, just cooking it ourselves and being mindful of what we are putting in our bodies for fuel and repair and energy is a big step. It’s also way cheaper to eat our own homemade food, and it makes organically grown food a lot more affordable for most of us. I often hear “I don’t have time to prepare food, like you guys. I’m very busy.” Yet there’s always time for one more time sucking distraction or phone call or t.v. show or web surfing…
With all of the money spent on researching and surveying and measuring our buying habits and diet choices these days, I’d be curious to know if there are any statistics out there.
All of my meals this month were made at home. How about you? How often do you eat out?
(I also ate several bananas that came from very far away, at high cost to someone (all of us, I guess), as well as coffee (not even food), also from very far away. I’m not sure what that means.)
Image: thebittenword.com at Flickr