Saturday, May 03, 2008

Plenty and the Farmers' Market

I recently borrowed the book, Plenty by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, from the library. It is an interesting account, written by each of them in alternating chapters, of their pledge to eat a "100-Mile Diet" for one year: that is, to only eat foods grown, harvested or caught within 100 miles of their Vancouver, Canada home. It seems, while trying to live an environmentally-conscious and healthy lifestyle, they realized that while they were walking and biking to save gas, their diet of far-flung supermarket foods was driving the equivalent of a fuel-hogging SUV.

The book was especially interesting since I live in the same bountious Northwest area as the authors. Their quests for meat (local fish and shellfish, and eggs mostly), veggies, fruits, sweets (honey), and grain (a toughy out here) were sometimes comical, but very inventive.

This morning my son and I ventured out in the misty rain to the first Farmers' Market of the season. It was almost closing time, and it had rained all morning - not a profitable start for all the poor chilly-looking farmers and craftspeople. Beautiful tulips were available in profusion for $1 a stem or a dozen for $10, but not much variety in produce yet - only rhubarb, leeks, some beets and potatoes. There were also vendors selling homemade cheese, candy, baked goods, and organic beef and pork, and fresh fish and oysters - I think we could easily eat a "100-mile diet" around here already this year! It's fun to watch the changes at the farmers' market week by week as more crops become available. I made a rhubarb crisp! (P.S. I want this t-shirt!)

A fun quote from the book, by Carl Sagan:

"If you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch,
you must first invent the universe."

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