Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Getting started

So, I am not going to be creating a root cellar for the winter and subsisting off of what we have saved (nothing, except for some berries), but I am going to start with the following:
1) purchase produce from CSA until Nov. and from the local Farmer's Market which will be twice a month at that point,
2) buy in on a locally-raised steer that was grass-fed,
3) bake my own bread,
4) attempt to make cheese within the next month,
5) buy organic produce that is from Washington or Oregon,
6) buy local organic chickens, eggs and milk,
7) seek out a pig to split with someone,
8) purchased coffee will be fair trade and organic,
9) purchase flash frozen salmon from local fisherman.

I have also decided to add some items in the EXCEPTION area, these are there because I have a 2 year old and I have to make sure he gets the vitamins he needs to thrive. While these items are BIG on the DO NOT ENTER HERE list, I feel I have to get them.
1) Bananas - I will buy organic, but they will not be from here (obviously). He needs potassium and it is difficult to get this in other forms. Also, we need them to keep the diaper happy since he is a fruititarian and loves berries, need I say more?
2) Orange Juice - I get the OJ that has calcium, Vitamin D and A added. He is not a big milk drinker and since we live in a place that is cloudy a lot of the time, we need a little extra D.

We are already doing most of the listed items, I just have to explore cheese making and acquisition of the pig. Nice. Ok, the bread is done...ding!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I love my CSA, really I do. However, I am sometimes at a loss. What do I do with 3 leeks when it is 80+ degrees outside? Or how can I effectively use 2 huge daikon radishes in 3 days? Fortunately, this week when I picked up my 3 leeks and 2 lbs of delicious potatoes, I noticed it was raining. I am going to channel Julia Child and recreate her infamous Potage Parmentier.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Food for Thought

Over the last decade, or so, I have had little blips that made me "watch what I eat". The first was in my Organic Chemistry class at SDSU in 1994. We were discussing the chemical make up of aspartame, a methyl ester of a phenylalanine / aspartic acid dipeptide (thanks Wikipedia). This is also known as Nutrasweet and Equal. At the time, I was learning about this chemical, I had a cup, strike that, vat of Diet Coke in my hand. While I would like to say this made an immediate impact on my decision to finish my beverage, it was hot in the room and the addiction was already set, so I had to finish it.

It wasn't until quite a few years later, when I was on a trip where you were not allowed to bring soda on board the ship since you would be creating extra trash, that reality really hit me. I went without the first day, then I had a blinding headache, which led me to my duffle where I had snuck one on board. Seriously, I hid in my sleeping bag and cracked it open and slugged it down. Not a pretty picture. When we returned to shore, I cut myself off. I am sure the headache was due to a lack of caffeine in my system, but the diagrams from yesteryear came back to me and I knew I was going to cut myself off.

Then I became pregnant with our son in 2002. As mothers-in-waiting know, you can become a bit obsessive about what will actually find its way to your mouth. No more caffeine. No more high fructose corn syrup. No more processed flours. This all sounds good, right? I was ON it! Then our son was born and it was all about what would actually go into his mouth. Overall, we have been pretty good, farmer's markets, CSAs, whole foods, this summer we even started our own garden.

This week my husband and I watched "King Corn", my reading group's selection of the month is "Vegetable Animal Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver, and last month was "Julie and Julia". So you see, I have food on the brain and I am trying to figure out what to do with all of this information. Do I start a movement for eating locally with local moms? Do I put my family on a 6 month corn hiatus (I love a challenge)?

We live on a beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest where farm goods are available and it is possible to have a garden in your yard. So if we cannot make it happen here, can it happen anywhere? So I am pondering how I can provide good, healthy, delicious, local food for my family, regularly and I have a lot to learn. This will be a log of that journey.