In December ’09 I was asked to sit on the board of our local Food Action Coalition, and I agreed. I was excited then about the possibilities in helping local food get to local people, and I still am.
The FAC is something of a hub for what’s going on in our community regarding food. Now you all know me. I think if it’s worth doing well, it’s worth doing online! So part of what I wanted to accomplish was to create a website that would increase the exposure. So, they turned me loose. Here is the result.
There are definitely gaps in it yet, but it’s a happening place already–well, mostly on Facebook to be honest.
Why food action? As you heard me bemoan last week, I couldn’t come up with 100% local food for Earth Day, the first time I’ve given that thought a solid go. Working with food action is helping me realize how many things ‘could’ be grown here in our valley that aren’t. Or things ‘I’ could grow that I haven’t.
It’s nearly time to start planting gardens here. Time to make some changes. Time to get deeper into practicing what I preach. Time to start tweaking what we eat–not massively, but bit by bit.
Also time to celebrate that my daughter-in-law, Jen, has been hired to manage the local Farmers’ Market for the 2010 season. So excited that she and Joel, now done university, are moving back home. 🙂
What’s available where you live? If you google your town and ‘food security’ or ‘food action’, does anything come up? Can you buy local veggies, fruit, meat, or grains? Do you care?
I absolutely care! We can buy almost everything locally here, especially during Farmer's Market season (I LOVE farmer's markets!!), but grain can be tricky since Iowa mostly grows corn and soybeans as grainy crops. The next town over even has a little butcher shop that slaughters local livestock and sells the meat, and there are several egg producers around. Since our area is so fertile, folks here seem to be more interested in finding ways to get our excess food to developing countries. There are articles in the paper about getting locally-grown corn to Ethiopia, for example and every few weeks kids from the church come by asking for food bank donations.
I am a CRAPPY gardener but I really need to learn how to can farmers' market produce. Winter means frozen or imported veggies here, which can get really expensive. I freeze some things every summer, but I should do more.
Grain is always the tricky thing. Our grain CSA, now starting its third season, was the first of its kind in North America. Basically a bunch of people who wanted local grain asked a couple of small farmers if they could pay the farmers to grow for them.
As for gardening, the truth of the matter is that I'm more fond of having had gardened than actually gardening. It's always too hot or too cold or too many bugs or there's too much else to do. If I could afford it, I'd hire a gardener before I'd hire a housekeeper or a cook!
Huh. That was a bust. Both 'food action' and 'food security' got hits for restaurant lists (Subway was #1 on the action list), job search sites, and town council minutes. We have a farmers' market from May to October, and a few signs along the main road outside of town advertising eggs and local produce, but I wouldn't know where to start to look for local meets or grains. The closest I've come on that front is finding rice grown in Texas or Louisiana. Not local, but closer than Asia.
LOL on getting Subway. Wow. Eggs and produce are a great start. Meat…you could look for an independent meat shop? Grains are always a problem. Yeah, rice. If we were truly going to eat 100% local, we'd never eat rice again. Jim might not mind, but I'm not ready to give it up!