Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Living the Vida Local

So we've got the winter wheat planted. I bought the seed off of Amazon.com, which is where I'm pretty sure most farmers do their shopping. It was just one of those whims the Man and I had. The Man swears he can catch yeast from the air, so who knows--maybe we'll have an entirely local loaf of bread. Well, except for the salt. And the grain bought on the Internet.

As far as I can tell, it's impossible to live an entirely local life, and I have no intention of giving up coffee, sugar, salt or bananas. But we've decided that it would make an interesting family project to try to live more locally than we do now. As oil prices creep up (along with amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere), living locally seems less like a game to play on your way to a book contract and more like a way of life we're all going to have to adopt sooner or later.

Here on the farm, we're starting with food. Hence the pretzels of two posts ago, and the wheat thins I made this weekend, which were a little too delicious. "This tastes like a Christmas cookie!" Jack exclaimed after biting into one). Yesterday I made chicken broth from a stewing chicken I got at the farmers' market. And butternut squash soup, also from local sources. And whole wheat bread made from local wheat. And today, more bread.

In case you were wondering, this is a lot of work. In fact, I'm starting to wonder, why not buy food at the grocery story while the buying is good? If the Peak Oil theorists are right, major chain grocery stores will be a thing of the past in ten or fifteen years (there won't be any oil to fuel the trucks bringing us our tomatoes from across the country)--so why not live large now?

Still, homemade bread is just better, and so is chicken broth made from a chicken you bought from a farmer named Dale. I like Dale. I've bought two chickens from her now. We've bonded. Maybe next spring, I'll give her some wheat.


Re: my last post--The consensus seems to be that too much driving wears a girl out. I've always felt that to be true, especially when it's warm outside. I have no idea how to stop all this driving, though, other than doing a better job of consolidating my errands. What I really need is a personal assistant. Or a wife. Either will do.


If I don't stop eating Almond Joys, I'm going to explode by Thursday. Well, they're tiny Almond Joys, so maybe I'll make it until Friday. Trick or Treat, indeed!


Tracy said...

I love the idea of living/eating locally. I'm not convinced it's entirely possibly either. But I like it.

However, if your bananas arrive from places like Mexico and Paraguay (as they do in Colorado), then my 2c would be: Enjoy! They are the BEST bananas I've had since I left PNG some 25 years ago. *sigh*

GretchenJoanna said...

I bet your family would like it if you started making your own almond joys. They would soon even be JOYful!! (growing the coconut and sugar... another problem)

Pom Pom said...

Gretchen Joanna is funny - homemade Almond Joys!
I find it very inspiring that you and The Man are now wheat farmers. I bought some whole wheat flour three weeks ago - still no homemade whole wheat goodness in the bread basket. Maybe I will knead this weekend.

Gumbo Lily said...

What a good experiment -- growing your own wheat. I have never done that, except at Easter when I grow enough wheat in baskets to make "real grass" Easter baskets. They are very cool.

I do like to make wheat bread, but I buy my flour. There's just nothing like homemade bread in my opinion and it's so much better for you than "store bread."

We're eating locally grown (Homegrown) potatoes and I'm still out digging up buckets of them when I run out. The earth is the best root cellar -- until it freezes. We are eating our own "local beef" and what a treat it is to have freezers loaded for winter.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about your cooking and local eats.


debbie bailey said...

I've heard that if the candy is "Fun Size", it doesn't count. And you're right, it does take a lot of time to make everything from scratch. I guess we just have to pick which things are most important to us.

You can harvest your own salt if you ever go to the beach. I did that this summer and have enough salt to last us for a year or two! Plus it's fun. Your kids would love it.

Angela said...

V impressed that you are growing your own wheat [I daren't tell Bob - he will want to visit and make bread with it]

yes, tea, coffee, bananas and oranges and rice would be hard to give up. I try to buy Fairtrade though

They do not sell Almond Joys in the UK - which is a shame - as it is my surname, i feel I should love to eat them. Whatever they are!

blessings xx

victoria said...

Yeah, about the driving. I'll admit I'm so sick of driving here there and everywhere that lately I find myself hoping I'll loose all my license points and loose my license for awhile. Unfortunately I drive like a grandma so it will never happen.