Monday, July 18, 2005

OK, I'll Play

Have you caught wind of the eat-locally-in-August challenge? Life Begins at 30 is flogging this idea, and the rules are fast and loose, if you so desire.
I resisted the notion for a while -- mainly because I'm not much of a joiner, but also because I already do eat very locally for the most part (that's a double-cut ribeye steak from Marin Sun Farms in Point Reyes Station, for example), so it wouldn't be much of a challenge.
Another reason: Both my parents have August birthdays, and I usually go down to Escondido to celebrate. Yes. Escondido. Where the temperatures in summer are surely beneficial to local crops, but where most produce arrives at stores on refrigerated semis from you-have-no-idea-where. So it would be hard to comply, even if I wanted to. (Yes, there are farmers' markets in San Diego County -- even the wonderful, if ridiculously overpriced, Chino Farm road stand. But my mom and dad don't go to them. Oh, I guess if I restricted my diet to avocadoes and tangelos I could pull it off...)
But this year I'm skipping the b-day festivities, largely because my tomato plants need daily attention, and also because our condo roof is being replaced in September, which suddenly seems like a good time to be out of town.

So I'll be around in August, and these will be my goals and priorities:
1. Food will come primarily from Marin County, though I'm perfectly happy to allow a 100-mile distance for things like stone fruit from Capay Valley and fish from the ocean. And if it happens to be 100.5 miles, who's to know?
2. It won't bother me in the least if my morning cup of tea isn't locally grown. I doubt I'll be putting any local tea growers out of business (are there any?) by sticking with Twinings. Ditto with bread. I patronize local bakers, but I don't think Marin has much of a wheat crop.
3. This will be the hard part: I'm going to aim for every meal being local. But it's a given that I'll dine out once in a while, and I can't imagine marching into a restaurant kitchen to inventory the provenance of all their food items.

I know one thing for sure: The tomatoes will come from a 100-foot radius.


farmgirl said...

How about a little mint tea from a pot on your patio? : )

cookiecrumb said...

Well, sometimes I have to censor myself from bragging too much. But yeah, I do plan to have mint tea from the pot on the patio! Already got a bunch of dried leaves in a jar. AND: whereas the Meyer lemon tree consistently produces lemonlets that drop off before they get big (I think it's a self-pruning mechanism), I slice the little things into tiny circles and dry them in the sun. Add a few to mint tea -- kaboom!

Jamie said...

Hi...just dropped by because I am doing the challenge too. It sounds like you've got it going on, local food-wise.

FYI, the only tea grown in the U.S. is local to me, not to you (it's called American Classic and it comes from Charleston, S.C.), so no, you are not putting anyone out of business. ;-)

cookiecrumb said...

Jamie: Lucky you! (If you're a tea drinker, I mean.) Good luck this month. It'll be fun and very educational. I'll go check out your blog, and I'll take a look at American Classic too. Thanks.