Monday, September 15, 2008

Food, good food with a little school.

As of 2pm, it all went well. Eldest's Castilian teacher is BORING and the Catalan teacher is ferocious (don't smile till after Christmas); Youngest's new English teacher is no where near as good as last years, who they loved. Apparently she doesn't speak very good English either. Ah well. Both seem basically content.

On to other topics....

I have been reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle, which I am loving and which meshes nicely with the 100 mile diet which I read earlier this summer. Both books are about the importance of living more lightly on this planet, and the way they are discussing it is by eating more locally. The difference between the two books is that Kingsoliver is a GREAT writer, and the 100 mile diet folks were fine. Kingsoliver went into her process with this with a good deal of preparation and knowledge, and as a result ate INCREDIBLY well, honestly they eat such yummy food. oh ohohohoh.

The 100 mild diet folks seemed to be bordering on starvation at first till they got themselves better organised.

That said, I think there is a lot of important information and very important ideas about eating locally, organically, supporting the farmers, specifically the small food growing farmers that are working so hard. Not that large commodities farmers don't need help...more like prayers the way the systems are set against them right now, but we can help the smaller local farmers by where we chose to spend our money and what we choose to eat.

I find this easier is a farming community at heart, and the forn where I buy my fresh locally made bread (thought the wheat comes from I know not where) also carries the tomatoes and beans of whomever is working them in town....and the figs are ripe right now, so everyone has them and cheap. I may try and figure out how to make fig jam....oh that would be so good.

Also my favorite market lady also happens to be a farmer, the only one at our local weekly market, the others have fruit and veg shops and the produce comes from I know not where. My local lady certainly sells more than just her produce, but I walked by her farm yesterday and saw the vines that are going to be feeding us in weeks to come. I am tempted to buy a lot and make can some sauce. I may just try it. Hmmmmm.

Finally, here, I get to find food. While out walking the dog I picked up several prickly pears, which will serve for part of our lunch, as well as several pine cones that I will get youngest to smash open for the pine nuts. mmmm, love those too.

I also found a fig tree, but it is so encased by blackberry brambles I am not sure I am quite hungry enough for that.

In Toronto it is trickier, but there are organic and farmers markets in most neighbourhoods, usually on the weekends, for instance I know that High Park has one, and yes, the produce is more expensive, but it also pays for healthy soil, good food, reduced pollution and emissions, and working farms. That said I am really bad about buying it in Toronto because I am busy and disorganised, but I am struggling to do better about it next year....and if you live there, you could even build up a relationship with the farmer and possibly purchase more in bulk when it is ripe and put it away for later.

Something I have to work at.


Carla said...

I have that book, too. I find the sustainable food movement to be interesting, though I'm not rigid enough to do it 100% myself.

Yes, Kingsolver is a great writer, which helped to make her latest book readable.

Have you read Michael Pollan's two books, The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food?

elPadawan said...

Yes, markets are great for this. And I have also heard of some farmers' initiative where you pay some yearly subscribtion, and every week you get a fresh basket full of local and seasonal goodies.

oreneta said...

Carla, the Omnivore's Dilema yes, and it was great, the other no...about to go put it on my wishlist....literally.

elPadawan, yes indeed there are about a ton of different version of that, some you can subscribe to, some you can do a partial subscription and partial work...etc etc etc, there are lots and lots of opportunities for it there, I don't know so much about here.