Saturday, September 8, 2007

September is Eat Local Challenge Month!

Try it - you'll like it! Yes, find the day, time, and location of your local Farmers' Market and get down there to meet your local farmers, your friends, make new friends, smell the basil (oh wow, it's almost intoxicating at this time of year!) and buy something!

The web site linked to the title of this blog will inspire you and guide you to increasing the amount of locally produced foods into your diet, whether for a meal, a day, a week or an entire month.

I picked up my half bushel of red sweet peppers this morning from Tantré Farms stand at our local market, plus some beautiful red and yellow stemmed chard and local sweet corn. Then we talked to a young couple bringing an old orchard back to life organically and made arrangements to purchase a bushel of green grime apples later in the month to make our winter's supply of applesauce. After that we signed the petition urging Al Gore to run for President, bought whole grain muffins plus coffee and then sat down to people watch and just drink in the happy atmosphere and beautiful sights and smells.

All this plus dog walking and we were home by 10 am, with my husband now off to pick gallons of tomatoes at our community garden and start canning again this afternoon. I'll pick some beauties to slice and dry. too, as I am having great fun with my new (used) dehydrator.

I have not had time to do any of this years and years. I LOVE being on sabbatical. The house smells GREAT! :-)

I recently read that the Iowa State University Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture concluded in their 2006 economic impact analysis that if Iowans ate five servings of Iowa-grown fruits and vegetables each day for three months, they could help create nearly 4,100 new jobs — more than all the new ethanol plants have created in Iowa.

Now there's a challenge that is likely achievable for most of us in most states, at least at the height of the harvest season. Help your state's economy (which we REALLY need in Michigan), help save your planet, eat delicious and more nutritious foods all at the same time by voting with your fork. I could go on and on and on, but I am really eager to get back into my kitchen and start roasting my organically and locally grown red sweet peppers. I'm looking forward to pulling them out of the freezer all winter long. :-)

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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