It’s one year since that first taste of Lopez Island beef came to our table, a year since I first posted to this blog. What we’ve learned since is that anyone can eat locally, if they choose. What’s less certain is how big of a difference it makes. Some would say that eating locally is a rarefied pastime, the provenance of the leisure class, and they wouldn’t entirely be wrong. Last week I paid ten bucks for a bowl of creamy homemade yogurt and raw honey, perhaps the best I’ve ever tasted. Pure economics would suggest that my yogurt will never save the world.

But to think that eating locally is simply a matter of revising one’s purchasing habits is to mostly miss the point. During our year of local food, I got a lot of dirt under my fingernails. I tried to take life down to the studs. It was a year of baking bread from just flour, water, and salt. A year of salads picked from the garden. Of preserving plums and pepper jelly and experiments with sunchoke bisque. A year of learning to use every edible part of the cow and pig.

Along the way I learned that proselytizing on the salutary benefits of local food is a waste of time. Turns out that what you say matters a lot less than how you feed yourself and the people you love. And I’ve found I’m no more eloquent than the snap peas fattening on their trellis, our big clouds of basil, the backyard stand of kale. So I’m working at being gentle, on toning down the declarative statements, especially after cooking for those who seem strangely unable to understand what they’re eating.

And so the local food adventure continues, with plenty to try in the months and years to come. I’d like to extend our growing season, for one thing. Search out more local grains and legumes. Raise laying hens. Keep a levain for my breads. I’d like to hunt my own duck, because I like eating them so much.

There’s plenty I’ll keep doing too, like growing chard for the food bank and writing about it. Just in case anybody’s forgotten that people still go to bed hungry, and that local food really might just save the world.

For the year by season, check out twelve months of farmers market reports.

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