to celebrate the publication of my new book


Our colorful 1751 farmhouse will be open to the public. On view will be many of the projects that are featured in Crafting A Pattern Home along with many other things I have made over the years.

This event will be a celebration of the handmade. I hope the day will inspire you to add some pattern and color to your home.

The event is FREE. Books will be available along with some other things I have made. For more information and directions, see the EVENTBRITE PAGE HERE. Although tickets are not mandatory, it will help me get a count to know what to expect. Hope to see you here in western Massachusetts in May.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Count 'Em and Blogiversary Party Day #2

If you are here just for the prizes, go to the bottom of the post.....

Yes, you are counting correctly. There are three lambs in The Farmer's arms. For a couple of weeks now, there has been a ewe who has been "bagging up." This particular ewe was one of the two who had out of season lambs last September. We could tell she was going to have lambs soon because her "bag" or udder as it is mostly called was starting to droop and get larger and larger. The Farmer has been watching her - hoping everything would go alright.

Tuesday morning, I arrived at the barn to see if there was anything interesting going on. The Farmer was there, trying to figure out if what he was seeing was true. There were three little lambs and he thought they all belonged to this one ewe. We watched for a little while. Another ewe was trying to claim them. After a little more watching the behavior of the mamas and the three lambs, we decided that yes indeed, this ewe was the proud mama of three.

We penned her up and we'll be watching - hoping she has enough milk for all of the lambs. One of the lambs looks a bit smaller and dumber than the other two.

Our sheep don't often have triplets. There are some breeds and flocks that do breed for multiple births. Most of those flocks have Finnish Landrace blood in their lines. Finn sheep often have litters of babies and can have up to 7 lambs. That's not in our game plan. We don't mind twins but triplets can be a lot more work if the ewe doesn't have enough milk for all the babies. We'll see how this goes.

This ewe is the one we call "The Jumper." She can escape any fence, no matter how high. She is always on the other side of the fence which can be problematic - all the other sheep want to be with her. She is also pretty impossible to catch when we are trying to move the sheep in our trailer. There has been many a Tuesday when The Farmer has almost "shipped her." (That means sending her to the auction to sell her.) But then he thinks back about how good she is at mothering her lambs and keeps her another year.

This was not always so. When she was a teenage mother, she wanted nothing to do with her lamb. The lamb died. The Farmer kept her anyway. (The Farmer never gets rid of yearling mothers because he knows that the first time of being a mama isn't easy. Some sheep are naturals at it and others deserve a second chance. He's a patient man, mostly.) Then she started her jumping habit. She was living on borrowed time in his mind. The next year, she had a nice set of twins and did a fine job with them.

And so, The Jumper lives on in our flock. Today, I'm really glad we kept her. This summer when she is making trouble - urging the other 150 sheep to break down the fence and find greener grass on the other side, I might not be so in love with her. I'll say "What do you think? Should we get rid of her?" The Farmer will answer "Sure would like too." I'll answer back "Yeah, maybe." He'll say "But she sure does raise good lambs." And she'll stay on. It's happened many times...... I know...... We repeat the same conversation over and over. The Jumper will stay and she'll raise more lovely little lambs and we'll curse her out and life on this farm will repeat itself. And the neighbors will call "Your sheep are out - they're in our garden." Most likely it will be The Jumper who caused it.....

And so now for today's Blogiversary Giveaway! Here are today's prizes.....

Colorful Stitchery by moi
Kristin Knits by moi
Made from Scratch, Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich - This is a relatively new book about a young woman
discovering the handmade, homegrown life.
All three books are donated by my friends at Storey Publishing.

The question today?: It's all about FOOD! I'm wondering what you think about the Local Food Movement? Do you buy local food? Have you ever heard of the Slow Food Movement? Do you raise your own food? Have you read any books about the source of your food? Do you only shop in large supermarkets? How many times do you shop for food a week? Do you buy fresh or frozen veggies?

Absolutely anything goes here about FOOD. I do not mean this to be judgmental!
I know that this question could be a tough one but there is no wrong answer. If you don't mind, also add your general location - city, town, or region.

Leave your answer in the comments. You have until noon on Thursday to enter. Make sure you leave an easy way for me to get a hold of you. Good luck!


Patricia said...

The neighbors (I live in the country) and I have started a community garden. We plan a variety of crops, tomatoes, broccoli, lemon cucumbers, eggplant, zukes, and melons. It was great to go to the garden and pick the veggies for dinner. Hubby made relish and pickles this year and we are talking chutney in the fall. I hit farmers markets locally on a semi regular basis, so I try to support local food markets, but sometimes it is hard. I don't have a freezer and I really would like to stock it with chicken, veggies and beef as it does take about 1/2 hr and a drive to get to the grocery store. I shop once a week and not all the time am I happy with the produce. as far as reading about food MFK Fisher is one of my favorites, and the nytimes. I would like to eat better and healthier but after a long day, sometimes it is "turn on the oven and let's cook a pizza.

Carla said...

I love Italy and have been a lot and so am aware of the slow food movement ( which I believe started there) I do not have a lot of local options year round near me but do shop them when I can. I also tend to only shop from a small independent grocery store-

Beth said...

Food! One of my favorite subjects. Yes, I love to buy local. My favorite places to shop for produce are two farmer's markets, one right in my town and the other in the next town nearby. Our town's market is quite small, but I love supporting the farmers and gardeners that sell there. I've even thought of growing more herbs to sell there this summer. And yes, I try to grow some food. We have quite a long season here so I can grow some things straight through the winter - collards, spinach, lettuce. I don't run around to lots of grocery stores trying to save with coupons. Instead, we eat fairly simply and I stock up at the local supermarket. Hope to join a buying club this year for items like flour and oats in bulk. Again, thanks for sharing and happy blogiversary, Kristin.

Sarah said...

I live in Vermont. The only processed food we eat these days are crackers, pasta, tortillas, and the occasional box of Annie's. I make the bread. Husband makes the breakfast granola. I can almost shop just the perimeter of the grocery store....sometimes I go down an aisle for canned tomatoes, flour, beans, etc.

We are lucky to live near 3 huge coop stores that feature local food and staples in bulk.

iceboxofpaknits said...

I live in the middle of nowhere in the mountains of NE PA. Our town is lovingly called "the icebox of PA" because of the cold winters and freakish weather we're known to have. We have had a garden for about 4 years now and this year I want to expand and grow lots more because of the economic downturn. I'm making the pledge to do so because of the high costs of food.

Kate said...

I'm reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle right now, and am thinking more and more about this topic lately.

Living in Minnesota, it can be tough to get fresh and local produce during the long winter months, especially with picky kids who want bananas, strawberries and raspberries year-round! (yes, they live in fantasy land) As a family, we're steering away from processed foods - like Sarah said, I'm also shopping the perimeter of the grocery store. I consider it a point of pride when nearly everything in the cart is from the produce section!

I've always gone to our local Farmer's Market (the St Paul market is one of the oldest in the state) during three of the four seasons, and love the freshness of the local produce. Even though it costs more, and we're trying to be budget-conscious in this economy, I'm steering my family towards committing to buying more locally-produced options in meat and dairy. When our market gets into full swing, I'm planning on doing to bulk of our shopping there.

Heather L. said...

How exciting to have triplets!!!

Food is definately a topic I LOVE!! :) I've read a lot on the whole food close to home, organic, etc. etc. I just looked into a CSA near my home (Indianapolis) yesterday, but am finding that I'll have to wait a few years for either the price to come down or our income to go up. We have 7 people to feed in our house on my husband's small income.

Because of my health we have to eat very healthy -- no processed foods, lots of fresh (rarely frozen) fruit and veg, wholegrain, etc.

I shop once a week and it's at Wal-mart. :( I price-match so as to get the cheapest price for all my fruit and veg and other thigns as well. I get one or two items from time to time from Trader Joes (Irish Breakfast tea, olive oil, herbs, and whole-wheat tortillas).

My biggest local/green commitment right now is raw milk. Friends and I take turns driving 1 1/2 hours north each week to bring back 24 gallons of raw milk from a wonderful farm where they take such terrific care of their cows, which are grass-fed. We love the milk and we are certain it is contributing to good health.

Mama Urchin said...

I live in the suburbs in the mid-atlantic. We eat as much locally grown food as we can (produce and meat mostly, things like grains are hard to come by locally). I try to think of our Farmer's Market as the super market. We also have a small veggie garden and this year we are planting berry bushes.

Heart Rock Farm said...

Rather new to living in the country, we are finding ourselves living more and more closely with what we eat. The recent books about local food, my husband's work as an ecology teacher, and living way out here has given us many opportunities to eat more CSA and very local (right from home) food. I just shooed the laying chickens out of my back hall, am about to start one of those no knead breads (see Mother Earth News' website for this great recipe), and the smell of boiling sap fills our front porch right now. Last summer we ended up with so many cucumbers that we are still giving away jars of pickles. We have not eaten one of our sheep yet, but do shear them for wool. It feels good and healthy to teach our three children about the earth, the water, and the sun that ultimately feed us all...

Stephanie said...

I love the local food movement! I'm not yet in the position to buy or grow my own food, but when I do, I'll be all over that! Never heard of the slow food movement or read much at all about stuff.

Kathy Bo said...

Our community is just now planning a garden for us all to share in! It's exciting because not only will we have (local!) fresh vegetables, but several homeschooled children will be able to participate and experience it. We bake our bread with milled wheat flour, and buy organic whenever possible. We're in Savannah, Ga. and love seafood, but only purchase locally caught so we support local shrimpers and fishermen. We have lived unhealthy for so long and are now trying to get on the right track! God bless you for sharing in this way!

Beth said...

When my boys were growing up "slow food" was all we ate. I had a small garden, canned tomatoes and ate fresh all summer long.

We struggle now, with good dinners now that it's just us two. We're both working long hours. I'd really like to get back to cooking.

Kristin, I love your books and blog. I'm working on the fancy cardigan in your Kristin Knits book. I wanted to learn to do Fair Isle by throwing the yarn with both hands. It's coming along nicely.

BarbaraS said...

We are starting a garden at our new house in Allen, Texas. We have had a garden of some kind at every house every year since we married 33 years ago. We have big plans for this garden--berries, fruit trees, herbs, etc. and we plan on freezing and canning. I grocery shop a couple times a week, and our stores stock beautiful produce! We do buy fresh and frozen produce as desired. We would love to buy locally, but it is hard to find local and organic. I recently read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and LOVED IT! We have heard of a local high-end shopping development is planning on starting a community garden and hoping we can be involved!

Anabelle said...

I live in the seacoast area of NH, but will moving soon to norther NH. I am so very excited to have a peice of land at my disposal so that I may grow a large crop of vegi's this year. My father always grew huge gardens when we were kids, and I can still remember having fresh picked corn as an afternoon snack, devine!

I grocery shop once a week as I have a toddler.... I try to buy as much fresh fruit as I can to snack on during the week. We also eat alot of salads which I purchase fresh lettuce and vegi's for. I would definitly be interested in more locally grown foods, but I guess I dont' really know where to begin... I suppose having my own garden this year will be a good start.

Lollie said...

I stop at the local coop to get fresh local produce several times a week. In the summer, I go to the Farmer's Market and I grow our own lettuce, tomatoes and carrots (our family favorites!)

Karen said...

We live in a smaller town in Ontario - and we do all our shopping once a week in a large grocery store about 1/2 hour away. We often pick up small things during the week at the small grocery store in town. In the summer we often hit roadside stands for local produce. During the winter we buy both fresh and frozen vegetables. Thanks for the wonderful contest.

Judy said...

Eat as low on the food chain as you can, raise your own vegetables or buy local and make everything from scratch. Your food bill will be lower and you will be healthier, getting your kids and family involved is the best way to acheive this!

Anonymous said...

I use to have a garden and know that fresh vegtables actually have taste. I shop now at the grocery and only buy fresh or frozen. I work full time and have no spare time for gardens. The grocery store is something I put off till I have no choice.

kroker said...

I live in London in the UK, and try to shop for local and preferably organic/free range food when I can - but it's expensive. Worth it though tastewise, and great to go to the local markets for shopping.

The main problem is availability, I've just had a baby and not beenable to get out of the house much for a few months, and so I've been relying on online delivery service from supermarkets.

It's convenient, but difficult to find out the source of food, esp. veg - before i stopped ordering veg that way, I've had air freighted potatoes from *Israel* delivered... Imagine the environmental cost, and they're not especially nice to eat either.

Hate it. Love it when I get to go to my farmer's markets though, especially for my artesan Irish and UK cheeses. Never thought I'd say this, but i live next doors to France, and I prefer Irish and British cheese. Cheese has come a long way in 20 years in the British Isles and Ireland :)

missknitta said...

We live in Southern California and have a garden where we raise some of our food, and we freeze/can what we can't eat immediately for the offseason. We also go to the farmer's markets and buy in bulk so we can do the same for things that don't grow in our garden.

It's really only been in the last year (after I read "Animal Vegetable Miracle" and "The Omnivore's Dilemma") that I've started really being conscious of the carbon footprint of my food, both what I purchase in the store and what I eat at restaurants and made more of an effort to eat locally.

In answer to your other questions, I have heard of Slow Food (and subscribe to our local chapter's blog), I rarely shop in large markets (almost exclusively at Trade Joe's), I shop once a week at TJs and once at the farmer's market, and I buy both fresh and frozen veggies. Thanks for the contest :)

KPiep said...

We are really fortunate because my parents have always maintained a garden. Every year we can at least expect enough tomatoes and green beans to last a full year! Dad retired last year, and has turned to his garden as a primary hobby, and so who knows what's going to happen this year!

We do have a local farmer's market, but it's pricey. I fully understand and respect the work of our local farmers (as the child of farmers myself!) - but have to recognize that it just isn't in our budget.

However, we've also finally started our own little garden. It's not much, but we hope to use it as a learning experience that we can expand on in the future. Homegrown is just so much better!

Diane H K in Greenfield said...

I live in Greenfield, MA--right next door!

I haven't read any books on the slow food movement, but have heard pieces on NPR and seen articles in the newspaper.

I grew up on a small farm that my parents bought in central CT in 1972. The place was a wreck, but over the course of 20 years, we brought it back to beauty and high productivity (the soils were fantastic). We raised both livestock and field crops, and learned a lot about self-sufficiency as well as the harsher side of farming, i.e. slaughtering the livestock to eat ourselves or for market. We also lived part-time at my grandpa's farm in the south Berkshires, a 38 acre sugar bush (which we absolutely sugared!) and could grow the best potatoes and blueberries there.

So I would say that I have a higher slow food awareness than most people my age.

Now I'm restoring my own small farm, bringing it slowly back to beauty and productivity. It's a big, big job especially without heavy equipment to make things easier. Thank goodness the sheep keep things grazed down when we clear sections for pasture.

We don't eat our sheep, they are fiber sheep, but even so I feel that growing one's own yarn is a localvore venture.

When we moved here, I got involved in local agriculture by joining the food co-op in town and by not just shopping at the seasonal Farmers' Market but becoming very actively involved in its growth and survival. I design, pro bono, the weekly ad in the paper, I work one Saturday each month as the substitute market manager to give the MM a break, I designed the new logo for the Market, and do what I can to help out.

I'd say we shop once per week, trying to gang up all the food shopping to one trip to save on fuel. We shop at BJs for things like diapers, toilet tissue, paper towels, at Stop & Shop for canned items and pastas, and the co-op for everything else (which is quite a lot of items). During the Farmers' Market season, we buy as much as we can directly from the local producers. We make our own bread, muffins, pies, cakes, bagels, etc.

All of these things took time to incorporate into our lifestyle, it didn't happen all at once, but so worth it now that it's routine!

caroline said...

I live in Miami, Florida and in deep southern, rural Utah in a town of 200: Boulder, Utah. It's a town of gardeners, farmers & ranchers and of a locavore/slow food restaurant called Hell's Backbone Grill. We have our own garden and try to buy from local ranchers who mostly raise grass fed and finished lamb and beef. We buy organic as much as possible and use our own and other local free range hen's eggs. We have farmer's market in season and we all barter and swap often. The Ryans give us massive amounts of organic basil and garlic their daughters raise and we give them back a share of our pesto, for example. In Miami I've been a member of Beehaven Farm's Community Supported Agriculture produce group for several years now. There's lots of produce farming in Florida but not a whole lot (though expanding) of organic producers. I or my mom get veggies, strawberries, grapefruit, honey, avocados, star fruit, herbs and eggs from November to April. thanks for the contest, Kristin! you can reach me via my blog or on Ravelry, both under FiberTribe.

Caryn said...

I live in a small town in southeast MN. I try and buy locally when I can. I like to support the small town grocery store if possible. My husband in is the enviornmental sciences so we often have discussions about buying locally and supporting our farmers.

Champagne/StitchPoet said...

I live in NC, but unfortunately not in a country setting. Busy as a bee Charlotte. I love the farmer's markets when they crank up, but last summer I saw a huge tractor trailer deliver the produce to the "farm stand" near my house and it made me feel that the "local produce" was a scam! It broke my heart. I'll be more investigative this spring for the local stuff.

We tried to plant a lettuce garden this year. I'm an arugula nut! Lots came up, but started disappearing. We thought we had protected it from critters with a nice little fence. I walked to my kitchen window to see a deer standing in the middle of our little garden and eating everything. GEEZE! We need to figure out a solution to our problem and start again this spring. We may even switch to the containers on the deck instead of flowers in half of them.

I have only recently learned of the slow food thing. I saw something on PBS. A chef that is going to change the world's wicked ways. I need to learn more about this!

Thanks for the giveaways! It's fun just to read the comments!

xov champagne

maureen said...

Live in central Mass, buy local when I can, love Whole Foods Grocery store because they make it easy by marking things, so if given the choice I buy local. Cannot afford to shop at said store regularly. NEVER use frozen veggies always fresh, I shop as little as possible, every two to three weeks, Make and freeze all my own foods.

Marie said...

Hi Kristin,

First of all, the first bit of lamb we made into irish stew was absolutely succulent!!! Thanks so much for the great product.

My husband and I had been moving away from fast food and prepared stuff for awhile andmade a big leap about a year and a half ago. We removed all the highly processed foods from our pantry, got rid of all white flour all white sugar, anything processed. We now cook just about everything from scratch, and try to purchase, grow or procure all of our food as close to home as possible. We eat in season and organically when possible. But, local sustainably grown trumps organic, mega-farmed food anytime.

This new way of eating and living has really brought us closer to the food we eat and what we want in our bodies. We've met wonderful people, helped support local agriculture, dropped some extra weight, and lowered our cholesterol (mine by 100 points!) We eat meat, whole dairy, lots of vegetables and sweets in moderation (only if home-made without white sugar or white flour). And we feel great!!!

My favorite books to recommend are: "In Defense of Food" and "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver, "Feeding the Whole Family" by Cynthia Lair, "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser and "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon. Thanks for the question. And the delicious lamb!

mamafitz said...

I have never heard of the slow food movement. I live in Wisconsin, and belong to a CSA (this is my 3rd or 4th year). We'll start getting our box of produce in June, and will get it weekly until October, and then bi-weekly until about Thanksgiving. I also get a dozen eggs every other week. I live in the city, so can't have chickens! My middle son and I love to garden, and we plant veggies, like tomatoes, peppers, and his favorite: broccoli. He also tries watermelon each year. We go pick fruit from local farms (strawberries and peas in June, apples and pears in October), and I put up jam. I probably grocery shop seriously once or twice a month, and then quick trips for produce and milk.

Bonnie said...

Congrats to the Jumper on ther lovely triplets! I hope they all thrive.

As far as food goes, I am vegetarian and prefer buying organic foods when I can. This year will be my 13th season as a shareholder at the Brookfield Farm in South Amherst. Farmers markets are fun to go to, but they don't compare to the joys of belonging to a farm, spending lots of time there, and getting to know the people who raise and harvest your food.

The Brookfield Farm is one of my favorite places in the Pioneer Valley (other favorites being the Montague Book Mill and WEBS). Just thinking about it right now I can hear bees humming, see cosmos waving in a summer breeze, and taste the world's best yellow watermelons....

Leslie said...

Living in the woods, there's not a lot of sun but I grow tomatoes, red & green leaf lettuce, dill, parsley and basil in containers that I move around to the sunny spots. My neighbors are generous with their produce (such sweeties!) and we pass a local grower on the way home so patronize him often and well. There's a farmers market in Orange on a weekly basis. It closes around 5:30 which is when I can get there after work so I send the husband over with a list (when he consents to go).

In the winter I purchase frozen veggies, in the bag. I can make any sauces so don't go for the fancy stuff and I already have a steamer thank-you-very-much so don't bother with those fancy pants things. King Arthur flour & I are good friends but I draw the line at making pasta.

While I find myself at Hannaford more often than I like, they have expanded veggies to include some "local growers" and that's what I try to buy.

I eschew the "organic" packaged things since there is no Federal Standard for Organic and anyone can claim to be. If I were at the Greenfield Co-Op I'd believe the organic claim, but not at a major grocery store. I only use local honey and maple syrup and try to get as much locally processed meat as I can afford.

Joansie said...

I try to buy local in season. I'm fortunate that there is a fresh veggie stand on my road. Many years ago, for about 15 years I grew all my own organic vegetables and loved it. Now that I'm a city dweller I had to give that up (sigh). Frech green peppers taste so much better than store-bought.

CrazyAnn said...

Hubs and I recently moved to rural Tennessee just to be able to have an orchard and much much larger garden. Next year we will add a small hobby flock of chickens and maybe rabbits after that. We would love to get to the point of being somewhat self sustaining, buying only the odd items at the store.

I beleive in the slow food movement although I realize how hard it would be for some who are poor and live where they can not grow anything for themselves. We need to rethink how we approach this issue.

kelly jo said...

We do buy local during the summer as much as we can. We have a very large Amish population near us, so that makes it a lot easier (one lady makes the best cinnamon rolls you can imagine!) We also do have a small garden each summer, we're limited because of sunlight, but our deck is full of pepper plants every year. We do the best we can, but we live in an area that has seen tremendous growth in the past ten years, so it's getting much harder.

Anonymous said...

OK, let´s try in simple english:
I live in the North of Germany in a village of nearly 15.000 people. I have a lot of stores to buy food. All kind of food. But all comes from far away. One day in a week we have a fresh marked and there you can find food from our region, but it is more expensive than the food from far away. The best food we have is from a farm near by. The food is -DEMETER- the highest level in Bio-food (I think it´s organic food in english but I am not sure) It´s fantastic. The best taste you can find, but it is soooo expensive. I know they need that money for such a good food, but we are a family of five person, that makes it impossible to buy it.
In Germany you find more and more farmers with good Bio-food. I hope there will be more, so that we can buy the good food more often.

Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland von


Nancy said...

When we were raising our five children, we always had a veggie garden. They all love vegetables as adults. Now that my hubby and I are in "retirement mode" we buy our produce at our local Farmer's Market. Between that source and Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, we eat very healthy. I rarely buy canned or frozen vegetables. Being a Californian, we are blessed to have good sources of fresh produce year round. I just discovered your wonderful blog (thanks, Susan Anderson) and am fascinated by the happenings on your farm. What a lot of work....but what a lot of satisfaction you must feel. Thanks for the chance to offer my thoughts.........

Tracy said...

We try our best to eat what we have in the cupboards. Lately, we have been really good. I am trying to get my husband away from so much red meat, but it's hard. I love to create a dish from things we already have on hand. My favorite past time is reading recipes! We live in the suburbs about 40 minutes from San Francisco. Thanks!


Judi A. said...

I used to live in Michigan and in the summer and fall months frequented the local farmers market a couple of times a week. I enjoyed getting to know the farmers and them me, where they started bagging things for me when they saw me coming, and you couldn't beat the taste of their procucts. We moved to Alabama and the farmers markets here just are not the same. Most of the produce and fruits, etc. are shipped in from other states. I try to visit markets that have local produce, but that's not always possible. Sure do miss it.

technikat said...

I live in the CHicago suburbs. Our backyard is unsuited to gardening - too much shade. In the summer I frequent our local farmstand and weekly farmers market. Yearround, I buy my produce at a small, local grocery store - great variety and frequent turnover of produce. Unfortunately, I can't tell you where most of it comes from. Eating locally would be difficult in this part of the midwest. Not much fruit grows here, lots of corn and soybeans.

I only shop the supermarket for staple items, about once every 2 months.

elizaduckie said...

Ah, this all brings to mind my mother and grandmother again. My Mom grew up on a very small farm in an English hamlet. I was lucky enough to remember being there. It was a delight to me. They didn't have sheep but I've always loved watching the lambs jumping around in the Spring. Hence my love of your blog. Although I'm totally sure that watching the farmer is more fun than being the farmer.

My Mom changed her --and therefore our-- eating habits several times during her life. I remember when she read Rachel Carson's shattering book, after which became an organic gardener and subsequently a master gardener. The title? Sorry-having a senior moment here!

I owe my awareness of the slow food movement, or any other healthy eating habits and interest in same to my Mother and my Grandmother. The latter, whose dogs, BTW, ate the best home made food in history. The 'stew' she used to make for them always smelled heavenly. Their dog biscuits tasted great -- ask me how I know? :)

This is all another reason why I like watching your life through your blog -- to catch up on yesterdays question. I haven't lived in the UK, except for my almost four year stint 15 years ago, for a long time. It brings me back to that time and that place and the important people in my life whom are no longer with me. Thank you for that.

Dianne said...

We raise a big garden and are getting better about eating healthy. I do freeze and can surplus from the garden that helps us get through the winter months. I shop about once a week, sometimes use the coupons and buy a lot of staples (flour, spices, oatmeal,etc) from the local co-op.Just this winter started making whole wheat bread weekly.We're getting our first beehive in a few weeks. Have known about the "Slow Food Movement" for some time.Love the idea that the economic down-turn is bringing us back to a more home centered way of life (something positive from this mess!). Highly recommend the Kingsolver book. Really raises awareness about how our food arrives in the grocery.

Jessica said...

I understand and appreciate the local food movement, and love shopping at the FM when I can, but there are 2 things that keep me from embracing it totally: cost (local food is supposed to be cheaper, but isn't around here, in the Chicago suburbs), and the fact that I sometimes want strawberries in December. Baby steps, I guess...

Nicholas said...

I'm a doctoral student at Indiana University, which doesn't leave me with a lot of expendable time in the schedule to spend on grocery shopping and such. In an attempt to steamline the process, I prepare a menu for two weeks on Friday mornings, usually over coffee and Rachel Maddow. I chart out what I am going to make when, what meals are going to transport well to school for those days where I teach and am in class for a large span of time, and what ingredients I am going to need. Saturday morning, thermal coffee mug in hand, I head out to the Farmer's Market - in Bloomington, we are lucky enough to have the winter market in the cold months as a source for flour, eggs, meats, honey, and other various goods produced by local growers and this tends to be where I begin my shopping. In the summer, when the Farmer's Market is in full swing, I can usually walk away after an hour of shopping with everything I will need, although during the summer I tend to shop for a week at a time. Regardless, I buy what I can at the Farmer's Market in hopes that my purchases will help these local producers continue producing. I usually follow this visit up with a stop at my local grocery, a small, locally owned store with a great selection of organic foods, a lovely wine selection, and delicious coffees. (Notice a theme? I need my caffeine!)

When I get home, I group items by meal: what needs to be frozen for use later in the week, what needs to be defrosted, items that need to be treated in specific ways. It takes up a good portion of every other Saturday morning, but, given my time constraints, actually saves me more time that it costs in the long run.

Anonymous said...

Michelle said,

I'm in the midwest, La Crosse, WI.
I shop at our local Food CoOp, small grocery store and when in season, the weekly Farmers' Market in connection with the CoOp. I also especially enjoy going to the Hmong Farmers' Market, which has not only excellent produce but also the most outstanding cut flowers ever ~ I like supporting these beautiful people who have great produce. We have a small community garden at my apt. building which I look forward to expanding a little in size this year. I also work at our Northside Community Garden, which is tremendous in size, planting, weeding, etc., with the harvest shared with all, whether they can work in the garden or not.
My Mom was gardening organically years before that was even a term used to describe it, so I grew up with garden food and very little processed food in Vermont. I am always on the hunt for the purest foods. Wheat allergy is an issue in my family, so I've always appreciated Food CoOp's for alternative food choices. I read Helen & Scott Nearing's books on back to the land farming and lifestyle.
About 1990, I worked at the Nearing Farm in Harborside, Maine, when it was owned by Lynn Karlin and Stanley Joseph.
Helen Nearing still lived next door in a beautiful stone house. I made dried flower wreaths and worked on garden projects. It was a terrific experience. I prefer to shop with the mindset of buying just what I need for a daily meal or two, its fresher and I'm not that organized to plan six meals in advance. My son & I tend to be snackers so I'm more mindful of making smaller amounts of food at a time. I'm always interested in finding great wheat-free recipes.

Alison said...

We shop farmer's market as often as it comes to town, weekends during the summer and leave the rest of our food to the local family owned grocery store. My family was all about shopping local before it was considered popular. If we could, we would raise and grow our own food since we can't I shop every three days for fresh produce and select meat by what looks good that day. The only frozen veggie I buy is baby peas. I live near Sacramento, CA.

Kate G. said...

The farmer looks like he's playing a lamb accordion! This was an amazing post, Kristin.

I live on the West Coast and there are many small farms just south of me so getting a CSA box of vegetables once a week makes sense, However that sometimes means that I have to be creative with the contents which depend on what the farm is producing that week. I can now cook cauliflower four ways and have developed a liking for cabbage sauteed with walnuts. Never thought that possible.

During the (first) Depression the neighborhood yards were planted with fruit trees, many of which have survived. Meyer Lemon season is approaching and in exchange for fruit I crank out coffee cakes, sorbet and preserved lemon. Some work followed by lots of eating and good company. Not a bad life!

710 East Myrtle Avenue said...

I live in in a small town in Tennessee and buy local produce from our Farmers Market, which operates from May through October. I also grow tomatoes, cucumbers, rhubarb, currants, gooseberries and various herbs in my tiny backyard and wish I could do more. My neighbor has chickens and I get fresh eggs from her whenever I "chicken-sit". This year I'm getting a small freezer so that I can freeze local produce when in season, especially our delicious strawberries. There is a movement towards local food in our community and even our supermarkets bring in local produce and market it as such.

Walking through the Farmers Market early on Saturday mornings with my basket is such a treat. There's not only produce but home-baked and home-made goods and flowers, and usually entertainment by local musicians. My husband and I usually bike there together, which makes it even more special. We've gotten to know a lot of the vendors and "visiting" with them takes a good part of the morning. Can't wait for May...

Karen L. said...

I like fresh if I can get it and local if I can get it. I like it even better if it comes from my backyard but we are on smaller land with not so great soil now so that doesn't always happen. Will be trying some square foot gardening this year. I always like to plant enough to share with friends who cannot plant a garden. There is a slow food movement in my area and I read about it in the local paper (which I hope continues to print). We also have a Fresh Market store which puts out a newsletter with information on what they will not carry anymore due to chemicals or other not so good stuff. They even ask for recommendations as to what to carry or not. All that being said, if I could buy only local foods, I would.

Gail said...

Congratulations on your blog anniversery! I have enjoyed you beening here! Yes, we raise our own food. We raise our own beef, have chickens for eggs and meat, raise a garden and can and/or freeze what we don't eat. We also have planted over the years quite a few fruit and nut trees which provide for us also. Hope your day sis blessed! Gail in Kansas

Peg-woolinmysoup said...

We get our food from a combination of outlets, but try to buy local as much as possible.
I have heard of the slow food movement, and have practiced it all my life. I have always made our bread, love making soups, stews, braising meats and baking! Grew two children who are now 6'2" and 6'5"!
My mother cooked in my dad's lumber camp in winter, so I learned to be a cook of good solid meals. I never make a cookie that is under 2" in size!
Good luck with the triplets. How is Cora and her babe doing? What a wonderful life for Julia.

Anonymous said...

I'm familiar with the Slow Food movement and I try to buy local whenever possible. One of my goals this year is to develop my cooking skills. I've never been a great cook, there was always something else I'd rather do. So this is the year I try new recipes and techniques. I really enjoy your blog as much for the farming as the knitting. I live in Bellingham, Wa.-bluedragon_sjd@yahoo.com

Lisa said...

Grow a few of my own (tomato, pepper) veggies, but mostly shop at a big grocery store.

Anonymous said...

I am becoming more of a Local Food Movement supporter and follower. Happened when I read that the egss I had bought came from west of the Mississippi and I am east of you. We buy local as often as possible and I usually make choices based on what is available locally. Have you ever heard of the Slow Food Movement? Nope. We raise a variety of vegetables in our garden using rotation and sequencing so we don't end up wit more than we can use and give away. Have you read any books about the source of your food? Nope. I shop all over the place, and always have my Veggie Planet shopping bag ready for an opportunity, big or small. I shop when we run out of food to eat, not much of a schedule. I buy both fresh and frozen veggies.

We are in the city and have 3 Farmers' markets on the subway, different days, so I am often hopping on and off to grab something we don't have in our garden. The Farmers are also now bringing, eggs, honey and meat.

Liza the Blogless
Cambridge Mass

Becky said...

I am a single mother in a suburban area. So, I don't have very convenient access to local food. The best we can do is try to make the seasonal farmers' market about a half-hour away.

Every time I see that the fruit I am buying is grown in South America, it makes me a bit jealous that most of my food is better traveled than I am.


Natalie said...

We're equal-opportunity when it comes to food. :) We buy local from farmers' markets, and last year joined a CSA. This year we're going to grow our own in our backyard! I'll be canning and freezing too - we're still eating some of the veggies I froze last summer! But we also buy from supermarkets. Ease and price is also a factor. I haven't read up on the "slow food" thing, but I'm all about "local!" I haven't read any books about food, but I follow a few blogs that cover the topic. I generally shop once a week, sometimes twice (I go where the sales are, so I often pick things up from 2 different stores).

Wendy said...

Food, that is a good question...WHEN we have local produce available, that is about all I buy...I always have a garden and grow a lot of my own produce, to can or freeze. I buy fresh and frozen vege's..and only fresh fruit because my children will not eat canned fruit...I use to get local meat also...I still would like to on occasion, but never have enough money to buy a whole pig or half a cow..so it is supermarket meat, that you never seem to know where it has come from...I DO NOT shop at Krogers for meat anymore, not after seeing the sticker on there that says, "Product of US, Canada or Mexico" I do not know what the "slow food movement" is and have not read any books....It is bad enough knowing what I know about food from news and such without reading about it. with all the hormones and such...I would LOVE to buy only organic, but not financially able...
By the way I live in the Thumb of Michigan...Lapeer County, which is 50 miles north of Detroit....

coffeechris said...

The Farmer holding the triplets is such a great picture. Love the story about the jumper - guess it's the out of the box (or fence) types in all species that make the world go around and make sure it is colorful and interesting.

Food, First I *heart* food and do my best to buy local and grow what I can ....not so easy in the burbs all the time. It is challenging to strive to be healthy, support local and be affordable. I have found Blogland to be a great resource for helping with this challenge.

Renna said...

I do hope the Jumper's lambs don't end up requiring too much extra work for you and the Farmer.

Food. Well, if we were 'well to do', as in, money was no object when shopping, we'd buy strictly organic. We realize the importance of it, yet our pocketbook simply won't support it. Organic is so expensive!

If we lived on a parcel of land big enough to accommodate a garden, we'd at least grow some of our own food. We are planning on putting in a very small veggie garden this summer. We live in town on a standard sized lot, with lots of trees.

Here in Texas, trees are a commodity, as they shade our house from the summer sun, helping keep the cost of our electricity down somewhat when the a/c is running 'round the clock (our summers are scorchers, here).
The downside of those trees is that we have only a tiny little spot which gets a few hours of sunshine per day.

As to eating local, only, I'm afraid we don't. We may at some time in the future, but haven't yet made that leap.

Interesting questions. I look forward to reading the responses of the others!

Beth from Upstate NY said...

I buy from my farmer's market in season. My husband is on a low-sodium diet and that means I have to cook almost everything from scratch. I grow garlic and onions in my backyard but the critters eat everything else.

WandaWoman said...

I live in Denver, CO and mostly buy at grocery stores. I do also shop at Whole Foods and Sunflower Market, in addition to the supermarket. I hope to buy from the farmer's market this spring.

Cher said...

I've grown my own food once before, when I rented the first floor of a house that had a great backyard. I still recall my amazement the first time I ate a just-picked bean: I spat it out b/c it tasted " too beany," if you can believe that!
(I quickly got over it, and learned to cherish that intensity of flavor.)

These days, we live in Portland, OR and are blessed with a plethora of farmers markets, CSAs and the like. Our kids actually love going to the market (something we can't always say about the grocery store).

We're (hopefully) buying our first house this summer. If we don't get in there too late, I'm putting in a square foot garden.

Charlotte said...

I shop mostly at the supermarket but once the season starts, I look for the produce marked from nearby farmers. I'm fortunate that one local big orchard ships its apples and peaches etc. to the supermarket chain as well as opening a small shop to sell direct to the consumer (at the same price as the supermarket). They also do "pick your own" and before gas got so high, my sister and I would go to pick our own apples and peaches. The price remained the same, though, and since the orchard is about 50 miles from me, the gasoline made the cost prohibitive last year. The orchard also has a small farmers market on site and when we go, we shop there.

I tried to grow tomatoes the last few summers but I've given up this year. The squirrels got all my tomatoes. This year they're going to have to find their tomatoes somewhere else. I got seeds for dill, parsley, and lettuce last night and will try to grow them. The soil in my yard is heavy clay so I plant my "crops" in big flowerpots on my deck. This is "farming" in a big city suburb.

RachelH said...

Our small yard in the suburbs of central Ohio isn't suited to growing a garden - more because of the unpleasant neighbor dogs who've attacked our dogs in the past (chewing out a section of the privacy fence to do so) - although I'd really, really love to raise my own veggies. Some day we'll have a place where my husband and I can both have a massive vegetable garden and eat homegrown. There are a few farmers markets around and we occasionally buy from them during the warmer weather, but generally during the winter we go with fresh or frozen from the grocery store.


Two Beans said...

Food -- great topic!
Fresh everything, except for frozen peas!
We belong to a local CSA. My kids and I love to go to get our produce there, so fresh tasting. We grow few things in the garden, mostly ethnic produces that our CSA don't grow. When our CSA is done for the season, Whole Foods is where we go. There are no indepedent grocery store where we live. Now with our severely weaken finance situation, we do have occasionally to go to other supermarkets. We try to do the food purchase once a week. We cook/bake all of our food from scratch, include breads. We generally used vegetables and fruits that are in season. There is something to be said for first taste of asparagus of the season, or just ripe strawberries from the field. I believe as we hold back from using veggies/fruits out of the season, we create this longing that when these things finally arrive, it just taste so much sweeter. We practised slow food even before we've heard of slow food. We laughed and thought that we are not so strange after all.
I can still remember the first time I taste a pea from the garden. Totally blew me away.

Carol said...

I love farmers markets. Having worked on many farms I feel like I kind of know what it takes to have a table full of vegies or displays of fresh cheeses. I've been there! So I love the idea of supporting others who are doing this awsome work. And shopping there is almost like living vicariously that simple hands in the dirt way. sort of like reading your blog is for me. We move every six months or so with my husbands work (all over the western states), so having that sort of connectedness with a community is really lacking in our life. but I feel like I get a little of that when the 'apple lady' knows me by name. Or another farm brings me bulk bags of 'ugly' carrots, because they know i am such a fan. It makes me feel a bit more part of the place. I dream of settling down and growing my own. But right now we are in a new place with a new baby. And my goal has been efficiency. so I am sending my husband with a shopping list once a month. And hoping this summer to do some of that shopping at a farmers market. and hoping to find a good health food store to buy the staples in bulk. I want fast meals. but that means simple not packaged.

Julia said...

We are lucky enough to have a hunter in the family (for venison) and friends who raise beef, pork, and chicken. So our meat is almost always local and free range. Our veggies are as local as possible in the summer, but winter is tough. It's virtually impossible to get affordable organic produce (or organic anything) without driving a half hour or more. I try to feed my family as natural as possible- few pre-packaged foods and "time-saver" meals. This summer we are part of a community garden and I can't wait to taste the results!

Thanks for your blog- inspirational. :)

Anonymous said...

I live in California and am a college student so don't have the most options ony really box stores around here, though we do have a coop on the other side of town, I try to buy frozen produce or to buy what is in season over here in an attempt to buy local.

Jennifer said...

LOVE the triplets. That picture of the farmer with all three is adorable. :D

Food - NowNormaKnits has inspired me to want to plant a garden. BUT we have so many critters and deer that everyone who tries in my area spends more time combatting the critters that I feel it's worth. I also worry about the years of herbicides and pesticides in the "manicured lawn".

CSA - so my solution to the garden was to join a Community Supported Agriculture. The farm will start delivering a box (about the size of a Paper Box from the office supply store) once a week. I'm really looking forward to this experiment. The cost is about $20 a week - and I'm splitting my CSA share with a knitting friend.

I'm really excited about it. I'll definitely be posting about my CSA experience all season long. I can hardly wait.

astoriaAnn said...

Hi -- triplets, wow! They're very sweet.

Okay, food. Yes, we are part of a CSA in spring through fall for fruit, vegetables, eggs, potatoes, garlic, etc.... In the winter we are part of a cooperative buying club that gets the same shipments as the local whole foods but cheaper, but you don't get to choose of course. That is not generally local, but it is organic. It gets us through the winter in NJ.

We go to the farmers market every weekend even though we're part of a CSA so that our kids can be part of the scene, take in the music, and pick something to snack on. The farmer's markets is where we buy our cheese, bread, and sometimes meat (sausage mostly, sometimes chicken pie, pepperoni roll, occasionally a cut of meat, but we're not frequent meat eaters).

We grocery shop at the whole foods. We try to make what we can -- bread, yogurt, soups, sauces, ice cream etc... But we buy some "processed" foods there such as wheat crackers and cereals (and, true confessions, stonyfield yogurt tubes for the kindergardener, he loves them frozen). And staples like flour, cocoa, peanut butter, olive oil and canned tomatoes.

I've read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle. I've read Michael Pollan in the NYT but not his books yet. I don't have a good source for milk (cow or goat) so that comes from the whole foods.

I think your new venture with the lambs is exciting -- wish I lived closer!

anniejs said...

Food and local foods is an ongoing discussion/obsession in this family. I am beyond excited because a long awaited farmer's markets will be starting this week about 2 miles from my house. All produce/foods must be locally grown to be part of the market. On Thursday nights and Sat mornings.

I try to buy local since our local producers have such great stuff and the grocery (also locally owned and who tries to have as much local produce as possible) has a roller coaster selection of good produce. This year we are hoping to make it out to the u-pick berry farm and to Porter, OK for the Porter peach festival. Yum.

In summers past (ie before two young children), my husband and I would have a wonderful vegetable garden--in our Baltimore city backyard. So much tomatoes, peppers and herbs that we gave lots away. Now, it is much harder. We are in a different climate with a longer but harsher growing season. Still working on finding what grows best. In Oklahoma, drought hardy things seem to grow best, that and corn.

Last summer we produced exactly 2 tomatoes and 3 eggplants. Much to our dismay. But to the absolute delight of the family of rabbits who lives in our yard. They are a wiley bunch and can scale fencing. Our wine barrel herb garden however, thrived and we enjoyed fresh herbs well into fall. We might resort to container gardening to thwart the rabbits.

There is a food/farm co-op for the area and there is a lot of produce, farm raised meats, etc. My hope is that this new farmers' market will be a "drop off" for the Co-op and I will be able to sign up this year. I am planning a local foods dinner for a group of parents and friends put on by a local chef who has a farm and only serves locally produced foods. I can't wait.

For now, I am dreaming of Porter peaches and Silver Queen sweet corn. Those are the tastes of an Oklahoma summer.

cat said...

I just started my own garden. We just moved to Alabama and have no idea what there is offered here. My husband doesn't have much patience with things but if I do them then he follows along. We do most of our grocery shopping at walmart right now b/c that is the closest place.
I am starting small with my garden, just veggies that I know we will eat a lot of. And I'm not always the best at keeping things alive.

Deborah Robson said...

Great lambs! Don't put me info for a prize, because I'm already well equipped with your books.

We live in Colorado in a semiarid climate that is not great for gardening of many types, but we grow a bit of our own. We shop locally whenever possible, mostly at farmers' markets (the pros do better at gardening here than the amateurs). We get a few things at supermarkets (peanut butter). We know quite a bit about Slow Food and would like to officially participate in the organization but haven't had the money in the food budget to actually join.

We're vegetarians, so we buy both fresh and frozen veggies. We've read Pollan and Kingsolver's writings on food sources, as well as Nabhan and a few others. Oh, and Lappe. Actually, come to think of it, I've been reading about food sources since the '70s. Maybe because we had a dairy farm and my grandparents owned a small restaurant, for which my grandfather did the meat cutting and baked the cakes? My grandmother did the rest (including many pies before breakfast).

Debi said...

Here in Northern Ontario, it's some times difficult to find local growers/farms that sell fresh produce. However, when we're out and about, we try to travel to the local Amish areas and buy there. We also buy fresh produce at one of our local supermarkets...(once a week) and try to stay clear of the canned goods...just never know what you're buying. And a real treat, if there has been enough moisture over the winter months and spring...is to travel out in the bush to our "secret" spots for fresh blueberries....and occasional raspberries. It's an awesome feeling to sit and enjoy nature at it's finest while we pick berries right from the bush.

Anonymous said...

We live in town, but grow a garden. I grew up on a farm, drinking raw milk and eating fresh eggs and homegrown produce. I buy my food mostly from a food co-op, making my own bread, cooking from scratch etc. You can't beat the taste! Our friends raise sheep and cattle, and we buy meat from them as we know how it was raised. I am a 4H leader and we raise rabbits, and the kids butcher and sell them to pay for their project. It was the only animal project this farm girl could figure out to do in the city! But it was important to me that the kids knew where their food came from, and how to provide for themselves. We go to the fields and pick produce to can and freeze in the summer, as our home garden for our family of eight doesn't quite grow enough :-) I love your website and get both my farm and knitting "fixes" every day when I read it! We are in Medford, Oregon. Terri rtgeroux @ charter (dot) net

Kathleen C. said...

Well you've got a boatload of comments to read here, but since you asked I'll answer too...

I live in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia... prime farming country (animal and vegetable). So from the Spring through the Fall we frequent the Farmers' Market (held twice a week) for our veggies, and maybe some free range lamb and poultry, and all year we get our eggs from a local source. Once a year we get a small freezer full of pork from a friend who raises a few hogs each year. And I grow a tiny bit in our (limited space and sunlight) yard.
I will admit that my eating locally is not motivated by enviromental concerns. It's all about taste.
Local free-range eggs are so good, I can't bear to eat supermarket style. And there's nothing like a fresh tomato still warm from the sun...

You need not include me in your drawing. I do have your two books, and it seems silly to win only for the sake of the one book when someone else might like to receive your two.

Jenny said...

We don't grow any of our food yet, but we are working on putting in a garden. We prefer to buy our food locally through our CSA, farmers market, and friends. But we also frequent Costco and Trader Joe's.

We live in a residential area and can't have any large animals, but I'm trying to convince my husband to let us try raising chickens.

We currently have a fridge full of fresh chicken and turkey eggs that my son gathered at our friends' farm. He also milked their goat and was amazed that the milk came out warm! He loved squirting it straight into his mouth!

We live in Southern CA.

Jennifer K said...

My favorite form of local food is that in my own backyard! But it's not that big, I have limited time (don't we all!), and I live in the city (in the Pacific NW), so honestly, the majority of our food comes from my once-weekly trip to the supermarket, especially in the winter.
I'm not too familiar with the slow food movement. Have heard the term a few times, but haven't taken the time to check it out.

Willow said...

When we lived in Indonesia, a Canadian worker (and expat friend of ours) was helping farmers increase the number of kids a mama goat would produce. He had his eye on this mama goat at the pasar (bazaar) who always had triplets. Eventually he convinced the owner to sell her to him and he used the productive mama in a breeding program at the local university.

About local food--we buy local weekly at our farmers market that sells 52 weeks a year here in Camarillo, CA (Ventura County). We buy our fruite and veggies there and if we need other fresh fruit/veg we usually buy at Trader Joe's (most of TJ's fresh food comes from Mexico, which for us is 'almost' local). We eat frozen corn and frozen peas and mostly our meat is fresh or frozen.

If I could find a local meat producer I would purchase beef and chicken from him but so far we've not found a source.

I grow my own lettuce, herbs, tomatoes and citrus or get it from the 'neighbors' who are anyone who has a citrus tree or avocado tree.

I emailed a local food website to ask how local is local. The answer I got back was 200-250 miles and that's the definition of local I use.

Books? I'm reading Real Food by Nina Planck right now. A cookbook I have used for years and years is The More With Less CookBook by Mennonite Central Committee Press. While the focus of the book isn't local food, it does assume that there is access to local fresh food through home gardens.

The Professor shops twice weekly for bananas and milk and other staples. We don't have a large freezer so we can't store a lot of food.

Megan said...

I live in the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area where the slow food movement is alive and well. Lots of organic farmers and restaurants that try to serve locally produced and inspired dishes. I am trying to get our school to look into Alice Water's edible schoolyard...attempts at gardening in our own, overly shaded yard, haven't gone well

Anonymous said...

If you love sheep you'll love this!


thecrazysheeplady said...

We live on a small sheep farm in north central Kentucky. My neighbors are great gardeners and I raise free range eggs, so we walk back and forth trading produce throughout the year. That makes me happy. There's more to "local" than gas prices. There's also the community and fellowship generated. The person who raises your potatoes might also be the person who comes down to cut up a tree knocked over during an ice storm...

I'm currently reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and was excited yesterday to see a friend of ours mentioned in there - Sue, who raises shrimp off Paris Pike :-). This is a fabulous book and should be required reading for everyone. The price we are all paying (all along the "food chain" - from the migrant workers, the small farmers pushed out, the land and seed stores being mismanaged, the oil usage, pollution from such and the animal pollution generated from abhorrent living conditions...) for the food lifestyle we have been demanding is appalling.

But it's something that we all have the power to do something about - even if it's something tiny and seemingly insignificant - to make a difference.

HOA Mgr Lady said...

i live in almost southern but almost central coast California in Ventura County. We are the frozen lima bean capital of the world. Okay but we smell strawberries! Yum. Fruit stands galore which I use during spring, summer and fall but not as often as I should. I tend to buy scads of fruit when I go because it all looks sooo good.
Love the triplet lambs!

Cami said...

Since I have celiac disease, I have to be really careful with the foods that come into my house. I shop at the supermarket as well as at farmer's markets and natural food stores. We have chickens and geese, so I never buy eggs! I try to grow as many veggies as I can in the summer, though. I shop once a month and buy all the big ticket items, but shop once a week for produce. I'm in the Portland, OR area. I would seriously love to have this book!!

Ellen Gormley said...

I'm in Southern Ohio. I'm a city girl. I shop at a big grocery store. I have a black thumb. However, my DH can grow things and when he grows tomatoes and lettuce, I love it. I don't usually shop at Farmer's markets because I feel pressure to eat the items right away and I try to only shop once per week. To buy/eat fresh, I feel like I have to buy fresh a few times per week.

Nanci said...

So, here I am a regular contributor to the blog, only to find a giveaway going on and I am probably at the bottom of the "food chain" today, along with "The Jumper"
I wonder if she will be able to feed the triplets and if on the other hand an "adoption" could have been done. Do you ever do that?
I used to have a large vegetable garden when we lived on a larger piece of land. Now, though, I grow about 3 kinds of tomatoes and some Indian corn just to look at it and make necklaces with grandkids in the fall.
A great blog as usual. Your farmer is right, she does have the motherly instincts...keep her.

Carol said...

What a great story! I hope all the lambs will be okay with Jumper. (maybe you can make yarn from her fleece and she'll truly be a 'jumper' in more ways than one).
I've been on the Slow Food bandwagon for decades. We eat off our veg patch every year and I freeze as much as I can. I'd like to learn canning but it does scare me a bit. We buy all our beef from a local MA farm and now we have the best lamb source! Only chickens and pig to go - I always buy organic from the grocery store so I can ensure they had a halfway decent life. I'm not sure the 'raised without antibiotics' from Whole Foods really goes far enough. If I know the source of my food, I don't mind non-organic. To me, organic is not the be-all, end-all. Food miles are very important as well.

Donna S. said...

I live in southern Indiana. Shop farmer's markets during entire growing season. Buy a cow from local farmer for beef. Grocery shop once a week. I got 2 Kristin Knits for Christmas- but would appreciate either of the other books. dls1953@insightbb.com

grammynan said...

Oh, my, how we love to grow a vegetable garden each year. Our adult sons are now showing interest and they have read Michael Pollan's books. There is a food market owned my Mennonites very close to my way home from work and I stop there frequently, especially in the fall when my gardening is over and they still have brussel sprouts and squash. Northeast Ohio. Grammynan

Chris said...

I live in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. It is an area that has many fruits, vegetables and grapes for wine. I buy local as much as possible. I have a big garden, shop at the Farmer's Market in the summer, pick at U-Pick Orchards and eat a neighbors' eggs. I have always cooked just about everything from scratch. Love your blog.First saw you in one of the magazines for all your bright colors. I am an art quilter and love color too.

Dawn Brocco said...

Hi Kristin,
I will be putting in my organic heirloom veggie garden this year again. Haven't for 3 years from being sick and having the house on the market.

But I've had a veggie garden for many years, on and off, since I had my children in '80 and '81. I'm a child of the 70's and was into the earth movement since high school - a LONG time ago! and read all the books on related subjects back then. Now I watch all the earth/eco shows on the green channels on cable!

I also did the cotton diaper thing, and made their baby food instead of store bought, long before healthy was in.

I usually grow snow peas, little round zucchini (Ronde de Nice), 2 types of tomatoes, assorted lettuces and bush beans.

Heirloom and/or seeds if they have the ones I want/like. I also have an asparagus bed and they're good for 20 years or so, I think. This year, I'm also going to try short carrots, as we have rocky soil here.

But even if I have to get non-organic seeds or hybrids, instead of heirlooms (heirlooms are SO good), I always grow with just the water from the pond, compost, and manure when needed, nothing else.

It's not a huge garden, but there's only 2 of us now.

In the winter we buy frozen veggies (as canned has so many less vitamins) and steer clear of fruits from other countries - my chemo-laden bod doesn't need to deal with the bacteria.

When we can, we buy from a local-farmer-friendly market, but it's not on the way to anywhere we go, so we tend to shop at our mega food mart which is nearby. But we do try to get there once a month or so.

I'm in Saugerties, NY (in the Mid-Hudson Valley)

diane said...

My "farmer" does most of the shopping and loves to go visit the farmers' market for fresh goodies! We mostly have fresh veggies, but sometimes frozen - almost never canned (though I, not farm-raised, grew up with nothing but canned). He makes absolutely DELICIOUS salads with anything from the garden he can get him hands on. He's planning his summer garden right now.

Thanks so much for sharing the triplets! They are adorable!!

M&M said...

I live in Montana, the NW corner, to be exact.
I am trying quite hard to eat local and have recently found a wonderful source of raw milk (which is illegal to sell in MT!) and am making butter and yogurt and simple cheeses. It is wonderful. I also bake my own bread from mostly Montana wheat. Montana is a HUGE state if you haven't noticed, so "local" isn't always "in state" Actually, Idaho is much closer to me than much of MT.
I truly love how I go to the market less and less and then am not tempted to purchase things that were not on my list! This time of year I must purchase veggies from the market otherwise, we wouldn't eat any...my hope it to have a winter greens garden eventually, but we often get sub-zero weather and will need to be very creative to do so. I don't like the idea of aritificial light and excessive electricity.
Love your blog! Am jealous of your beautiful farm! ~m

Kristal said...

We're making an effort to eat more local food. I live in Salt Lake City on a small lot, but my husband loves to garden. He gardens very intensively; we have six fruit trees, raspberries and strawberries. In the summer we can hardly keep up with the vegetables. He puts up a small hoop greenhouse in the winter to provide greens for our bunnies and to get an early start on spring planting (the pea plants are several inches high now). I've been doing a lot of canning the last couple years so we don't feel like we need to buy fruit from far away in the winter. We buy the fruit for canning from the farmers' market. We've had chickens in the past. When we travel somewhere, we often try to bring home food from that area - like turkey from central Utah or ice cream from the agricultural college. It's fun.

Elizabeth said...

I live in rural Ontario. It is 15 minutes away to several large supermarkets and I do use them. I also plant veggies in season and visit the local organic farms for free range chicken and beef and anything I don't grow. I work p/t at a food shop that specializes in local food sources and can get f/r organic eggs from the farmer who delivers them to the store weekly.(Ironically we cannot cook with them in the store. Provincial Health regulations!) I do try to buy local and seasonal; we do have one food obsession that breaks all the rules - mangoes!

Melissa said...

We live out in the country but my husband & I run a summer concert series and have not been able to garden for many years, but we belong to a local CSA and the farmer is a friend and part of my monthly Craft Night Group. It makes me ridiculously happy to know my farmer! We also buy from an organic farm in PA that delivers locally - clean meat and raw milk mostly. I buy some organic from the local grocery stores and we eat more veg & grain than meat. I'm also allergic to gluten & dairy, so that effects our food buying habits, too.
I've read The Omnivore's Dilemna and I'm very concerned and vocal about food issues. How are we going to feed ourselves? I really hope the new president will address some of the very important problems with the US agricultural scene.

melonkelli said...

We have a couple of garden boxes and we've planted several fruit trees (in addition to the few that were in place when we bought the property). We also subscribe to a local CSA. It helps the whole family appreciate the food on the table!

Randy, Ally, and Wes said...

Growing up in Oregon we either bought from local farms and preserved, or grew it ourselves. I live in Utah now while my husband finishes school, and we don't have the same options--and I hate it. I can't wait to have my own garden when we move back to the northwest.

Anonymous said...

Hello Kristin,
Lovely lamb pictures today. Makes me smile.

Food? Living and working in a suburb of Atlanta doesn't give me much chance for slow food. I make dinner every night for my husband and me, but not from my own garden and few organics. Too expensive and not as easy as going to Publix.

Connie G.

Laura said...

I have read some about the Local Food Movement and there's a lot I like about it.

I live in a tiny rural town in east-central Alabama. Our home sits on a fairly large lot with a field for gardening. A friend who loves to garden, my parents, and my family all garden in the field and share the produce. We also have several pecan trees and we harvest the pecans each year for cooking, baking, and snacking needs.

I do try to buy mostly local food. Many grocery stores in Alabama mark foods made in Alabama so that shoppers will know. I buy during the spring through fall from the local farmer's market, and year-round from the tiny Piggly Wiggly grocery store that is two blocks from my house. (I like being able to walk to the grocery store and I often take my reusable string bags with me for my purchases.)

I buy fresh and frozen veggies, and gladly accept gifts of home-grown and home-canned vegetables and fruits and jams.

Because we are so close to the grocery store, we often shop every day, allowing them to be our "pantry" and "freezer" instead of trying to keep everything on hand in storage.

I used to belong to co-op food buying clubs, but when we moved here there wasn't one. I think our food is just as healthy because we grow it organically or buy local organically grown produce.

My husband wants to start keeping hens for eggs and that would really be the cherry on top!

mascanlon said...

We live in SoCal surrounded by freeways. There are a few farmers markets and lots of strawberry stands so I try and do those when I can but mostly its the supermarket. Oh, I do grow tomatoes most years.
The farmer looks so peaceful with his arms full of lambs. hard to imagine him cursing even the jumper!

Trinity said...

Oh, wow! You picked a good topic here. I am writing from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I have been a vegetarian since I was 12, which means I've been a vegetarian for 18 years now. I come from a meat and potatoes background, so my choices about food were not very popular at first. My family eventually accepted it and since then my sister has become a vegetarian. My parents have each become more adventurous in their eating and are now willing to eat "Trinity style" when they come over for dinner.

I try to shop local and/or organic as much as possible and have also been a member of a CSA. I am not 100% dedicated to local foods, but I think it makes a lot of sense for some items. There are a few things that I am very conscious about when I buy them: eggs and milk. I am willing to pay the premium for local and cruelty free when it comes to these products.

I am looking forward to this summer because it will be my first living near my family again. I anticipate being the lucky recipient of a lot of produce from my family members with gardens. I am also looking forward to buying a home soon and am making sure that there will be space for me to have my own garden.

I could go on and on about this topic, but I will stop here. Food and knitting are probably my two most favorite subjects!


Terri said...

We're in East Tennessee and we grow as much of our own food as we can; in season we shop the farmer's market. Still, we could do a lot more - I'm ashamed to admit how much processed food we still let sneak into the house. :(

Super Careo said...

I live in just south of Kansas City, and I have been shopping in big super markets my whole life. However, I am going to start my own garden this spring and I just moved to an apartment that is down the street from a farmer's market (which is where I plan on doing most of my shopping until it closes down).

My feelings on the local food movement are that it is awesome. In trying economic times like these, I think that it is more important than ever to support our neighbors. Plus the food is fresher!

Anonymous said...

Fresh veggies are a delight in summer when I wander out to the garden and pick them fresh. I love munching on peas, beans, and strawberries while I weed. You could call me a gardenaholic! I love to garden and start planning in January. Each year, my veggie garden looks a little different. I hope to try sweet potatoes this year. Last year, to my dismay, hornworms infiltrated my tomato plants by the hundreds! YUCK!
I put away as many veggies as I can: freeze peas, whole tomatoes, and spinach and berries galore, make dilly beans, make tubs and tubs of pesto! My garden is on the small side, but it's very productive, and organic.

Lorraine said...

I'm a supermarket shopper. Although I believe in buying locally, I don't do it, for lack of time.

I have been known to can and freeze, and still cook most of our meals from scratch, making big pots of soup all winter long.

I'm in North East Ohio.

Molly said...

I have been becoming involved in the local food movement slowly but surely. I buy my produce at the local farmer's market during the summer months, have a milkman from a local farm deliver all of my dairy-Calder Dairy, they have the best chocolate milk! I use my local butcher for meat. Last Friday I found out about a great tribute to the local foods movement right here in Ann Arbor. It's called the Selma Cafe. It's not actually a cafe, it's the home of a couple who open it to the public every Friday from 6:30 AM until 10 AM for breakfast. The breakfast is prepared by a different guest chef each week, and everything is prepared from local food. They have a website:selmacafeannarbor.org. Or you can see some great photos on my friend Myra's blog:relish.myraklarman.com. The food and the company are amazing! I have just found your blog, and I have spent forever reading old posts. I have farm envy, our family lives in the center of Ann Arbor-a university town, and while I do appreciate hopping on my bicycle to ride to the farmer's market, or to a movie at the Michigan Theatre (our grand old 1920's movie house), I sometimes get a hankering for some acreage with a big red barn and a silo. I can experience that vicariously through your blog. Anyhow, I have both of your books already, and have made Olivia and Celia's mittens and the fingerless gloves. I love your Julia yarn! By the way, speaking of Julia, I read the old post about the school meeting, and the teachers suggesting that Julia dress and wear her hair differently. Even though they were probably well meaning, phooey with them. Hooray for individuality! I have 6 children from the ages of 10 to 21 and hopefully they have always felt free to be who they are.

cnuland said...

I'm all in favor of the local food movement. I think the tough part is making worth it for local growers to sell directly - and getting others to buy locally. I try to buy fresh whenever possible, but living in Wisconsin, for a few months of the year, we almost have to buy frozen. I'd love to have a garden. Even though we have an acre - most of it has trees and is on a hill, so I don't really have room for one. I do grow my own tomatoes each summer.

countrychicken said...

There is a lot of things in this question. We live in a township on 5 acres in Ohio. We are very close to the city limits and the last 2 summers there is a farmer's market in town so I try to hit that for what we don't have. We have a large garden, raise chickens. We don't raise our own meat at this point but we did when we had kids at home and more help. I drive about 20 miles to a local meat processing place that has a small store on the premises. Excellent meat - so we usually eat what they have. Always beef and pork but the cuts vary from time to time. I usually buy enough for a month when I go. Chicken comes from the local grocery store. I try to shop once a week but usually forget something. Fruits such as apples and blueberries I buy bulk when in season from local growers and try to freeze as much as I can. We have a group of neighbors who are very close, there are 4 families - including my family, 2 families with 8 kids between them all in school. Only 1 family with share take the eggs that I try to share - the other 2 are afraid they are not the quality you would get in the store or not sterile enough. One family has tried to garden and when we offered some aged manure they refused - they went out and bought bags because they felt it would be more sterile. This last little tidbit is something I thought you or your readers might enjoy hearing - there kids were amazed that an actual chicken laid the eggs they gathered all summer for me - but did not eat. I went through a lot of hand sanitizer to. I am trying to educate the kids on where your food comes from and if one of them remembers something from these days it will be worth it. Thanks for having this contest!!

Marilyn said...

Last year, I met Barbara Kingsolver and read her book, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle." It's a fabulous book. I don't live on a farm, but I do buy local as much as I can and enjoy a little garden in the summer. Fresh is always better.

JFibers said...

I live in the "big" city but despite this, I do my best to buy locally. The University of Minnesota created a new apple (honeycrisp) and I've been really enjoying them. I also purchase meat that was raised locally (in rural MN). My parents live in a more rural area and they purchase the meat for me through a local farmer. It is a bit difficult to purchase chips and crackers that were created here in MN and I do have a weakness for carbs....
Thanks for the great give away opportunities.

Anonymous said...

Oh I do love slow, local food. I love it so much, sometimes I cry about it. I want to be the gentle, caring, mother (of three little boys!) who knows all about gardening, canning, jamming, baking pies, bread, keeping chickens for eggs, cows for milk etc. however, I know little of these things, and have had to teach myself (mostly through trial and error). i become the frustrated mom whos seeds didnt grow, whos chickens flew the coop and never came back(really), whos pies were made in a mad rush between work and bedtime, with crusts from the Whole Foods freezer...and then I try again. this year, my cold weather crops have peeked their heads above the cold ground. slowly, the seeds become spinach, peas, carrots. they grow so slow. i want it NOW! my children want to see their seeds grow the second they plant it. and a voice whispers, patience.
Slowly, i am learning. slow foods is slowing me down. and with me, comes my whole family. slow. breath. om.


Biscuit said...

I am a big fan of Pollan and Kingsolver (first as a novelist, now as a local foodist). I try to buy healthy, locally grown foods, grass fed and humanely raised meats and grow a garden of veggies. I took last year off from veggie gardening and only had a few containers of tomatoes; that was awful! I have also been a subscriber to a couple of CSA farms over the years. I live on an island of 10,000 people in the Seattle, Washington, area, on a 15 acre horse farm. I work outdoors, so spending an extra 10-60 minutes on any given day in the veggie patch is easy and a pleasure. I hope we can all make our foods more local. I just picked up a very nice lamb last weekend and thought of you - it had been in the freezer for a few months and it was great to finally get it home. It is delicious! Looking for some good local pork and beef next. I no longer keep chickens because I'm just not set up to keep them safe and free ranging at this time, but I love fresh eggs and buy locally - lots of folks in our town put a cooler out at the foot of their driveway and you can buy eggs honor-system by the dozen by putting money in the cooler when you take out a carton of fresh, lovely eggs. One thing that helps with eating locally is to buy what my husband and big kids call "ingredients" rather than what they call "food." "Food" in this joking context is prepared foodstuffs, and ingredients are whole foods one uses to prepare real food. :-) By making most of our food (ok, I just bought some prepared ravioli and some icecream), it's easier to eat food produced closer to home. And more healthy. Except when the ice cream creeps into the cart at the grocers! I'm lucky to live in a community full of back to the landers.

Knitlee said...

Just watched a special on the slow food movement! It's really amazing-this year we will have our garden again. We did not have one last year and I didn't realize how much I would miss it. There is nothing like going out and picking your food-it tastes so fresh and delicious.

junglemama said...

for years living in seattle, we had about 55 chickens, which we used for eggs and 20 apple trees and lots of others. we belonged to one of the first csa's and reigliously went to the farmers market every week. i read blogs/info for ideas. now in mexico we also belong to a csa and go to a butcher directly. i go about once a week to but other stuff at a real store. i buy almost all fresh veggies but some i cant get fresh here, ie sweet corn and i like it occaisionally

Turtle said...

Triplets! SO cool, hopefully the lil one finds his way.

We try to grow, process, can, freeze, forage for as much of our own food as possible. We also support our local farms and folk by visiting the farmers markets in spring-fall, buying eggs from a friend down the road, friends at work and i actually go in on large cases of fruit from local farms and process them ourselves then trade our goods with eachother so we have a good variety with less work. I would love to be self sufficient but we not have the space and i would have to quit my job to do so...which we're not yet ready for. Maybe the next home!

Sarah Dedmon said...

I am having trouble posting so my apologies if this comes through twice! YES! Love Slow Food, love Local. I live in the Dallas area now, but moved here from central MA, where I belonged to Heirloom Harvest CSA. It was wonderful. Here I belong to an Organic Co-Op through the winter, and in the summer we buy everything we can through a small Farmer's Market. The awareness in TX is not what it is in New England, but it is gathering momentum now.

I try to shop twice per week, we live very near some stores, and I hit Whole Foods once a month for my meats and other things I can store. I can tomatoes from a local farmer in the summer, and make a year's supply of jams each summer, both for us and for gifts.

I've read loads of Pollan and really enjoyed Animal Vegetable Miracle. I buy mostly fresh veggies in season with the exception of green peas which I can't seem to get here.

I am learning to spin wool now and hope to own sheep of my own someday, I am an avid knitter and really enjoy your blog!

Sarah Dedmon said...

Oops and my contact is sarah_dedmon@yahoo.com!

Lisa R-R said...

Have you read the 100 Mile Diet book? It would not work in the Toronto climate (or most of Canada) though!
Yes, I do give a fair amount of thought to food ....
Yes, I am familiar with the Slow Food concept. I try to make my own meals as much as I can, but I don't make my own bread or granola, or soak beans. I am usually only cooking for one, so a soup or stew means a few meals (including packed lunches for work). Sometimes I freeze muffins to take one at a time to work. I freeze sliced bread so I can just use one or two pieces at a time.
I do enjoy going to a local farmer market, which is within walking distance. Toronto is lucky to have had quite a few of these weekly markets spring up on different days of the week, and some (indoor) markets are year-round. I would prefer to buy local, but I also like to eat bananas all year round.
I try to find fair trade organic coffee, roasted locally.
I do usually grow some herbs, lettuces and tomatoes in the summer, in a small backyard plot. I try to find organic seedlings/seeds, and I don't use chemicals in the garden. We have a very short growing season though.
There is an independent supermarket, about 20 min away by bike, which specializes in local/organic produce and groceries. It used to be a more normal grocery, with an Italian/Portuguese flavour, but the owner foresaw the local/organic trend. I don't usually go there in the winter, as the bus past it is not so convenient for me.
I probably buy a few fresh groceries once or twice each week, more often if I know I will have time to cook. I am trying not to waste too much food.
For other groceries, like paper products, I stop into another budget grocery once a week - but even that one offers some organic food options now.

ikkinlala said...

My jaw dropped when I read "... up to 7 lambs."

We raise as much of our own food as possible - we have a big garden, chickens, pigs, and sometimes cattle (although we've never had a milk cow) - and try to buy local from farmers' markets or neighbours for much of the rest. We're in Canada, though, so if we want fresh vegetables in the winter they have to be imported. We don't eat them every day, and we do try to use stored vegetables as much as possible, but as much as I try to support local food I'm not sure if I'm willing to give up green salads for half the year. Similarly, we do eat things like citrus fruits and spices that don't grow here at all. We shop for food about once a week, and we buy only fresh veggies because we grow our own frozen veggies.

ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

Anna said...

Kristin, slow food is the best way to live. When I was growing up, we lived in Seattle, and my dad grew corn! Corn in wet Seattle! It was wonderful, as were the raspberries, apples, cherries, plums, and peaches that we had in our orchard. He was not a farmer, but he loved growing things, and we were very lucky.
I try to buy organic and local.

I love your posts. thanks so much!


Anonymous said...

Hi, I live in a suburb of Detroit, and the only way we get near local food is through the farmer's markets. I love buying fresh fruits and vegs, but have limited opportunity. I have read some books about the local food movement, and particularly enjoyed Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kinsolver and her family. I spent summers as a child in Colchester, Canada, and we truly bought only local produce when we were there. Boy, that stuff was good!

Carol Perecman

Pork with Bones said...

I'm very much looking forward to the day when I have my own land and can put in a good-sized garden. Until then... I first read about the Slow Food movement a good ten years ago. I try to eat local where I can, but unfortunately other priorities (such as making a living) tend to override that goal.

Laura said...

Growing up, we always had a garden. Since then I haven't been as good at the gardening, but the past couple of years I've done some container gardening. Moving to a "big city" area from a rural area has made me want to have more of my own grown foods. I haven't found the farmer's markets here, but have seen signs and am looking forward to attending.
I always buy local honey, mainly for help with the allergies and I love the taste of local honey.

My husband has always wanted lots of fresh veggies and fruit, so we are stopping at the local store for those every week.

Thanks for the ideas that are now swirling around in my head.

Sue N said...

We have a garden for a long time. Last year we doubled it's size, putting in (more) sunflowers, corn and vining plants in the new space. Yum! We try to 'put up' vegetables for winter eating. Getting vegetables out of the freezer makes me think of warm summer days.

We live on 11 acres in Maine. The previous owners had horses-our daughter would like us to have sheep or goats. We have settled on dogs and cats! Maybe we'll have other animals some day.

Jessica K. said...

Well, I live in Williamsburg, VA and it is a major disappointment after living in western NC, which had lots of local food options and sustainable choices. In Williamsburg we have no food co-op, only a wee farmer's market that focuses mainly on baked goods, and way, WAY too many pancake houses!

bwilliams said...

Home for me is rural western NC. I haven't had a garden for a few years, although we are planning to grow on this year. We do have a small orchard (15 apple varieties, a couple of cherry trees, and ~20 blueberry bushes). I usually grow tomatoes and peppers along with my flowers and herbs. We try to buy vegetables like corn, beans, tomatoes, peppers, okra, etc. from local farms in season and can/freeze them for the winter. I also pick blackberries, strawberries and raspberries to supplement my blueberries and cherries for jams, jellies, and pies. Last year my daughter and her 5 small sons helped with the gathering, canning and freezing; we all had a lot of fun.My husband is a hunter and we both like to fish, so we usually have game and fish in the freezer as well. He also has some friends who travel out west and bring back elk/venison that they share with us.We never take more animals than we can use, so I don't really think of it as a sport like a lot of people do. I try to buy a lot of my eggs from a friend who has chickens; they are so much better than the grocery store. I do buy food at the grocery, but I am trying to move more toward organics produced in the states; I don't like the idea of buying produce/meat from other countries. My husband and I are terribly concerned about the demise of the American farm; it is not a good thing for a country to become dependent on other nations for food.

Congratulations on your blogiversary. I have really enjoyed being your friend/neighbor vicariously. I would like to have families like yours in my community.

Jennifer and Steve said...

Hi there! Yes we know about the buy local movement/slow food movement and support it as much as possible. We are currently living in Fort Wayne, Indiana with a nice garden patch, fruit & nut trees and berry vines. We actually just ate oatmeal this morning with sour cherries pitted and frozen by me last spring. :) We read about every book on gardening, local eating, etc. that we can find. We are currently reading Food Not Lawns. We are moving to Carlsbad New Mexico in a week and so our food purchasing will change, but we've researched and know there is a farmer's market in Carlsbad and some CSA's not too far from town. We plan to utilize those resources, grow what we can in pots and figure out the rest once we get there. We buy food at our local Coop, a super market chain and a bulk food store. We are always looking to reduce our packaged purchases.

Thanks for your blog. I so enjoy reading. I love the triplet lambs and the Jumper. We have a very independent cat and I love that nature in animals...even though it can be a pain in the butt sometimes. :)

kmd said...

I live in the suburbs, but grew up with a little bit of country and city life. My grandpartents' (both sets) had gardens, one set had a farm. My dad also grew some produce and let me have a horse. I learned about growing food and visited produce stands and markets as a kid.

As an adult, it has bee easy to see a lot of that disappear. I have a hybrid food habit- we do use the supermarket, but also our seasonal farmers' market and also grow a good bit in our small backyard plot.

It's not too hard to get local food here in Alabama, but I am surprised how unlikely it is at most restaurants. Some higher priced ones do flaunt their allegiance to local, slow food, but many people have no clue.

Last year, a project out of neighboring Tuscaloosa came up, eatingalabama.org. The experiences of these 2 couples has opened up some thinking and resources for many locals who are interested in local food, whatever their motivation.

I recently read some of Michael Pollan's work. It is interesting to think about food's changing role in our culture.

katemerrittdavis [at] gmail.com
Irondale, Ala.

Hilda said...

I live in central NM, semi-arid, though previously we lived in Colorado and had milk goats, a pig, and a garden. I love having greater control of my food, but to eat locally here would be rather limiting unless I made a bigger effort at producing my own. It would be an investment in water, soil, and labor to grow more of our food, but we're considering it again.

Linda said...

I simply love your stories, thanks again for sharing your life on the farm!

FOOD? You are right that is a tough question. I'll start by saying I live in Eastern Mass.

"I'm wondering what you think about the Local Food Movement?" I'm not sure what this is, please enlighten me...

"Do you buy local food?" when I can I do, we have a few local growers in our area who set up farm stands in the summer/fall months. I like to support them when I can.

"Have you ever heard of the Slow Food Movement?" Nope

"Do you raise your own food?" no, but I seriously thought about having a goat when my little ones were sensitive to cows milk. And I do try to bake my own breads.

"Have you read any books about the source of your food?" no
"Do you only shop in large supermarkets?" No
"How many times do you shop for food a week? Do you buy fresh or frozen veggies?" I shop daily for fresh produce. I don't stock up on canned or frozen foods. We tend to buy that days foods on that day.

Westdale Farm said...

I live in northwest Wisconsin about 1.5 hours from Mpls/St Paul. My family owns and operates a beef cattle/crop operation. As a result of this we eat our own beef which is fabulous because we know what we're eating and the convenience and savings of shopping in our freezer for the next meal is beyond great. We grow a big garden, mostly salsa ingredients and sweet corn since my family is fairly choosey concerning vegetables. I love the idea of cooking and baking bread but because of the "choosiness" of my family it's a little discouraging. You can only do so many things with hamburgers.

I also run into some philosophical disagreements with my traditional farming husband. So, on my own, I shop the local supermarket-avoiding Walmart when I can, visit the 2 local food co-ops we are blessed to have and just serve up the food.

I love to read about cooking and one of my favorite cookbooks is "Simply In Season" which has great recipes using what is in season.

The slow food movement and eating mindfully is very intriguing to me and I like to impliment it when I can...in my busy, fast food life.

barb :0) said...

TRIPLETS ......... OH MY THEY ARE CUTE !!! :0)



Prissy said...

I live in a small town in Southeast Missouri. In the summer there's lots of homegrown veggies in the Farmer's Market which is set up downtown every Saturday morning. We get some food there. I also shop in about 4 different grocery stores. One store in particular has better meat than the others, and another store has the brand of dairy products that I like, etc. About the only 'gardening' that I do is harvest fruit. We have an orchard in our back yard. We have 2 cherry trees, one for eating fruit from, and the other for pie cherries. We have 2 different varieties of plums, red and a yellow delicious apple trees and two different varieties of peaches.

eight feet said...

Thanks for offering up such an interesting topic! I live in northern MN--short growing season and sometimes unusual weather being next to Lake Superior. I think a lot about our food and where it comes from so we belong to a CSA, shop at our local co-op and farmer's market, use the local pick-your-own fields/orchards and also support the big grocery store in it's efforts to carry local fruits and veges. We container garden on the deck as several of my neighbors use chemicals on their yards for weed control (I am concerned about my yard's soil quality). Additionally, we have a ridiculously healthy population of deer, rabbits, and skunks in the area and this method keeps the greens out of their reach.

I buy in bulk quantities as much as possible and make extra large meals to freeze. Extra produce gets canned or frozen. This way I only have to shop once every 1 1/2 - 2 weeks and we have dinner ready quickly and can enjoy summer blueberries in January.

Nanci said...

I also forgot to say that my favorite cook book is the Fannie Farmer cook book and here in Canada, Kate Aitken cookbook from the 30s is still one of my fav's.
It's torn to pieces, but still has great recipes.