You guys already know that I love good food. I really, really love good food. I also love discussing communities: how they work, how they can work better, and how I can be more involved in making our community a better place to live. When these two topics converge, I just can’t contain myself.
In the spring of 2016, Laura Sapergia and Diandra Oliver came to Burns Lake with their Home Sweet Home Field School and presented their incredible ideas to a group of VERY interested community members. They talked about how to grow the local food economy and why it matters, and this conversation sparked something for me. It was shortly after that talk that I enrolled in nutrition school at CSNN, which was been the driving force behind my new business (and new life!). Clearly, this brief session on local food had an impact on me. Suddenly I wanted to know more about my food, where it comes from, who grows it, how it is grown, and most importantly, what my role is in our food system. While I am not a food producer, I do want to be a more conscious consumer. To accomplish this, I decided I needed to engage with local farmers. Which, frankly, I find a little bit terrifying!
As a city-girl, there has always been a middle-man between producers and consumers for me; generally in the form of big box stores and nation-wide supermarkets. I have always felt more comfortable with this arrangement because I don’t need try and make small talk with anyone, I can always get the specific groceries that I need, and I know what to expect every single time. However, once I started paying more attention to the importance of eating veggies grown in nutrient rich soil, eating well raised animals that are happy and cared for, ensuring that producers are adequately compensated for the hard work that they do, and mitigating any of the potentially negative environmental impacts of farming, I knew that I needed to face my own discomfort and start getting out there.
I tiptoed into my first farm this summer at Tranquility Farms, where we buy our beef. We took our sweet girls across the ferry and had a wonderful time with Darrell and Louise, getting to know how their farm works. And it wasn’t scary! I had a blast doing something totally different, loved introducing farm life to the girls, and loved getting to know ‘our’ farmers. Since starting this blog, I keep thinking about that link – the one between producers and consumers, and I want to help make the gap a little less scary and local food a little more accessible. So, I’m going to get over my fears and start visiting farms myself so I can share all the good stuff with you in the coming months. Stay tuned!
PS: Are you a farmer or food producer in my local area? Email me! I would love to come meet you and do a write up.