Earlier this year, my wonderful friend Tara gave me a copy of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I loved this great book about a family eating only local food for a year. It reminded me of things I wanted to do myself, like finally joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and growing & canning more of my own food.
After driving Doug a little crazy talking about it for weeks, I found a CSA called Homestead Growers that delivers produce to our Wednesday Farmer's Market outside the City Market in downtown Indianapolis. We signed up for a full share that we are splitting with our friends Debra & Harry. So far we've been pretty pleased with all the fresh veggies, and I've had some fun finding ways to prepare some vegetables I've never really cooked with before. And getting to the Farmer's Market on a weekly basis is a lot of fun as well, since I never seem to escape before I buy quite a bit more after picking up the CSA box. In fact, I found out that the City Market also has a butcher shop called Moody Meats that provides very tasty meat from a local farm (free-range chickens, pesticide-free, sustainable farming methods, all sorts of good stuff going on there.) So, barring a few items from the regular grocery store (and from my well-stocked pantry), Doug & I have mostly been buying and eating local foods for the past few weeks. Yay! It makes me very happy!
And shamed by Doug's recent bike mileage goals, I've been trying to do more bike commuting myself. My office is only a bit more than 3 miles from my house, so I can't really compete with his mileage. But I have been pretty good at biking to & from work, including some errands around town just about every day for the past two weeks. In fact, I even managed to attach the CSA box onto my bike rack yesterday! I got a real kick out of all the weird looks, giggles and cheers I got from the farmer's market folks as I tried to stash a week's groceries onto my bike. And I managed to make it home with only one minor mishap. Bumping over a particularly nasty pothole, the little bag with my chocolate croissant (from Rene's at the market "You deserve a cookie today!") escaped from my saddle bag. When I stopped to rescue it, I realized that the bump had also popped the clip of the saddle bag off the rack and with it, the bungee cord on the CSA box! Luckily, they slid off the rack slowly & I reattached everything without bruising the precious cargo. And the croissant was only slightly mushed. :)
I'm hoping to continue this local food habit (and infect all my friends too!) There are some great books & blogs out there if you're interested in finding out more about eating local foods or being mindful about the food you choose to consume. Here's a just a few, including some sites for local Indy food: Going Local, Plenty & the 100 mile diet, Slow Food USA, Market on Morris, Goose the Market, Ominvore's Dilemma, and Indiana Market Maker.
It was also in the plans to expand the veggie garden this year. The expansion didn't happen, but I did plant the exisitng beds. Which the weeds are trying to take over. :) Hopefully I'll take control back soon, at least in time to get the tomatoes staked up. The plan is to do a little more canning this year and to make some crabapple jelly!