So I tried the blog thing two years ago and failed miserably. Why? Well, I came to my senses and realized being newly married, having a job with crazy long hours, going to grad school AND maintaining a blog was a bit much. So I had to drop one. Work pays the bills, grad school will hopefully help me pay even more bills (not to mention how far invested I already was with loans), and my husband, well, I should keep him around too. So the blog was the casualty. But now, post-graduation (that’s right, I am a Master), I’m ready to catch the blogging bug again and share my food adventures.
The idea of eating local, sustainable food has become a trend in the last few years, but it’s also being a necessity. Since reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, I’ve been intrigued and inspired to become a locavore myself. Kingsolver and her family pledged to live locally for a year, relying mainly on the produce of their own farm and local products such as meats, dairy and grains. There were some exceptions–coffee, spices, olive oil–but for the most part they were able to not only survive, but were in no way deprived in their daily meals.
Being overly ambitious as usual, I thought, hey, I can do that! Did I mention Barbara Kingsolver lived in lush Appalachian farmlands, while I live in the bustling city of New York? Brooklyn to be exact. In a six story apartment complex over the subway, a tiny fire escape that looks as though it might disintegrate if someone actually stood on it, and tiny apartment that averages 80 degrees in the winter (thank you, forced air heat…), I don’t exactly have the ideal setting to live off what I can grow. Even my little spacesaver AeroGarden suffers, though it does produce TONS of basil considering the warm climate.
But I am determined. My food comes mostly from the NYC Greenmarket network, the Park Slope Food Coop and sometimes a CSA share. While I haven’t been able to blog about my locavore adventures over the past year, trust me, I have lived them. I’m hoping this experiment will continue as a lifelong habit. Of course I cheat a bit. I can’t live without avocados and I have no intention of giving up coffee, spices and other foreign delicacies. But I am conscious about where, how and who produces these things. I try to push myself, resisting fresh fruit from California and Mexico, no matter how much better they look compared to the cellared apples and root veggies I have all winter. The experiment is to see if a city girl can really eat like (or get even close) to how a farm girl eats.
Last year I decided against participating in a CSA share because, even with an every other week share, the amount of produce (read: GREENS) was way too much for my husband and I. Things would wilt or go bad before we could use it all. And I hate throwing away food. We tried sharing with the turtle, but he for some reason is really in love with that turtle pellet stuff. We tried explaining it’s mostly corn and not local, but he has a mind of his own… Anyway, this year I’m splitting a weekly share with a coworker so I’ll get produce every week, just half as much. I’m thinking 2 bunches of lettuce is much better than 4. Our share is with the Tribeca CSA that picks up every Tuesday afternoon. I also find the Tuesday pick up much more convenient than my past Thursday pickups because we have more of the week to use the produce. Weekends we tend to get out of the city or cook less in general.
Our first share was today including mint, lettuce, kale, spring garlic, radishes and so much more! Mint? I’m sure I could have made some pretty fantastic recipes, but my first thought with hardly any other food at home and after a long day of work was Mojitos 🙂
Stay tuned for cooking results from Week 1’s bounty!
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