Being a Locavore is More Than Just Local Food

1 Sep

Lea’s back to blogging! Thanks to Rachel and Katie’s guest posts yesterday.  I hope that throughout the month this blog will help to introduce you to each of the wonderful NOFA-NY staff and get a little glimpse into each person’s life and personality.  Isn’t that the joy of blogs? They can be so anonymous and public, but yet so private all at the same time.

So, back to the topic area.  It’s September 1st, which while technically not yet fall, has always been the point in the calendar at which I would cringe (and often cry) and think summer is officially over!  Maybe it was because the start to school was so closely around the corner, maybe because the leaves are just beginning to turn, but likely it’s just because “September” sounds nothing like summer!  But this year I am embracing September, and instead of fearing it, I’ve been craving it.  Much of that has to do with the Locavore Challenge.  Not only is it the favorite program that I run all year long for NOFA, but its also a time for me to focus and commit.  To me summer is about freedom-no rules, no curfew and in all ways possible being glutonous.  I’ve certainly done my share of being glutonous this summer and my head and my waistline have been begging for a bit more committment, structure and focus.  As I’ve mentioed before I’ve been on the road quite a bit this summer and have succumbed to more than my fair share of quick pizza, burritos, beer, margaritas, etc., etc…  Fast food really lives up to its name.  It is SO quick, and so initially satisfying. But 20 minutes later that quick satiation alwasy turns to regret and often to guilt on my part.  My stomach has had enough regret for one summer.  Hasn’t yours? 

As I’ve prepared for the Locavore Challenge, and for the beginning of September over the last week I’ve noticed that I have started to shift focus not only just in my approach to food, but also in my approach to life.  I have been choosing a walk or run after work followed by an evening of food preservation, followed by reading as opposed to an extended happy hour, late dinner out or late night at the office.  As a result, my energy level has increased, my focus on home, family and friends has become more positive and I feel balanced.  I think this is what life felt like before we became distracted by technology and social media, and fast food and shiny objects.  When we as humans are concsciously aware of how our food is grown (and participate in growing it), active in preparing it and present as we consume it, we become grounded in one of the most basic joys of life-nourishment.  There is so much happening around us everyday that is sad, complex and difficult that focusing in the simple acts of growing, preparing and eating food-alone or with loved ones is truly a beautiful act.  Be conscious of these moments and cherish them.  Remember, September only has 30 days.

What I’ve been up to:

Braised Beef Short Ribs (from Whitney Farms) with Garlic Mashed Potatoes (both from Peacework Farms)-served with a dry NYS white wine, candle light and a cool late summer breeze.   Savoring the last night of August with a very loved one.

Kielbasa with Braised Cabbaged and Sauteed Green Beans, Garlic and Tomatoes-served with a semi-sweet NYS red wine and Honey Peach Ice-cream for dessert.  Celebrating the first day of Locavore with my mother and step-father.

If every night is like the last two, the September will not only be delicious but also full of love and laughter.  Enjoy your own celebrations this week and this month.  Make sure to savor each moment with the food you are so carefully making and with the loved ones around you.

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