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Locavore Equinox: Balancing Out and Celebrating Each Moment

22 Sep

The last stretch of the Locavore challenge comes after the equinox.  That means it’s officially fall, but the balance of daylength and nighttime have symbolic power for the locavore.  The last week on the blog will focus on celebrating the delicious food and the truly awesome organic landscapes around us.  This is a week for us to show off a bit, with the celebrate the harvest dinners you might be planning for the weekend, but also to reflect on ways to work the locavore joy into our lives for the long term.  You’ve likely tried activities that you wouldn’t keep up all year round, simply because you can’t (think of berry picking in February–it’s just not possible in New York) or because you realize that the activity is a bit of a reach for you to do daily or weekly (not everyone wants to bake bread for their family every week).  The theme of balance that comes with the equinox (night and day are the same length) reminds us to think about the ways to pull back from the mania of checking off all the different locavore activities, to slow down after summer, to savor those locavore moments that really bring us happiness.  Sure, the abundance of September also encourages certain obsessions and the drive to put up lots of tomato sauce and salsa while we still can, but in the spirit of the equinox, let’s approach the last few weeks of overflowing market tables with a calm mindset.  Let’s not forget the joy this food (and the sound farming practices that got it to market) brings us and the local food it permits us to eat into the winter.

How to celebrate AND have balance?  This part of the challenge can be the point when you:

  • Decide to become a NOFA-NY member, because you know that this helps sustain farms in New York over the long term;
  • finally pick up a book related to food, farming, agricultural history, food justice, etc. because reading about farming is a different way to engage with your locavore brain;
  • take one last you-pick farm trip
  • engage the photographer or artist within yourself to create a lasting image that will remind you about how important farms are to our culture and communities
  • invite friends over to celebrate bounty (just don’t let it stress you out);
  • decide to patronize a locavore restaurant, because going out to eat is indeed part of your lifestyle and having a locavore option captures that balance that you’ll embrace as a locavore in the next 11 months (until September 2014).

Do whatever means most to you!

Last week, we heard from some of you on Facebook and Twitter about some of the celebrations of local food and farming.

On Facebook, Lynn Clow Burko told us “[I] resolved to purchase only local meats for my family and stuck to it. It can be done!”  Well done–sounds like you challenged yourself to do something new, and realized it was something you might work into your lives year-round.  A great example of stretching your assumptions and then realizing this fit into the balance of your budget and meal planning anyways!

Sarah’s family update for the week also exemplifies the concept of the change of seasons and inserting some slowing-down and balancing-out joy in her locavore activities. “With our CSA shares coming to an end and the vegetables taking a bit longer to grow and ripen in our garden, we have begun thinking about the fall season. Basil  has been plentiful in our CSA shares and garden this summer, and our final CSA share this week came with a basic recipe for pesto, so we’re making and preserving pesto for the final Locavore activity for my kids’ Locavore journals. It’s really the perfect recipe for my kids, simple and easy. Plus, we have a manual hand pump food processor that makes the whole process take a bit longer, letting us savor the work a bit more than with an electric processor. My kids help me cook often, but I suspect that making pesto will bring together a lot of our conversations and activities from this past month, making it a bit more of a memorable cooking experience for them. I also like the idea that through food preservation my kids will learn to avoid letting food go to waste and to think ahead when it comes to food and taking care of themselves.

A few Facebook friends shared their culinary endeavors with us.  Shannon Sodano told us that her potluck included, “homemade applesauce, stuffed tomatoes, sweet potato and leek soup, pumpkin apple and sage soup, beet salad with pistachios apple and arugula and homemade ice cream and watermelon and peach pie for dessert.”

A locavore potluck in Brooklyn.  Photo credit--Shannon Sodano, Sept. 2013.

A locavore potluck in Brooklyn. Photo credit: Shannon Sodano, Sept. 2013.

MaryBeth Anderson, also via Facebook, shared this image of a panzanella salad with us.  The local produce, herbs and homemade bread were balanced out with some special ingredients like olive oil and garbanzo beans.  A great example of finding the locavore option that works within her lifestyle.

MaryBeth Anderson local panzanella

MaryBeth Anderson’s local panzanella salad.

As for yours truly, I plan to visit the longer articles I’ve bookmarked for myself to read about our food system, to gain a more internal appreciation of the work we’ve been doing at NOFA-NY.  I won’t promise to finish the agrarian landscape-setting books I have checked out from the library, but I’m excited to make some forward progress this week, as the preserving projects take less of my time (I’ve called the end of my tomato-canning season since I have run out of pantry shelf space) and the new chilly fall weather encourages me to curl up in bed a little earlier each night.  On my list (still): Wendell Berry’s work, Turn Here Sweet Corn and A Thousand Acres.  I’m also planning to soak up more of the beauty of the farming landscape as I travel for one final on-farm work trip before frost settles in.

Let’s conclude this long read with something more powerful than words about balance and celebration.  This image of a sheep farmer (who is also our dedicated NOFA-NY board president) at dawn exemplifies the patience and passion of those who care for our land and for our bodies.  We celebrate these farmers every time we choose local and organic food.  Having this food available depends on all of us (don’t forget the ways you chose to take action), keeping a balance of locavore-positive moments all year.

Maryrose Livingston of Northland Sheep Dairy walks her pasture at dawn. (Photo credit: Liz Henderson, Sept. 2013)

Maryrose Livingston of Northland Sheep Dairy walks her pasture at dawn. (Photo credit: Liz Henderson, Sept. 2013)

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Like Food? Be an Advocate! Here’s why and how!

15 Sep

Hello Locavores!  We’ll dive right in, as this is truly a long read.

What has Sarah been up to this week with her kids?  After being sick last week, she and her kids went out for some fresh air, and discovered a pick-your-own orchard not far from her house!  Check out this Locavore-positive experience she tells us about.  “We drove down a rocky dirt road following the U-Pick signs. My kids always enjoy a bumpy ride, and I know it usually leads to a place I want to be, so we already knew the day was on the right track.  I knew the hustle and bustle of the street was not very far behind us, but distance hid it from our view.  We were surrounded by water, trees, pasture and some scattered farm equipment. The sky looked so big, I remembered our activities are often at its mercy.  We had no company other than the insects.  I handed my kids their bright orange Locavore bags and started walking. We saw the apples hanging from trees on our right, but we could smell the peaches to our left.  My kids waited for the okay to start picking, almost like they couldn’t believe something so fun was mom approved. With a smile and a gentle “go on” from me, they ran down a row of peach trees. Watching them, I could see they were struggling to make the decision whether to hoard the peaches for later or taste every one they saw.  Later, when seeing the peaches on our dinner plates, they were visibly proud of their achievement.  While we don’t often roll up our sleeves and grow or harvest our food ourselves within my family, we should.  After all, I want my kids to understand that ‘doing’ is a part of eating. I know that if I continue to let my kids interact with food at its source, they will respect and advocate for our environment’s health, amongst other thing as they grow.”

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Sarah’s final thought is a perfect segue into this week’s upcoming blog theme: Take Action!  We’ve all been testing our abilities to use lots of local and organic foods, engaging with others, encouraging friends and acquaintances to do the same, and we’ve had an introduction as to why that’s going to help our communities in the long run.  This week, let’s get into it more deeply.  Each of us can find an initiative to support, or even one to start!  Food activism starts in your shopping bag, on your cutting board, in your kitchen, and at your table (read this for an interesting take on anti-GMO culinary protest).  This is a real and good and important part of changing the accessibility of organically-grown locally-farmed foods (simply by creating more demand and thus allowing farmers to be in business).  Good job to you for being a part of it!

Let’s go beyond the plate.  If Sarah’s children, both under 5 years old, are getting involved by appreciating their food, then there’s no reason the rest of us shouldn’t ensure they will be able to do this in the future!  NOFA-NY spends a lot of time working behind the scenes to advocate for organic farming and food-access policies.  There are the more public issues, such as GMO labeling, that affect farmers and consumers.  But there are other questions and policies that need your support.  Beyond policy, local food just needs liaisons and catalysts.  Later this week, you’ll hear from a member of the 18-25 year old demographic who’s having a huge impact in her college’s community in New York.  You’ll learn what motivates NOFA-NY staff to continue to read policy briefs and why calling your government representatives is so important.

The on-farm situation, and what farmers have to put up with because agricultural policies don’t favor small-scale, diverse farms, needs work.  Beyond the fields, there are blockages to distribution.  It remains a huge challenge for smaller-scale farmers to provide food to their communities outside of the farmers’ market and CSA methods of distribution.  Often the issue of scale means a farmer can’t guarantee a certain crop at a certain time; while organic farmers work hard to prevent crop failure, they don’t have the safety of spraying something to kill whatever is eating their crop.  It’s a riskier way to farm, and that risk means that it’s also harder to market food to certain channels that demand consistency and a low wholesale price.  Supplying to restaurants and local grocers is becoming more common, and we want to lift up the chefs and farmers who are making that happen.  (That’s a fun way to be a food activist–dine at a restaurant that supports local farms, and then write an online restaurant review, or Tweet or post something on Facebook praising them for doing this and including key words like “farm to table” or “local produce”).  Policy change needs to happen on many levels–local, state and federal–if more farms are to have hope of supplying food to their own kids’ schools, to hospitals, to nursing homes, and to programs that allow for low-income households to eat as healthily as higher-income households.

Admittedly, policy reading doesn’t seem as interesting as recipe-browsing.  But if your education today sparks you to understand and react to the next challenge to farmers’ ability to grow organic food at a scale they enjoy and can manage, then that’s where the chain of activism takes off, and that’s what could secure your ability to have such great food to cook in years to come.

Local and organic food makes us smile.

Local and organic food makes Nancy, NOFA-NY’s Finance and Human Resources Manager, smile.  She lives in an area outside Rochester situated between many old farms, and she’ll keep smiling if more people get involved in protecting those great farms!

Challenge yourself to think of one local-food or organic-food question you’ve been wanting to learn more about, and spent the next 10 minutes researching it–even just bookmarking pages to read later.  Heck, we’ll even give you a free pass to eat some bananas and avocados (but keep them organic and fair trade, please) while you look up this stuff.  Be careful to find information that is grounded in research, facts and true events.  Watch out for claims and personal accounts that may not check out (because while they may support what you want to be true, the truth and facts are way more powerful).  Here are some suggestions:

Read about NOFA-NY’s official policy initiatives.  The information there should give you a taste of how we work and point you to many more reputable sources of information.  Note: becoming a NOFA-NY member gives you the freedom to vote on farm policy resolutions at our annual meeting in January.  Wondering how else, besides political action, NOFA-NY supports farmers from our office headquarters? For example, take a look at the list of organic farming programs and projects we are involved in.  Please do consider donating and joining as a member–your support is essential to help us continue to do our work effectively.

The National Organic Coalition (NOC) has a list of resources and media for you to get into.  Browse around all their site has to offer–they’re the real deal (disclosure: NOFA-NY and all the NOFA chapters in the Northeast hold membership with NOC).  Subscribe to their e-mail alerts for the latest on organic policy happenings (and action alerts to get involved–based on the zipcode you provide, they tell you who to call, and when, and what to say).

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is another group doing fantastic work to explain the laws, bills and policies that have such power (to do good or to harm) in our food system.  Keep up to date on the latest Farm Bill news on their blog, and browse their resources, too!

If mapping out local food systems and doing a local foods feasibility audit interest you, check out Farm to School Evaluation Toolkit  and Mapping School Food: A Policy Guide.  Don’t forget to read our blog post on Tuesday for a great example of youth stepping up to better the local food system.

Subscribe to the Northeast Food System e-mail listserve, devoted to the topic of food systems in the Northeastern states.

Worried as you watch land turn into big development lots for more houses, malls, and chain restaurants?  There’s some policy work you can read about, plus great organizations like American Farmland Trust (go to their website if only to watch the animated cow plod across the screen) and local land conservancies and trusts that can show you how you, while not a farmer, can help keep land in agriculture, can open up new land for new farmers who can’t pay the going rate versus rich developers, and more.

This is what we want in our communities...not more malls.

This is what we want in our communities…not more malls.

Wondering what challenges aspiring farmers face?  Look at this comprehensive national study  published in 2011 from National Young Farmers Coalition.  They can use your support, and are another trusted resource on farmer-forward policy, with a specific focus on how policies will impact the chances of new farmers.

Feel inspired already? Do you think you have the guts to start or get involved with food policy?  Mark Winne is a respected name in the food policy world, encouraging groups large and small to work for better food policy.  He says, “Broadly defined, food policy is a set of collective decisions made by governments at all levels, businesses, and organizations that affect how food gets from the farm to your table. A food policy can be as broad as a federal regulation on food labeling or as local and specific as a zoning law that lets city dwellers raise honeybees.”  You can download an entire Food Policy Council manual from Winne’s website that takes you through all the steps to starting a Food Policy Council to influence food policy like this, now that you know some of the issues and stakeholders!

The idea in giving you these resources is not to overwhelm or depress you.  It’s to show you that you can find some way to get involved off the plate.  Also, like our guest blogger Lea mentioned in her post on September 3rd, everyone gets involved somehow.  It’s not that some of us were born into a career of food and farm policy work (some of us find law easier to understand, sure).  Each of the organizations and initiatives mentioned here is run by regular people with a passion to help.  You don’t have to run an organization to help, but you should and can get involved and take action.  You can find something that means a lot to YOU, and devote yourself to learning about that.  Knowledge is power, as the old saying goes.  Where will your knowledge-power take you?  It’s so important that you, a local-food-eater, understand the challenges farmers face in starting and maintaining their organic farms, because you clearly know the reward is a better food system with tastier food!

This duck-egg-with-radish greens quiche made possible by a CSA share (and all the policy support allowing that farm to succeed), lovingly made by a food justice and food access crusader, NOFA-NY's own Nicky Dennis.

This duck-egg-with-radish greens quiche made possible by a CSA share (and all the policy support allowing that farm to succeed), lovingly made by a food justice and food access crusader, NOFA-NY’s own Nicky Dennis.

Reach Out: Your #Locavore Friends are Waiting!

8 Sep

As we begin week 2 of the Locavore challenge, we’re thinking of the ways that food brings us together.  Most shared meals have this effect, but consider how eating locally offers the chance to make friendships, build new bonds, and keep your community and environment a place to live well.  Perhaps you don’t count farmers as regular dinner guests (but invite them, they may really appreciate someone cooking for them after a day of harvesting winter squash), but going out to a farmers market, buying their food, then treating it with interest and eating it with appreciation all go into building community with local food.  Imagine if nobody did that–what would happen to the farmer, the farmland, and your surroundings?  Now, imagine a brighter future.  What would happen if everyone who went to the farmers market convinced ONE friend, co-worker, or acquaintance to meet them at the farmers market.  How many more farmers would be supported?  How much more food would be available?  How much stronger would the local economy be?  (If you’re interested in some studies on the impact of small local farms, including how they tend to purchase more of their inputs from local sources, check out studies from the Dyson School of Agriculture Economics and Marketing at Cornell and the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems).

local-ingredient cornbread (made with honey and butter, not sugar and oil) and garden-to-table vegetable soup

local-ingredient cornbread (made with honey and butter, not sugar and oil) and garden-to-table vegetable soup

So, what happened in week one?  We saw a big uptick in blog visitors, some action on Facebook and Twitter.  One Twitter user, Amy Reinink, tweeted us photos her yogurt-in-progress.

She even strained it to make it Greek-style and posted about the challenge on her blog!  Way to go, Amy!

Our summer intern Maddy (you’ll read a post from her in a few weeks) has been working to engage community and bringing them to action through Think Local Geneseo.  Here some reasons those people gave why they’re taking the Locavore Challenge:

“I care about local farmers and their families”

“It tastes better”

“Factory farming is wasteful”

“I trust local produce”

“It makes sense”

See all the great reasons on their Facebook photo album.

Many locavores spent a few days last week sharing in traditional foods and activities of Rosh Hashanah.  They were brought into community through shared symbols, faith and for those who saw the connection, through local food-sharing.  It was indeed possible to have a very sweet Locavore Rosh Hashanah, with local apples and honey representing the sweetness anticipated for the new year.  We loved reading blogger Leah’s latest post at Noshing Confessions.  What inspiration, as usual, on good food and making the most of the seasonal bounty in the context of age-old traditions.

Some of us have families that give us instant community, and we can share the locavore challenge with them.  Sarah Raymond, Membership and Development Coordinator, is going through her first Locavore Challenge with NOFA-NY.  Here’s how her first week went:

“This September, as part of my Locavore Challenge, I plan to bring more dialogue into and emphasis on our food activities as a family.  As the month rolls on, I will help my kids keep their own Locavore journals, full of drawings, photographs, recipes we used together, stickers, stories, and most likely, a few smudged food marks. I think it can turn out to be a nice little family tradition every September. We began this week by going to our local farmer’s market. The kids picked out some peaches and blueberries to savor and share while exploring the market. Sure enough, not long after the first few bites, a group of kids had congregated together, each investigating and sharing each other’s food, with their parent’s approval of course. That’s one of the great things about food, it brings people together. For my kids, I want them to know that sharing healthy food is a way to show others their love and respect for them. In toddler terms, we like to give people healthy foods to eat because we care about them and want them be healthy so they can have fun.”

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Others among staff were impressed that a few words spoken to some fairly new friends (“I’m eating local foods as much as possible this month”) had a noticeable impact on those friends’ food-buying habits.  At a recent Labor Day dinner, the hosts were very excited to tell Rachel, Beginning Farmer Coordinator, that the tomatoes were from HER farmer (one she’d pointed out to them upon a chance encounter at the Brighton Farmer’s Market).  Everyone at the party agreed they were some of the meatiest, most delicious tomatoes they’d ever tasted.  True, when someone hears you’re trying to eat mostly local foods this month, you may have to convince them why you think it’s important (it may not be an instant sell).  But if you talk about the challenge in the right way, you can indeed effect change.   More on that later this week! Wednesday’s worksheet will help you come up with a Locavore Sales Pitch, so start thinking about why you are taking the challenge so you can tell others about it.

Let’s end this rumination turning the locavore challenge into a community-builer with some kitchen ideas that take a spin on one of our classic locavore activities.  That activity, appropriate to Grandparent’s Day (today), is to interview a relative about a food tradition.  That’s always a fun one, as some of our past blog posts show.  Decades ago, locavore eating was the only eating, and our grandparents (or great-great-grandparents) might not think of this challenge as anything but normal.  That’s where traditional foods and regional cuisine comes from–what used to be the best things to eat in that place and time.  If you’re low on inspiration from traditions, culture or passed-down recipes, try to make some new ones to repeat.  First think, “What are my local foods?  What’s available (farm-fresh) to cook with today?”  Work backwards to find a recipe that uses that food.  We have plenty of ideas collected on Pinterest.

One more crazy idea (and if you e-mail us a picture, we might just post it here next week) to share with friends and family.  Pick one ingredient.  A fruit or vegetable will be easiest.  Obtain a lot of it (perhaps in various varieties, from different farmers).  Then make a feast out of it.  Don’t just cook one dish with it.  See how many different ways you can play with that one ingredient.  Chances are that next year, whomever you invited to your Broccoli Brunch, your Carrot Circus, your Pepper Potluck Party, your Eggplant Eating Extravaganza, your Tomato Tournament or your Zucchini Zone will want to join in the fun again!  Voila! A Locavore tradition!  Try a variety of dishes, some cold, some hot, some raw, some not, to marvel over that one ingredient’s flavor and texture in all its forms.

lots of kinds of zucchini to test out!

Zucchini "Carpaccio"

raw zucchini salad (Martha Stewart)

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grilled zucchini and tomato salad (the kitchn)

zucchini ricotta galette (smitten kitchen)

zucchini ricotta galette (smitten kitchen)

ugly and therefore tasty zucchini chips

zucchini parmesan chips (smitten kitchen)

Pickle Recipe

quick zucchini pickle on toast with cheese (101 cookbooks)

zucchini ice cream (flavor of italy)

A Month of Locavore-Positive Action!

1 Sep

Today is day one of this year’s NOFA-NY Locavore Challenge!  It seemed appropriate to write our first long read on the topic of the choice to have a whole (long) month, again, to focus on supporting local and organic farms through our food, activity, and advocacy choices.  We at NOFA-NY are not expecting that everyone comes to the Locavore idea from the same experience, or even with as much enthusiasm as we do.  On the other hand, we don’t use the word “challenge” to make you worried that each decision will be hard.  “Locavore Focus Month” or “Locavore Encouragement Month” just don’t have that same ring and excitement to them as “Locavore Challenge.”

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Really, “challenge” is a verb here.  We’re challenging you to meet September’s potential by seeing your decisions from a Locavore perspective.  You can choose your own adventure, which is made up of many moments and decisions.    How many of them can you make into Locavore-positive moments?  When you add up your Locavore-positive decisions at the end of the month, you may even realize that it would have seemed a monumental task to take on if you’d made a to-do list at the outset.  It’s good to have your own rules, guidelines, and a to-try list.  That’s definitely what this month is for… motivating yourself  to support local, organic and farmer’s-pledge farms, your local economy, and perhaps your health (assuming you don’t use the Locavore prerogative to subsist on local cheeses, ice cream and wine for all of September).

grain on sieveLet’s talk about the opportunities a month-long challenge presents in terms of the small decisions we each make regularly.  Eating breakfast (and yes you should, especially with so many local goodies for this mealtime), think about what goes into it.  Each component presents a decision.  What do you normally eat, and what could you trade up for a locally-produced food?  No, don’t over-think it.  But think about it a little bit.  You can put brown sugar (not local) or maple syrup (the local stuff) on your (maybe local) bowl of oats or cooked-grain cereal.  And while you’re considering breakfast cereals, have you ever tried cooked and cooled wheat berries as a healthy breakfast cereal? They’ll never get soggy like dry cereals, and you can keep plenty of cooked grain on hand for a fast morning breakfast.  Look for locally-grown wheat, spelt, rye grains (called berries) or Freekeh (which is a roasted green spelt grain with a nutty and smoky flavor–great for bacon lovers).  Your choice, but we recommend you try it as part of the challenge.  You could eat yogurt produced by a local food artisan or a farmer themselves, or you could eat local HOMEMADE yogurt, and you could add in ONLY locally-grown fruits, put some local honey on top, and chew it all slowly while thinking appreciative thoughts about the farmers who moved fencing every 12 hours to keep the cows on fresh grass, and then who milked the cows, kept the milk clean and sanitary through its journey from cow to yogurt making to market to your breakfast bowl (wait, is that breakfast bowl made by a local potter? Okay, just kidding).

Spotted at NOFA-NY HQ: wheat berries, homemade yogurt and local fruit for an on-the-go breakfast.

Spotted at NOFA-NY HQ: wheat berries, homemade yogurt and local fruit for an on-the-go breakfast.

What other decision points are there?  Too many to name!  You probably don’t eat in the house every day.  What food do you take with you to your sit-down job?  That’s a decision and you can challenge yourself to remember to pack a local-foods-focused meal each day.  Maybe your decision is to cook extra of that recipe that uses local chicken, and you bring that for part of your lunch one or two days.  Maybe that local organic chicken is a bit out of your price range for a double recipe, so you decide that those local organic potatoes and carrots, so flavorful at the end of September, would bulk up that dish and give you enough for leftovers.  And maybe your hand hovers around your go-to-makes-everything-taste-better bottled spice blend, and then you remember you impulse-bought a blend of dried herbs from that sweet hippie at the farmers market two weeks ago.  In September, go for the local decision.

Red Jacket Orchards in Geneva, NY

Red Jacket Orchards in Geneva, NY

You just packed a whole lot of Locavore-positive decisions into one meal, one moment, and you build some great habits.  You can do that, and you can do more!  You have a whole month!  What do you normally take with you when you’ve overslept and feel a time crunch getting where you need to go?  Make a local-positive choice in September.  Locally-grown apples (maybe you picked them yourself) are just as portable as a banana.  Bananas don’t grow in New York; apples definitely do.  Why only grab one apple from your stockpile?  Take several, and keep them at work, and then that one decision will have a multiplier effect.  No need to scrounge up a granola bar or a bag of chips when you have an apple at arm’s length!  You’ll slowly train yourself to take the small steps that allow you to make the good decisions, and it really starts with simply examining some of your actions and eating decisions.

Some of our decisions fall into that presence-of-mind category and aren’t entirely visible.  These are decisions that make the food you’re eating matter a bit more, as you actually pay attention to it.  What’s the point of a great locally-sourced meal that you kind of ignore while you watch TV?  You can decide to turn off the technology that generally accompanies your morning, just try it on Tuesdays to start (turn-off Tuesdays, as a way to remember), and focus in on how thankful you are for those who crouched over the melon vines, and then found the energy to keep each melon from bursting (they’re very fragile when they’re picked ripe) in the back of a truck on the way to your farmers market.  You can even let yourself feel a little smug for passing over that plastic clamshell package of nonlocal berries in favor of that melon, even though you really wanted to make the delicious-looking strawberry shortcake recipe trending on Pinterest (don’t those pinners know what’s in season?).

A lot else, besides eating, happens in any given month, of course!  It’s easy to get Locavore-foodie fatigue, or feel like all you’re talking about is food.  When that happens, maybe you shift focus to a Locavore experience, to researching ways you can conserve farmland in New York, or to calling up a friend you haven’t seen in a while to go apple picking (the movies and coffee dates are for non-September months; picking fruit or strolling a local-focused event are September outings).  You’ve decided to do something Locavore-positive with that time, so nice work!  Soon enough (maybe not that same day), you’ll be excited to tackle that recipe substitution project to convert Aunt Sally’s famous chicken pot pie recipe into a local-foods-heavy family favorite, because your earlier activities remind you how food choices are facilitated by ALL the ways you support local food and farming.  And that connection lets you appreciate that you (okay, begrudgingly, because you wanted to watch TV) spent a drizzly, humid morning with your kids, trying to keep their hands from sneaking those berries at the farm stand (scolding them but silently grateful they’re developing a taste for fruit and not artificial flavors) while you loaded up on sweet corn that you’d eventually teach your berry-stained-fingered kids to shuck in the front yard.  If you’re making Locavore-positive decisions, and creating experiences around them, you’re doing the Locavore Challenge!

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Don’t forget to share with us–each Sunday we plan to highlight interesting comments, tweets, Facebook posts and photos from the previous week.  Yes, you also make decisions about what you share, and we challenge you to spread the Locavore love whenever you can!

Our Blog’s Locavore Challenge: More Posting, More Fun!

30 Aug

For the month of September, we’re going to up the frequency of blog posts, since it’s Locavore Challenge Month, officially!  Here’s the schedule:

Each Monday, we’ll introduce a theme and briefly explain.

Throughout the week we’ll be sharing stories and information tied to that theme, from staff and friends of NOFA-NY.

On Wednesdays, as a break from we-post-you-read, we’re going to invite you to do a short exercise to help you learn, grow and focus on the weekly theme (and be a bit more competitive to win a prize if you decide to host a Harvest Celebration Dinner).

Sundays we hope to catch you in a moment when you can read a longer rumination (that’s a food world word!).  You might learn how NOFA-NY staff are dealing with the week’s theme or might even find your own images or words that we’ve nabbed from Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook (so don’t forget to tag if you want us to see it!).  We’re not going to commit to a particular style for Sundays, just that we hope to keep you entertained while you wait for your water-bath canner to heat up, or while you relax with a local beer in one hand and an ear (or three) of corn on the grill.

locavore tags

Our promise overall: lots of stories!

Our request: talk back!  We maintain this blog and all our social media as a way to create a conversation around local and organic food.  Please post, like, share and comment (with respect)!

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