On average, the food we eat today travels an average of 1500 miles from farm to fork! This can be reduced dramatically a number of ways, including making informed choices at the grocery store, growing some of our own food, joining a CSA, or going to the farmer’s market.
Hey, why not all of the above? More people are eating locally-grown food while reaping the benefits of in-season produce and lowering their impact on the environment. And by preserving and canning all this fresh food ourselves, we extend that local, seasonal food selection all through winter!
Joe Lamp’l and Chef Nathan Lyon take us to the Farmer’s Market where we learn about “food miles,” and Nathan shows us how to shop a market, what to look for, what to ask for, and how to get to know your vendors! Much of the time, the vendors ARE the farmers – which means they know everything about the crops: how they were grown, how they were treated for pests, what you need to know about proper storage, and you can be sure they have some great suggestions on ways to prepare it!
In this episode we visit a homeowner whose 1/10 acre Los Angeles backyard in is packed nearly wall-to-wall with edibles. You might not even notice all the food at first glance; with all the beautiful flowers and garden art and chickens and landscaped drifts of color you suddenly see… that’s a pepper plant! Nasturtiums! Those are tomatoes! Herbs, corn? Is that an apple tree on the back fence? And why is our Associate Producer Theresa Loe carrying a chicken?
When you grow your own food, you’ll find you commonly end up with not only “plenty” of produce, but EXTRA. Some years, even after you’ve given to your family and neighbors and coworkers and local food bank and you’re starting to give it away to strangers on the street, you still have some left over and can’t eat it all or give it away fast enough. Theresa shows us that by knowing how to can and preserve the surplus, you’re eating locally and seasonally all year long.
Buying and growing food locally is a boost to your local economy as well: by buying from local farmers and growers, and giving our own homegrown food surplus to food banks or shelters, we can be part of a complete community solution.
For more information:
- More about food miles
- Theresa Loe on Preserving the Harvest
- Joe Lamp’l’s blog post about this episode
- Garden Fresh Living
- Building Chicken Coops for Dummies (book)
- Chef Nathan Lyon prepares Parmesan Cheese Souffle with Fresh Eggs
*Unfortunately, since this show aired, Veggie Trader is no longer a functioning website.