My father-in-law grew up on a farm in this community and he often told me about the work done in the summer kitchen each year canning fruits, vegetables and meat. They had a dirt cellar floor and root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, turnips and beets were buried there in the fall. Food for the family and animals had to be prepared and properly stored for the winter months.
The slogan “buy local, buy fresh” is seen frequently in our area as our region promotes locally produced foods. Several restaurants in the city have seasonal, regional menus featuring local fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses. I was reading about a movement in
Imagine the work our ancestors went to obtaining sufficient food for the winter. On a recent walk, I noticed fresh cattail shoots in a marshy area. Apparently, cattails can provide food year round, from these tender shoots to the roots and mature heads, which can be eaten like corn on the cob. Sumac is also edible as are many other wild plants. We have become far removed from our local food sources.
I am not about to start looking for my vegetables in the woods and swamps, but I think it is good to be more aware of where our food is coming from and the ecological impact of our food choices. Most fast foods and packaged foods can hardly be identified as coming from whole and natural sources. I have never tasted a papaya or mango in
I shop at our excellent farmers markets as often as possible and am trying to be aware of food options that support our local economy and match the seasons’ “best and freshest.”
It would be a good exercise to try the 100 mile diet for a week. And who knows, I may even be tempted to see if a cattail shoot is as tasty as fresh asparagus.