Eating hyper-locally

5 Apr

Last month, Novella Carpenter at Ghost Town Farm ate only things she had grown or raised for two weeks straight. Though it sounded a bit torturous, it was also inspiring. Eating things you’ve grown, besides being very tasty, is also fulfilling in a way that eating other food – even if if it’s local and organic – never could be.

Don’t worry – I’m not taking up Novella’s challenge because for me that would mean eating only vegetables. We no longer have chickens, and I’ve never had cows or goats so dairy would be out. I’m not sure I would make it past day one. (Also, like Novella, I depend on tea and haven’t gone without it for years.)

But as the days get sunnier and the rain arrives only once or twice a week, I’ve started to eat more from our ever evolving and growing garden.

I spent much of the day on Saturday in the garden, planting Japanese eggplant, blue lake beans, and some more lettuce and doing some general garden tidying. I sadly didn’t take any photos so you’ll just have to trust me that the garden is looking great.

We had planted carrots in the early fall so we pulled some of those. They’re incredible! Very sweet, but also slightly peppery. They’re also full length, which is an accomplishment for us because we usually are impatient and end up pulling them when they’re much shorter.

Two weeks ago, we planted a new, much bigger batch of carrots. We read that planting radishes with them means you don’t have to thin the carrots (or thin them much less) so we mixed in a bunch of radish seeds, even though my gardening partners weren’t so excited about actually harvesting and eating the radishes.

They’ve changed their tune a bit, as in just two weeks, all the radishes had sprouted beautiful, clover shaped leaves that taste crisp and peppery. I thinned the radish sprouts and brought them home with the carrots. Yesterday, my fiance and I made a delicious salad with the radish sprouts and carrots from the garden, and some baby lettuce and avocado from the farmer’s market. Yum!

In the evening, we threw basic bread ingredients into the bread machine and chopped up some parsley from the garden. We’ve been doing everything we can to use up the parsley because it’s too abundant to keep up with.

So this morning I awoke to the aroma of freshly-baked bread, which made it much easier to get myself out of bed.

The bread turned out a bit deformed but was still very tasty.

I’ll take some garden pictures soon to share, but if you have a garden of your own (or were thinking about starting one), now’s a great time to get working. Don’t make the mistake we made last year and wait until it’s hot and dry to get your seeds or starters into the ground. Starting now means less work, healthier plants, and a much bigger hyper-local harvest in the future.

4 Responses to “Eating hyper-locally”

  1. bethh April 6, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    I’m doing a garden at my apartment building with some of my neighbors. It’s been a great way to meet them! We have created two 4×4 beds and will be planting soon. The trouble is I’ve never gardened before and have NO IDEA about any of this. Do post more about your exploits!

    • Becks April 6, 2010 at 11:11 am #

      Good luck! You’ll learn a lot by doing. I’ll be sure to post updates in the coming months.

  2. Quercki April 18, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    More! More!
    I just finished “Farm City” by Novella Carpenter so this post had a lot of resonance for me.
    Have you tried mint (lots of kinds) or lemon balm tea? They are easy to grow.

    • Becks April 19, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

      Yes! We grow tons of mint. Peppermint, spearmint, chocolate mint. We had pineapple mint one season but that’s the only mint that died out. The rest are flourishing and we generally dry a bunch of it for tea, which is delicious.

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