Garden / Kitchen

Buying Local in the Middle of a Maine Winter

SmushedRowCoverI tried.  I've been trying.  I hear that you can get greens from small hoop houses in the middle of winter.  That may be true if you shovel the snow around them routinely, but add two long driveways, one walkway and the amount of snow we've had this winter, minus a snow blower, then add a husband with a bum shoulder, and suddenly the hoop houses become galacticly low on the priority list.  Therefore, what started as a simple little plastic covering for lettuce seeds has become flat as a pancake.  Every one in a while when it rains, I get a glimpse of the mushed plastic, but that's it. This photo is actually showing two hoop houses.  One on the right and one on the left.  See it?  Right, me neither.  That's my point.

It was my big hope that this winter we would have at least greens this time of year that I'd grown myself.  Not happening so far.  Too, the root vegetables that were root cellared in the fall are dwindling rapidly and the canned tomatoes are in the same state.

I'm craving healthy, colorful vegetables and fruit.  And this is the dilemma that so many of us face when actively supporting locally produced food within a lifestyle that is also active and not centered on homesteading.  Those who have completely drunk the kool-aide know that you need to start in April (with seedlings) for tomatoes, beans and a host of other vegetables to be canned and frozen in August for eating in January, February and March when the healthy body is craving vitamin rich, juicy, fresh produce.  And its a small segment of our population, bless their hearts, who have dedicated their lives to this pursuit.  Then there are the anti-zealots who fully embrace the Slow Food movement in every way that fits into our lifestyle and make the changes that make sense for our way of earning a living.  I'm in this camp and find there are places, like now, with holes between local fall and local spring.

Veggies1So off to the grocery store I trounced and this is what I brought back.  I'm RIDICULOUSLY excited to eat all of this produce, even though much of what is on my counter right now didn't come from the local farm or my garden.  Ironically, the tomatoes are Backyard Beauties and grown here in Maine.

I just ate three clementines for a snack!

© 2009 Anne Mahle

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