I am a chronic dabbler. My friends and family know this. They take select few of my often grand pronouncements and newly found passions seriously unless proven by a least a month’s time. This is fine with me. I know I’m a little flaky and that I often abuse superlatives. And hyperbole. “This is the best workout I’ve ever done.” “That macaroni and cheese has no equal on this earth, anywhere.” “I have never seen anything so beautiful in my life.” You see? It doesn’t take long for the novelty to wear off and I’m off to something new. Like I said; I know this. This attitude means, despite it’s flaws, that I’m regularly incredibly excited and inspired. (Blame Sagittarius. I come by it honest.) And that’s quite alright with me, too.
This week, I’m excited about my garden. Now, I’ve never planted my own garden before but I’m all about the local, homegrown, sustainable movement. One of the things that has me excited this month is the documentary film medium, and I’ve watched a handful of movies about the food industry in the last few weeks. One of the things I tell folks about these movies is that you shouldn’t watch them unless you’re prepared to make some decisions. After watching Food, Inc., Deconstructing Supper, and Killer at Large, and researching more about companies like Monsanto and the local farmers in my area, I decided to redirect my grocery allowance to local farmer’s markets and my own backyard.
Because I live in a townhome I’m working with very limited space, but I managed to get three varieties of lettuce, peas, carrots, broccoli, spinach, garlic, and soon tomatoes into the dirt. I’ve also got several pots of herbs (basil, rosemary, oregano) and transplanted 3 plants (mint, cilantro, thyme) to the far end of the garden. I’m pretty skeptical about the peas, carrots, spinach, and garlic, because I’m generally apprehensive to be hopeful about the survival rate of anything I grow from scratch. Either way, I think I’m doing my tiny little part to take money from the coffers of the likes of Monsanto and support local farmers. Anything I need that I can’t grow, I’ll get from the Nashville Farmer’s Market. It’s a nice field trip for the girls and I each week, and when I’m there I can’t help but think, “Now, THIS is how people ought to shop.”
Do me a favor, and look into the farmer’s markets in your area. You’d be surprised how many local farms you can find, and the variety of produce and meat you can buy from them. Meats are more expensive when you buy local, but it’s because they’re not raised in bulk and shot up with hormones that make them produce more than they are meant to. It’s worth it. The meats taste unlike anything you get from the store. Paying a little more also encourages eating a more reasonable amount than we tend to in this red meat loving country. You’ll eat less, enjoy it more, and contribute to sustaining your community. You will be very current and likable.