Thursday, July 1, 2010

for me, it's all or nothing

Donna posted a comment the other day that got me thinking, about swearing off (or on) certain things, without recognizing that a pendelum usually refuses to stay at the highest point of its arc for too long. At some point, it's got to swing the other way.

This is something I need to remind myself, frequently. I can't do it all, so I feel like I'm not doing anything. Take the book I am reading right now, Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle. The premise is that she and her family ate only what they or local farmers produced, for an entire year. I am enjoying it, but I have to read it in small bits because it exhausts me just thinking about all that work. And then of course I feel like a great big slacker, because how come we're not raising our own turkeys and growing all our vegetables from seed and forsaking all junk food, amen?

I thought about this for a while, then decided just because we can't feed ourselves 100% of the time from local sources, doesn't mean I can't try to eat more from those sources. It will require a little bit of effort on my part, and I might have to leave the veggie comfort zone every so often (something my family does not cope with well -- probably all the more reason to try).

We don't belong to a CSA and we don't have a farmer's market very close to us -- but we do happen to have a lot of farmers. So here's my challenge to myself: only veggies and fruits available within a five mile radius from our house. Our own garden is of course included. My one exception is for a vast quantity of something we are going to preserve, such as the two cases of blueberries I drove down to Hammonton for today.

I am hoping to keep this up for three months and also hoping that I am not putting one of those pendulums in motion as I do. It's perfectly reasonable to do something for three short months, right?

And if I have to relent and purchase the occasional bag of broccoli slaw or baby carrots (which Terzo lives on), well, it's not the end of Western civilization as we know it.

p.s. Points to anyone who can tell me where the title of this post comes from...


  1. Oklahoma, the musical. I'd have let someone else answer, but I'm just a girl who cain't say no. I'm in a turrible fix.

  2. Hee hee hee, you got it. And you win bonus points for getting two extra quotes in your answer.

  3. Hi! I found your blog through Coal Creek Farm (I love April!) Thanks for the Voila correction. It drives me crazy, too.

    You are everything I want to be! I'm reading your archives at work, and totally neglecting my responsiblities. I love the lambs, your boys and your veggies. Do I sound like a stalker, now? lol, sorry.

    I loved Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I'm on Long Island, so I try to buy local as much as possible. I went out and bought a bread machine, and we make pizza every Thursday. We even tried it on the grill!

    Anyways, thanks for the blog. I added you to my Web Pals list- blogs I visit everyday. I'll be lurking!

  4. Five miles is *very* local. Another interesting book on the same subject is The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating (or Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally). Very interesting and better an easy read.

  5. Barbara Kingsolver is my hero of late also. Up here in Maine we are very lucky to have so many local farmer's markets, even in the winter now. If nothing else, her book has made me so much more aware of the energy consumption that goes into the food industry in this country. And I also cannot look at bananas the same way as I did before I read the book!!

  6. Happen to know that Saille learned the title song to Oklahoma her first day of school in Tulsa!