Produce season at the local farmers markets is in full swing with many marvelous choices in vegetables. We have been hearing a lot about the hundred mile diet lately and how eating locally lessens our carbon footprint.
My partner and I have discussed eating locally and our biggest fear was that we would not be able to eat a varied diet with lots of choices. After looking around the markets and talking to local food producers I think we are going to have a yummy summer.
This week, at the Errington farmers market, I purchased a huge bag of mixed greens. The variety in the bag was amazing and so fresh it still had the morning dew on the leaves. I found some beautiful hot house cherry tomatoes and the first strawberries are coming in from the fields, juicy and bursting with sweetness. Then I got a dozen free range eggs, Swiss chard, fava beans and some baby spinach.
This was all for under 15 dollars and I know from experience that these veggies will last the week, and the flavour beats anything from the grocery store.
I then headed over to the seafood seller and purchased some local prawns and found a lovely bouquet of fresh roses to grace my table and a loaf of fresh baked bread.
When I add all this to what I grow in my modest garden, we will eat well this week. Was it hard to eat local? No! At least not in the spring and summer. I am searching recipes and ideas on how to preserve food for the winter. Do I feel I am lacking something in my diet? No! My food has not traveled hundreds of miles and lost its freshness and nutrition. Do I feel good about lessening my carbon footprint? Yes! I am doing my part and I am not suffering at all. Will I continue to follow "The Hundred Mile Diet”? Yes! My partner and I have made a commitment to source at least 50 percent of our food locally.
The ecological footprint model devised by Dr. William Rees of UBC suggest that by switching to a local diet you would save almost an entire planet’s worth of resources. Now I am patiently waiting for raspberry season.
Judith Kervan is the owner/operator of SeaJay Herbals at the Errington Farmers Market.