Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I'm slowly making my way through this excellent book, in audio book form. The author documents her family's year of eating locally grown food, and also delves into the dirty details of our national food systems. To me, this book has been fascinating, compelling, and inspiring. When we move to our new house, I want to start gardening. I want to find a local farmer's market where I can buy local meats and eggs. I want to cut down on the packaged, processed food we buy significantly. This might mean we start making our own bread and looking at "snacks" in a new light. I know this sounds like a lot, and I'm trying to keep my expectations realistic. But I also want to dream big. This is important. It's FOOD we're talking about, here. Sustenance. Life.

I know growing vegetables and making more things from scratch will be time consuming. And I sometimes feel like I'm barely holding everything together, without adding all of these ideology-based tasks. How am I going to work this into our lives? One of my strategies will be to cut down dramatically on screen time, both computer and television. We've already agreed that in the new house, the tv will not be kept in our main living space. We might keep it in a spare room or the basement, depending on the layout of the house we find. Or maybe on a cart that can be rolled in and out of a closet? We'll come up with something. But I don't want it to be the focal point of our home anymore.

So, on the main floor of our new house, no tv. Instead, I envision comfy reading and resting spots, play areas, craft/sewing/music work spaces. And the all-important kitchen, where I hope we'll all spend time together, preparing foods we've grown ourselves or bought from another individual who did. I'm really getting excited about this next phase in our lives. Now we just have to find the perfect house where all my local food dreams can come true.

I really encourage you all to read Barbara Kingsolver's book. Or get the audio book from the library. She has a nice reading voice. And her story might just change the way you eat.


Martin K. said...

Hey, that's the same author as the Poisonwood Bible. You'd really like that book too.
My dad grew lots of vegetables in our backyard when I was a kid. I remember picking carrots out of the ground and corn from the stalk for dinner. It was actually easier than going to the store every day. And even though the veggies didn't look as pretty, you had that feeling of "I grew this."

Martin K. said...

Oops, that's was me, Megan, who wrote that comment. Too lazy to log in as myself.

Colin said...

hey, she wrote Poisonwood Bible!

Bonnie said...

LB - you will love gardening. We had a huge garden growing up and we ate our own potatos, radishes, onions, carrots, lettuce, corn, grapes, peppers, beans.... all the time. I can remember having various meals where everything came from the work of our hands: homemade bread, deer meat, fresh veggies, homemade grape juice from our vines. I guess we didn't turn the butter, but still, like Megan said there was this great pride in knowing "We did this."

I remember mom and dad working in the garden while we were playing outside. And of course we had to help. We composted, too, which I encourage you to do. This summer I plan on beginning our composting and garden. I'm going to have to learn how to can... Oh Mom!

Anonymous said...

Hey LB, I was just telling Dan-I bet she will get into organic gardening when they move. You and I can learn together. You should've seen the 2 ears of corn I grew. Yeah, that's right-2 out of 5 long rows of stalks. Anyway, like I said, I will be learning right along with you. That might be fun canning together or something. I have all mom's stuff. When Dan grew up they grew everything too and to help in pollination they had a bee hive. Of course the big bonus is local honey. We even may get chickens someday. We are allowed 30 on our land, but I thing a couple of hens would be fun for eggs and pets. Lots of work for all of that stuff, but it is what memories will be made of.

Big sis

Maiasaura said...

Poisonwood Bible is a great book. I listened to it, too. Whoever read that thing was amazing, giving distinctive voices to all the different characters. I should see if the Bloomington library has that one.

I like hearing about everyone's experiences with gardening growing up. It's funny... as a kid I thought all that was a little weird. Or even gross, in my uber-picky food preferences. But now your parents are my heroes.

Emily, we should definitely can together! And I will buy eggs from you, if you get chickens. Are you zoned for cows? I'd love fresh milk as well. :-)