Thursday, June 17, 2010

Get in My Belly!

For 15 years my pesco-vegetarianism has kept me healthy, happy and well-fed. However, after realizing that some of my habits were based on misinformation and others no longer align with personal ideologies, I'm re-evaluating some of my dietary choices. Not surprisingly, there are locally-grown/raised foods that certainly fit within my budget. Surprisingly, there is a much larger community of local farmers, markets and organizations passionate about local food traditions than I thought.

I traveled with Mark Lilly of Farm to Family this week to the Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction and Mountain View Farm, both of which are located in the Shenandoah Valley.

The auction was hectic but very organized with farmers selling and retailers, farmer's markets and restaurateurs buying. There were tractors, trucks and horse-drawn carriages, as many of the auction attendees belong to the local Mennonite community. After the auction, we visited Mountain View Farm where I discussed the pros/cons of cow milking with the "cheese princess", otherwise known as the dairy owner's 5 year old daughter, Isabelle.

My goal is to keep my food budget the same but find a way to incorporate more locally-sourced foods. I'm also interested in learning how to prepare more foods native to our region. There are many degrees to which we can contribute to community and environmentally responsible practices and, no matter the degree, it all helps. If in addition to that, you get to sit on the back of a trailer with a real live cheese princess while observing the cows that provided you with part of the evening's meal...well, how cool is that?!

Want to find a farmer's market close to you? Click here.

Want to pay a flat rate and have local dairy and meats provided to you through Farm to Family? Click here.

Want to learn how to grow your own food either through volunteering or paying for classes? Click here.

Want to do a little more reading? Click here.

Lastly, come enjoy a beverage and see an example of a local community garden, our very own Tricycle Gardens, this Thursday from 6 to 9 pm during the monthly RVA Green Drinks!

Emily Smith

1 comment:

cgooddesign said...

Great post. I love supporting locally grown foods and farms. I have an especially strong love of those who are Shenandoah based!