Can you be a locavore?

I love local food, but I live in RI and it is challenging to get your daily requirements of fruits and vegetables in RI in February. But come May, my mouth waters at the thought of local strawberries and the promise of farm picked blueberries, raspberries, zucchini, summer squash, butter-n-sugar corn…and don’t even send me down the path of heirloom tomatoes that appear mid-July and linger through October.

That said, I yearn to be a year-round locavore.  I love our local oysters (check out my personal favorite Matunuck Oyster Farm; Perry does an amazing job growing oysters on the pond and I can say I have had the pleasure of one pulled from the icy, salty waters and shucked and slurped within minutes!). There is nothing better than going to a dock in Galilee and taking home what a local fisherman reeled in that day.

Locavore Nation implemented an experiment to get volunteers to source 80% of their food from organic, seasonal sources defined as within 500 miles of their home for a year. To read about the experiment and get tips on how you can become a locavore go to Splendid Table here. Our family is trying, but I’m not just all the way there. In season right now is leeks, potatoes, and some salad mixes. I’m not into canning, I just don’t like the flavor. I can eat the root vegetables off season; I can source local fish, meats and dairy products but I want fruit, I want my kids to have fruit.  I am a locavore trapped in coastal RI and one cannot live on oysters and potatoes alone, I am very interested in locavore ideas so please share your thoughts!

KDL | follow me on Twitter: newscaster

7 Responses

  1. To be a locavore you have to think long-term (and have a lot of freezer space or can). You’ll get your fruits if you plan ahead and freeze and can them when they’re available. No, it’s totally not the same as fresh, but it’s a divine treat during the frigid months.

    That said, I still struggle with the idea of losing bananas and oranges (staples of my diet that I am incapable of growing locally).—-and I say “struggle”because I still haven’t given them up.

    How do hard core locavores replace them?

    • I don’t know how locavores in give up bananas, I have 2 small children and bananas are the first food of the day, they’re what they eat when I can’t get them to eat anything else. I grab one on the way to workout. I’m eating one right now. The other item for me is wine. My husband is in the wine business and we find new wineries with sustainable practices all of the time, but I’m not drinking only local wine. Over time who knows, or maybe I can move to Napa.


  2. Saw your twitter, so I had to come over and comment, being an open locavore…

    I know it’s different out here in Seattle, compared to good old New England (where I grew up) but, if you own rather then rent, I’d look at a root cellar and long term apple/pear storage (assuming pears grow back there… never liked pears growing up). I’d look at the book too. Great book and not all long term storage is about canning. Freezing is another option, and great for berries. You might not be able to eat them by the handful, but they’re great for jams, jellies, compotes, baking…

    But for those tomatoes? Canning is a good solution and, you never know, using the local, farm fresh heirlooms, stored in olive oil… the taste will be better. Trust me (and if they aren’t, I’ll be back in Mass around Christmas time and I’ll take ’em off your hands 😉 )

    • Thanks John, I never though of a root cellar but it is something I can look into. We own and have a nice piece of land. We are increasing our freezer space so I can store more berries. One problem I have is we always run out. I just broke into my last bag of local frozen strawberries this morning, and our blueberries and raspberries are long gone. I usually make tomato sauce and salsa from my tomatoes at end of season, the rest of the time I just devour them. Last year my tomato plants gave me brandwines that were 3 and 4 lbs…pure utopia.

      Thanks! Kim

  3. Nigella Lawson had a jarred summer veg recipe that would be perfect, if only I could find it.

  4. Some people make built-in “loop holes” for concerns like coffee and still consider themselves to be locavores. If that helps more people make the move toward local eating, go for it! I hear a lot of other “locavores” making built-ins for spices, or for banannas for a special bananna cake or some other circumstance. The idea is to live in line with a philosophy of eating, not necessarily to be an ascetic. Idealogues and extremists spoil all kinds of good things for themselves and others. We find what works for us and can’t tell anyone else how they “should” or “shouldn’t” make their food decisions. I don’t care too much one way or the other about banannas, but I make an allowance for responsibly-grown free-trade coffee. Life without coffee = a lot less fun 🙂

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