Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Grow Your Own Thanksgiving

In an earlier post, I listed the proposed menu for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Wow, I had a giant brain cramp when I wrote that, forgetting that I had been saving treats from our garden, namely carrots & delicata squash, for the holiday. We'll also include some of the veggies we froze, swiss chard and green beans, to round out things, and will scratch the Roasted Squash with Chile Vinaigrette, we'll try that recipe later with some locally grown squash.

As much of this meal as I can will be made from homegrown or local produce, and cooked from scratch. I'm not alone in jumping on the eat local bandwagon. "Locavore" groups are springing up all over, and I think it is great, and maybe it will work to our advantage, encouraging local producers to diversify winter produce offerings, and encouraging retailers to seek out locally grown produce.

It is no real challenge in the summer to buy local -- farmer's markets, farm stands and CSAs abound. Neighbors sneak extra tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini onto your porch when you aren't at home. But come the first frost, and all that local goodness vanishes. Oh sure, CSAs can provide a seemingly endless stream of potatoes, beets, kale, carrots, onions, turnip, and rutabaga (and what IS the difference between turnip and rutabaga anyway?), but I find the parade of root vegetables uninspiring and worse yet, overwhelming for just 2 people. Clearly the answer is to get to work on my year-round greens production a la Eliot Coleman. It's just a matter of time --or the lack therof.

Well, time for planning post-holiday (although my Pine Tree Garden Seeds catalog has already arrived to tempt me), I've got to ready the homestead for guests and feasting. Check back for updates on the lovely and lovingly prepared local foods.

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