Monday, March 31, 2008

March Local Food of the Month: Turnips

I'm going to see if I can try one new food each month and blog about it here. It might be a food I've eaten before, but never cooked. Or it might be something I've cooked before, but never starting from that particular form, such as head-on shrimp or fish that I need to skin and fillet.

The food of the month for March is the Turnip!!

While I realize that it's likely that I've had turnips before, I've never knowingly had turnips and I've certainly never cooked with turnips.

I did, however, have several preconceived notions about turnips. I thought that they would be as hard to peel as a butternut squash, very starchy, and honestly not all that flavorful.

Oh man, was I wrong!! They peeled very easily, and under the skin was a slightly moist and crispy looking flesh that simply begged me to try it raw. Sweet! Crunchy!! Who knew!! Well, ok, probably millions of people knew, but I sure didn't. Another preconceived notion: I had them pegged as a strictly cooked veggie, not something to serve raw.

But this one I chopped to include with the roasted veggies that I served with the chicken I wrote about earlier. Oh man, it's just as tasty cooked as it was raw. Partner, who had claimed to hate turnips, ate them, then acted like I'd added poison to the chicken's spice rub when I mentioned the turnips, then tried them again (cautiously) and decided that maybe turnips were ok after all. MY turnips, anyway. You've just gotta love someone who declares that the only reason why a previously hated veggie is good is because you cooked it. That's love. Or rationalization. Or something.

I'd like to find out how well they keep once they're cut into. I'd love to be able to put some bits of turnip into the salads that we have several times a week (thanks to Farmer Tim's absolutely yummy salad mix), but I don't know if the remaining turnip will go all nasty on me like a browned apple. Then again, I put cut apples back in the fridge all the time then just cut the brown part off... And it's not like turnips are so expensive that I can't just experiment. Plus I can always Google it instead of just wondering.

So there we have it: My first time with a turnip, and it was a good one. I'll definitely have them again. In fact, Farmer Tim didn't offer them this past week so I picked some up from the Good4You market to have with Friday's roast chicken repeat, this time with guests.

Up for April: The baby bok choy that I got from Farmer Tim, which I plan to half and sear according to a recipe I found online.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Aquaculture Network

I spent some time this evening trying to track down fish and shrimp farmers in Delmarva. Googling "fish farmer" led me to the term "aquaculture" and to the Aquaculture Network, which led me to the USDA site for Aquaculture which led me to the Delaware and Maryland Aquaculture Societies, which I emailed to find out if there are any fish farmers in Delmarva who sell to consumers.

Of course being as late as it is, all I can think of is what if they used an abbreviated form of "The Aquaculture Network"...

This is a test of the Slowcavore Broadcasting System...

:::cue obnoxious loud squealy squacky noise:::

This is a test of the Slowcavore broadcasting system.

Your local Slowcavore blogger has added a link that allows folks who actually want to read these ramblings to receive an email with the updates. And believe it or not, there's actually someone out there who wants to read this rambling nonsense.

Had this been a real post, it would likely have included even more babble than this, since I never say in 50 words what I can say in 500.

This concludes this test of the Slowcavore Broadcasting System.

Another day in the life

DeLoca's up to 33 members. I'd love to see it evolve into something more than just an email list: Social connections with locavore picnics, maybe getting folks together to make bulk purchases of things that aren't available in the immediate area to make it worthwhile to have someone deliver from PA or VA or someplace like that, even just as a group that can stand up and say to farmers, restaurants, stores, local and state governments, etc., "Hey, we want to eat local, naturally-raised foods!" and have some small influence on what they then decide to do.

Dinner tonight was local extremely yummy greens sauteed in a bit of olive oil with a bunch of organic garlic (note to self: stock up on local!) and some mango-chili vinegar, plus totally not local fish and rice. One of the things I hope to find is at least a regional source for not-hideously-expensive fish and shrimp, since we eat so much of it. I was floored to read that the tilapia that we get is imported from China; I know it's farmed in the US -- hell, for a while they were teaching fish farming at my school, so surely there has to be a tilapia farm somewhere in the Mid-Atlantic!

I know that wild fish is much better nutritionally, but there's where I get into one of my locavore dilemmas: Do I get wild-caught fish from a long distance away, or do I get farmed fish from closer? Because as far as I can tell, there simply isn't any commercial fishing anywhere around here.

Boy what I wouldn't give for someone who is obsessed with fishing but catches far more than he ever eats, and who would then sell his excess to us. Well, as long as it wasn't fished from anywhere remotely affected by the Indian River Power Plant, that is... A couple of months ago there was a guy sitting at the bar in La Tolteca (which is now La Teztelteca, but I digress) talking to the bartender about how he'll start bringing him in some fish since he catches so much more than he eats, and I wanted so much to go up to him and ask him to be my personal fisherman, but I chickened out.

Pastured-beef potroast tomorrow, with organic potatoes and carrots. Then next Friday we're having friends over and I'm making another regional-natural chicken with organic roasted root

And since I'm never going so locavore as to give up avocados, I'm very happy to have picked four of them up at the Good4You market today. Oh I love avocados - just to slice one open, sprinkle on some salt and grab a spoon is heaven. Yum.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Rockin' the house

We just got our freezer today. It's bright white and cold and now has in it the stuff we're less likely to eat really soon from the regular freezer. I'm now absurdly excited about getting a vacuum sealer and putting my first "well, we can't eat this now but it will be great this winter" produce and other foods into it.

I've had all kinds of folks at work commenting on the article and asking about eating locally. And some folks who work with Partner want the information on our CSA and are considering joining.

Plus DeLoca's up to 28 people.

And I ended my long busy work day sitting out on the porch with a martini and a good book. Rock on!

I'd really be ready to rock the house if I wasn't so stuffed from an oh so seriously not local/natural meal at the local small-town greasy spoon restaurant. Well, considering where we live the fried chicken I had is likely local but highly industrial. But the baked potato? The iceberg lettuce salad with blue cheese dressing? The corn pudding? Can those things at least count as "locally sourced"?

I know: Nope, no way. But that's ok with me; like I keep saying, I plan to do what I can do, and keep doing more all the time, but sometimes I've just got to go to dinner at the local greasy spoon on a payday Friday night after a long busy week.

Oh, speaking of stuffed: One of the things I'm doing a lot better at as an offshoot of this local eating thing is portion control. I'm at the point where I just automatically set aside half of my meal when I go out to eat, and I'm usually still stuffed.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

DeLoca may not be TheCrazy idea I thought it was!

(DeLoca? TheCrazy? Get it? OK, just making sure.)

Between the newspaper article and the wonderful Farmer Tim putting information out to his followers about the list, the Delaware Locavore's list now has 25 members. Wooot!! They include folks from all over the Delmarva peninsula but it's definitely getting heavy on the slower-lower Delawarians, mostly thanks to Farmer Tim's efforts. I'm thinking about contacting some farmers/CSAs from some other areas to see if they'd be willing to put the word out to their members as well.

That 25 includes a chicken/guinea farmer, two CSA farmers (one produce-only, one produce and eggs plus pastured beef courtesy of a partner farmer), one farmer/natural foods store owner, and someone who I suspect has something to do with the Rehoboth farmers market (considering that the email is a variation on

I'm a happy camper. Now if only more folks would post things or respond to things that others post. It's the sort of thing where I wish I could serve an initial round of all-natural martinis just to loosen things up a bit.
Edited to add: In the time it took for me to type this, it went up to 26. Whoooohooo!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My Granny's legacy in me

My beloved 90 year old Granny isn't doing very well right now. It's her time, she's wanted to go for years instead of facing this ever-increasing nightmare of Alzheimer's and dependency, but her body isn't fully cooperating. She was brought into the hospital the other day with an oxygen level of 45 (how is that even compatible with life?!?) and has to go from there to a nursing home under hospice care since she's too medically fragile for my mom to care for her.

I could write for hours about her physical and emotional strength, how she's my hero, how she has always been my one completely reliable source for absolutely unconditional love, but this is my local foods blog. So where does she fit in?

I grew up military, and for a while I thought that military people that move a lot don't have gardens but normal people do. My granny (by herself) tilled, planted, maintained and harvested from a garden every year that supplied the majority of her produce for the year: She always had a huge L-shaped garden that my mom confirmed was about 100' by 25' with an L of another 25' or more, so we're talking over 3000 sq ft of garden. She froze many things in her big chest freezer, and her pantry shelves were filled with the results of her yearly canning: beans, beets, pickles, tomatoes, applebutter. I still can't pass by a farmer's market vendor who has mason jars of pickled beets without buying some, but they're never as good as hers.

My Granny expressed her love for us through foods. My cousin Cindi and I would traipse through the woods in the summer, trying to force ourselves to bring home at least as many huge ripe blackberries as we ate. We endured being then stripped down and inspected for ticks then tossed into a tub to which bleach was added since that supposedly dealt with any chiggers that might have hitched a ride. But after all that, we could count on a dessert of blackberry "coblet" (my young-childhood word for cobbler, which became the family term for that delightful dish) with a dollop of whipped or just regular cream.

Breakfasts were an orchestra of foods: Eggs from farmer neighbors (since she stopped keeping her own chickens when she had to start working in the factory), sausage and bacon, biscuits, honey still on the comb from the local beekeeper, sausage gravy, sliced of exquisitely juicy cantaloupe in season, slices of intensely red tomatoes.

It was from her I first learned the difference between the canned corn my mother served and an ear of sweet corn picked minutes before it hit the pot, the breathtaking flavor of a perfectly ripe just picked tomato, all the flavors and smells from her garden.

Realistically I'll never have a garden that large. I won't learn to can; at best I'll learn something of the art of freezing to keep a winter's worth of food in stock. I'll grow increasingly dependent on Farmer Tim to keep me supplied with local fresh foods. I'll try a few new things each year in my garden - perhaps, next year, some berries - but I'm realistic enough to know that may things I try to grow will simply flop.

But what I wish she could know is that her love for feeding her family, starting from wanting to grow the foods herself (or at least know where they came from) through the joys of cooking then sitting down with us to eat, was passed on to me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

If not now, when? If I am only for myself, then who am I?

OK, so this post isn't about Rabbi Hillel, but this paraphrase of one of his famous quotes seems to fit the whole idea of going locavore.

But this post is about If's. On, the Eat Local Challenge website, and I'm sure other places that I haven't found yet, there are variations on the hierarchy of what to do if you can't get local. They, in all of their variations, are excellent. But for myself, I would choose a slightly different order, as follows.
  • First, I'm going to get as much as I can that is locally grown/raised using sustainable, natural farming practices. And while I can get eggs, beef, pork, some chicken, most veggies and some fruit within 25 miles, for my own purposes, "local" is really more "regional," up to 250-300 miles away, since there are some things that just aren't available any closer.
  • If it can't be obtained local and natural, then from local small farms. The other lists put "organic" second, but considering that most non-local organic products that I can get are produced on huge industrial farms that aren't necessarily all that kind to any animals involved (if we're talking animal products, anyway), then I'll deal with some pesticides and some smaller-scale industrial farming practices before I'll bring something in from 1000+ miles away.
  • If it's not available from a local small farm, then from a Eastern-US family farm, natural/organic and within 1000 miles getting first priority. I want to try to keep the travel to a minimum, and I want to minimize my support of the huge agricultural conglomerates -- though knowing exactly who is a part of those companies these days seems to be a bit of a challenge.
  • Then if it's not available, I'll go for natural/organic from the US and natural/organic/fair trade from outside of the US.
Are these hard and fast rules? Oh hell no. First of all, I've only begun to do my research as to where the foods I buy come from. I have no idea, for example, if Daisy sour cream is made by a big conglomerate or a smaller family farm, but I DO know that they're the only sour cream out of five choices on my grocery store shelf that has one single ingredient: Cream. No additives, no thickeners, just cream. And things like that tend to jump to a higher spot on my list; not that I'm being given the option, but I'd buy Daisy sour cream over the local [non-organic] dairy's sour cream, if the local dairy made sour cream but added guar gum or some other crap to it. I did happen to notice that they're in Texas, so they're form the wrong side of the Mississippi and they're not organic, but they still get my business. For now. Until I can find a local source.
Edited to add: Daisy Brand is a fourth-generation, family-owned business... The vast majority [of its milk and cream] comes from Texas and New Mexico.
This whole locavore thing -- the whole process of conscious consumerism -- can be complicated. Seriously. I mean, is it REALLY better to buy organic milk from cows that are still force fed organic corn and raised in a factory farm setting owned by a big conglomerate who sees the profit in Organic, than to buy from a local small family-owned dairy where they still use antibiotics and industrialized dairy farm practices, but at least they're local and not a big conglomerate? How the hell do I know, for real? I don't. So I just muddle through, making the best decision at each moment that I'm able to make. Which also involves not sweating it if Partner picks up Hell-Mart brand milk for our granddaughter.

To end with another paraphrased quote, this time from Maya Angelou, I'll just do for now what I can do, and when I can do better I will do better.

There is just so much to learn. Baby steps, kiddo. Baby steps.

In the News

The article on local eating is published, in print and online (click here to read it).

(That's me, with Baby Granddaughter, shopping at the local natural foods market. She's holding one of the purple potatoes that I was in the process of bagging. I'm hoping that she'll grow up to be a kid for whom purple potatoes - and turnips, and all kinds of other things with a focus on local, seasonal foods - are "normal" to eat, at least at her grandmothers' house.)

What both amuses me and ticks me off is that the photographer didn't give a rats ass about the subject of the article, he just wanted pictures where he could include what was colorful and pretty, which is why that big stack of oranges in Delaware in March is the focus of the picture of me supposedly shopping for local foods. Oy.

I'm thrilled that the article featured my CSA, though. Farmer Tim's a good guy. And I'm also just happy that it's such a positive article on local eating.

First came the chick...

The farmer who raises pastured chickens just emailed me... she got her chicks today, and will have chicken in 6-8 weeks.

From this:

To this:

In two months.

I'm feeling like I should go visit them. I really am starting to believe that if I'm going to be a responsible meat eater, then I should not only ensure that the animals that become my food are being raised responsibly and humanely, I should be willing to go see them while they're alive, create a very real connection between what I eat and where it came from. I need to re-sensitize myself that this package of whatever once walked around, breathed, ate, made noise, communicated. I honestly feel that we're too desensitized to that, and it makes us less conscious of what we're eating, less grateful for the sacrifice that had to be made.

I'm not at all ready to go as far as Michael Pollan wrote about, with going to help with the slaughter or going hunting, but I need to do at least this.

It was a nightmare experience involving a computer that ate our order and a subsequent two hour wait to get it fixed, but we will be getting our freezer delivered on Friday. Yay!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Roasted Chicken and Root Veggies

OK so not all the veggies I used were local, but with proper storage they at least could have been. The chicken was within my 250 mile definition of local, which for many things is much more realistic despite living in a rural agriculturally-based county.

(note to self: figure out best way to set up something in the basement to properly store root veggies over the winter)

I roasted the chicken according to a method proposed in Cooks Illustrated: After prepping it (my choice: simply rub with extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper - next time, rub under the skin as well), roast it in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes WING SIDE UP, then flip it to the other side for 30 minutes, then finally put it the normal way (breast side up) until done, though at that point you add a cup of chicken broth to the bottom of the roasting pan. Oh man did it work well - the skin was wonderfully crisp all over.

During the final roasting, I prepped the veggies: purple potatoes,

turnips (you can see the carrots in the bowl)

(except one of the turnips was mostly ick),

carrots, and onions, all cut into 1" chunks or 2" thin lengths, toss in some olive oil with salt and pepper. Then when the chicken is done (and yes, there was supposed to be a picture here but I got distracted by house guests and didn't snap one), pour the broth into a separating cup, scrape anything left off the bottom of the roasting pan, and put it back into the oven and crank the heat up to 500. When it hits 500, put the veggies into the roasting pan and cook until done (recipe said 25 minutes, 40 was more realistic) without stirring. Then take the pan out, put the broiler on, stir the veggies, pour 1/2c of the broth over and stir again, broil for 5 minutes, stir, broil 5 minutes again.

Everything was delicious. And Partner even ate the turnips. It was actually quite funny: After having declared, "Oh I HATE turnips!" I simply responded, "well then just pick them out." I served dinner, Partner looked wary at first of the purple potatoes but didn't hesitate at shoveling in big white chunks of turnip. I asked after we both had seconds, "so you did like the turnips after all."

Partner looked at me like I'd just said "honey, I put arsenic in the sauce." Denied eating turnips. Demanded to see one when I said that I'd seen at least 4-5 bites shoveled down. Warily ate another bite. And declared, "well, I definitely like YOUR turnips."


That was almost as good as the time our eldest granddaughter shoveled down 5 tacos before I told her it was ground turkey, since she'd previous insisted that she wouldn't eat it, or the time I got a friend who always declared that avocados were the Most Disgusting Things Ever to try a bite of my guacamole without letting her see what she was tasting. She loved it and thought it was the best dip I'd ever made.


I have pictures that I'll add to this later, but right now I'm just too damn lazy to go get the camera.

Yes, Liver.

I was the weird kid who actually liked liver and spinach. However, once I learned several decades ago both the liver's actual function and what most places were feeding their animals, I stopped eating it.

But oh do I big puffy heart fresh chicken livers from all-naturally raised chickens. As the oven was pre-heating and I was prepping the bird to roast, I dropped a tad of butter into a hot pan, doused the bit of liver with some salt and pepper, did a quick brown on both sides, and popped that tender bit into my mouth.

Happy happy joy joy YUM.

Partner is no big fan of chicken livers but likes beef liver, so I'm going to try to see if Farmer Tim (our wonderful CSA farmer from Community Organics) can hook us up with his pastured beef farmer and get us some. I recall a recipe that I watched the guy on Cookin' in Brooklyn make a while back that looked delicious that I'll try with it, if I can find it on his website.

Where to put the freezer

I want a freezer. We NEED a freezer in order to extend the time that we can eat locally. But for all the space we have in this house, we have no where to put a freezer. But I'm planting a garden for the primary purpose of growing veggies to freeze, so within about 45 days (when it tells me I can start picking spinach), we must have a freezer! But where to put it?
  • The basement doorway and stairway is much to small to get even the smallest freezer down there.
  • The garage gets much too hot in the summer plus there is only one circuit going out there which means that it's not really advisable to attempt to use power tools and run the freezer at the same time.
  • The kitchen? HA! We don't even have room for a dishwasher in that kitchen.
  • Mudroom? No room. Laundry room? No room.
  • First floor office? I say yes, but Partner says a resounding no. Dammit.
The only place I can think of to put it is the third floor, which is already crowded, plus the slanted ceilings make it a bit of a challenge, but it's still an option. And while it would be nice to have things closer to the kitchen, the third floor is still closer than the garage, which is near the back of our yard.
Edited: Never mind. Partner now says Yes to putting it in the office. There's one that's a good size for us currently on sale at Lowes plus we have a coupon for $50 off if we can find another $150 worth of stuff to buy from Lowes. HA! As if that would be any issue. We never have any trouble finding stuff to buy from Lowes. Our idea of a Friday night date these days is dinner at Cracker Barrel and then hang out at Lowes. We're so old and boring.
In other locavorish ramblings, I had a local egg sandwich for lunch, and got my CSA delivery: Four steaks, a package of short ribs, two bags of mixed baby greens, one bag of baby pak choi, and two turnips, which I'm going to roast together with some non-local blue potatoes, carrots, and onions with our extended-local chicken for dinner tonight.
Edited: Now Partner tells me "I don't like turnips." Oh well, pick them out then.
And I had planned on working in the garden today, getting the fence put up, but Partner took my van to deliver Baby Granddaughter home (together with the toddler bed that we scored off freecycle, which is why my van was needed) and it has the garden fence stakes in it. But that's ok because I'm too lazy tired to garden anyway.

Friday, March 21, 2008

How did I get here?

Like so many locavores I know, Barbara Kingsolver handed me my gateway drug to locavorism: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I loved her novels, ran out of those to read so I checked out a collection of short stories, and one story in there was either from AVM or was about it or was at least on the same subject. I was intrigued. I then checked out AVM and I was hooked.

I've since a lot of other things on the subject, and hope to read many more: Michael Pollan's "Omnivore's Dilemma" and "In Defense of Food." The chapter on food from "Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future." All sorts of websites. Last summer I started a blog about being a locavore but I really wanted it to be a website of local resources but I didn't have time to really pull it together, and the whole point was that I didn't KNOW the resources and was trying to create what I couldn't find. Then more recently I started a yahoo group for locavores in my general area (the Delmarva penensula) called Delmarva Locavores, and we have a few members so far, including one who joined in order to find folks to interview for an article on eating locally that will be in one of our state's main papers. And she interviewed me and said she'll publish the name of the yahoo group so I hope we get some more folks.

What I've done in terms of my own moves towards being a locavore:
  • I made my dogs do it first. Seriously, I switched them to as local as we're ever going to get for a dogfood. It's a high quality all-natural dog food that doesn't just use the nasty stuff from its protein sources. It's not quite local because while most of the ingredients are local, they're send to someplace like Ohio to be made into the dog food then sent back here, but at least it's not Chile.
  • I started buying milk from the local dairy. Now, they're an industrial dairy farm, so we're not talking pastured cows or cows fed organic foods or anything, and I've only been told but not had it confirmed that they don't use growth hormones, but the way I see it, I'd rather buy truly local from a non-organic industrial dairy than buy organic from a huge industrial farm 1000 miles away. Maybe one day we'll have a pastured-cow dairy around here that's allowed to sell milk.
  • I joined a CSA - Community Organics. I went for the Full Monty: A year-round membership that lets me pick and choose from what's available including pastured beef (Oh. My. Maude. The steak we had was more delicious than I could imagine a steak being), eggs, and some veggies not put into the regular share basket. And a 6-month share basket where I'll have to start learning how to fix things that I'm not sure I've ever eaten. This is why I ordered some turnips this week: I want to ease myself into Cooking New Things, and I figured I'd better start early.
  • I've started being more conscious about what I eat, especially (so far) what I buy at the grocery store to bring home. Restaurants will come later, but I'm not ready for that yet.
  • Since I'm getting a variety of stuff from the CSA, I'm planning a garden that will allow me to freeze some veggies for the winter: I just bought spinach seeds and sugar snap peas to plant today. I probably should have gotten some regular peas as well. I'll do tomatoes and maybe a pepper plant and I'm going to try brussels sprouts and broccoli and kale. This garden is a bit ambitious for me, but I'm going to try it - I normally don't do anything other than a few tomato plants. Oh and I'll need to get a freezer since I don't have one yet.
  • I found a dairy that makes cheese, butter and ice cream. Well, their cheese and ice cream are made 150 miles from here by Amish farmers, using milk from their pastured-cows so that's 300 miles, but with regard to natural dairy that's probably going to be as close to local as we're ever going to see. A friend of mine and I are going to check it out soon.
So that gives you the background on this person who is rambling on here.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What the hell is a "Slowcavore"?

Well, since it's a word I just made up (and I verified that I made it up by attempting to Google it, and if it can't be Googled, then it doesn't exist, right?!), it means me.

I'm Leslie, and I'm a slowcavore.

I'm a locavore (or at least attempting to be one) because I've been feeling this amazing "oh yes, this is what makes sense for my life" response to the entire concept around locavorism, and my small beginning efforts to eat local foods that preferably use natural or organic sustainable farming practices. I'm talking "oh yes" in that "falling in love, and the more you get to know each other, the more you really believe that this could be forever" kind of way. I can't tell you right now that it will be forever, but I can tell you that it's a very serious relationship that won't burn out quickly.

But I'm a slow locavore. I'm going to work on pushing my boundaries, but I'm going to keep it realistic for me, my family, and where I live. There are many really wonderful resources, books and websites, on eating locally and locavorism that have helped me explore this path. But too many of them, even some of the ones that I would consider truly to be among the best, really imply that you need to make an almost-all or nothing commitment, and that you should commit to going almost totally local as quickly as possible. It's easy to read their war stories of how much they had to give up until they found local resources for some key foods and think, "I'll never be able to (or want to) do that!" It feels at times as if a "good" locavore is expected to give up a lifetime of the food equivalent of two packs a day -- tomorrow, cold turkey, without a patch, oh and give up caffeine and sugar at the same time.

In my life, that's as realistic as my saying "starting tomorrow, I'm going to walk to work every day, no matter what the weather." It might seem great in theory, but it's not terribly realistic for me.

Just like some folks need to stop smoking gradually, and most folks need to lose weight gradually in order to keep it off, this person has to ease into becoming a locavore. I'm not going to able to give all non-local foods up all at once. Because of where I live, by necessity I'll have a much wider circle of what I'll be able to consider local than what seems to have become the standard of 100 miles. And there are just some things that are never going to disappear from my life, including tea, chocolate and avocados for me, coffee and sugar for Partner, and going out to eat to places that aren't local for both of us.

I have no apologies for meandering towards the clear goal of eating locally. Becoming a locavore is definitely not a competition. And despite what some very resourceful and committed people have been able to accomplish (people who have a lot to teach the rest of us from their experiences) for most of us it really doesn't have to be an all or nothing deal - anything that you can do counts and is a positive thing. For the most part the people I've met who are exploring eating locally are being equally realistic and totally get it. They just aren't the folks writing some of these books or websites.

So this will be where I do everything from ramble on about something I read (and, if you haven't figure it out yet, yes I really can ramble), to put questions and musings out there, to remark on the trivia of the locavore part of my life, such as what I got from my CSA that week.

If anyone happens upon this and wants to reply, I'd love more than anything to have something I say spark a dialog of any kind, even if it's only to say "hey, me too!" and "oh yeah? cool!".

One last note: Slowcavore sounds maybe more like a combination of being a locavore and part of the Slow Foods movement. I'm intrigued by what very little (like, two paragraphs of little) I've read about the Slow Foods movement, and I want to learn more about it, as soon as I finish devouring (1) every book and website I can find on the subject of eating locally, (2) another one of those exquisite porterhouse steaks from the local pastured beef farm, and (3) the turnips that I'm getting from my CSA on Saturday.

I have no bloody clue what to do with a turnip.