Hello Fellow Local Eaters. My name is Jeannie and I am in the process of transforming from a grocery store junkie to a more informed, more responsible consumer. My journey began when my husband was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Working in the medical field, I am aware of the dangers of diabetes, and I knew our lives need to change and quick. But where does one start? I’m sure everyone would have a different answer, but one thing that completely changed my life was the book by Barbara Kingsolver: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I read it 3 times and half the pages are dog-eared. I love the book and by reading it I gained enough knowledge, and the courage to jump in with both feet.
My first stop was my garden. I always have had a garden but this year we expanded it. I hate to admit it but my plans didn’t quite go as planned. The weather didn’t cooporate, and I was in a rush (“haste makes waste”, my mother always says) and things aren’t quite what we wanted. Now it wasn’t a total wash. We have enjoyed fresh peas, radishes, more zuccini then you can count and we are looking forward to what looks to be a beautiful tomato crop.
But how was I to sustain my family on tomatoes and zuccini? How..well I go to the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market every Saturday, and load up on local grown veggies and beautiful salad greens. After the Farmers Market I head to a Dairy Farm in Rollingsford NH where I get my milk and cream for the week.
I also was given 6 chickens that have been keeping us happy with fresh eggs everyday, and I also got 6 more Rhode Island Reds that are still young but should be laying in a month or so.
Everything we eat, we try to get locally. We don’t want to have our food travel more then 100 miles from farm to our table (althought we did drive 125 miles for a block of cheese but that’s for another time). We do it for our health, we do it for the environment and we do it to support the local folks, our friends, neighbors and families who are trying to make a go of it in the world. It’s a simple concept, one that my parents lived with for years. So I am learning to live without pinnapple and kiwi. I only eat fruit in season and I am buying my meat from the Farmers Market. Are we perfect, no, there are things I can’t live without but I haven’t step foot in a grocery store in almost 2 months.