Our summer One Small Change--eating locally-grown food only--officially ended last Monday as the boys ripped into a bag of Mesa Sunrise for breakfast, as if it were not corn & quinoa flakes, but rather a box of Cap’n Crunch.
They had been complaining for a couple of weeks about having oatmeal or granola every day. C had been complaining about having to make oatmeal when we were between granola batches. I promised everyone that they would have ‘real’ cereal when school started. Getting three kids to the bus by 7:35 would be hard enough for C (my plan being to be out of the house by 6:30), without daily breakfast battles.
I do plan on continuing to buy our produce locally at least through September, and to continue using up the dry goods on our shelves before buying more. And told C I wouldn’t buy him olive oil until he used up the stinky canola, but I’m going to need to get some soon to make my basil into pesto (along with some Pecorino Romano and pine nuts).
Sometime around the middle of August, C asked if I had gotten any fennel seed at the store. “That will have to wait until September,” I said.
He looked confused for a moment and then asked, “Are we doing the Hundred Mile Diet again?”
This tells me two things: 1) either I don’t communicate or he doesn’t listen to me; and 2) it’s not much of a deprivation to eat locally (at least not in July or August). I did find local cheese and root beer and salami, which I guess kept the masses happy.
“Good thing I didn’t go grocery shopping,” he replied. I don’t think we were in too much danger of that.
The thing I like about eating locally (and I’m pretty sure this will become an annual event, with a hopefully ever-lengthening season), is that it strips you down to the truly necessary, shines a bright light on your limits and what is non-negotiable. What will you take in your covered wagon across the prairie? Salt pork and cornmeal or Pecorino Romano and extra virgin olive oil? Apparently for us it’s breakfast cereal. Our prairie schooner will be piled from wagon box to canvas with bags of Mesa Sunrise and Heritage Flakes.
We watched No Impact Man, The Movie this past weekend and it made me: a) really jealous of New York’s farmer’s market...with options like that why would you even want to go into a grocery store? and b) want to push the envelope a bit more with our small changes. But I’m not sure what that would be yet. I like his discussion about volunteering and building community. I’m just not sure when I’d find the time for one more thing.