My earliest memory, the winter I was 3, involves a cold winters night. I was bundled up and went to the barn to “help” dad milk cows. In reality I was probably driving my mother crazy and so she sent me outside which was standard practise. Single ligjt bulb from the middle of the barn. My dad hunched against a cow and the sound of the milk hitting the pail. The steam rising from fresh cow poop. And a cow calving. My response to dad was “I wondered how dat was going to get out of dere”.
Fast forward a few decades and many many farm visits with our children. They were lucky enough to see a few new calves being born. Three more decades later and we are repeating the process again.
The opening paragraphs and accompanying photo might seem like a weird sequel into a what’s on your plate blog challenge and a thoughtful Thursday post but hang in there and keep reading.
Because I want to talk about the correlation between eating and food. As a farm kid you know that most animals become supper in the fall. We spent time ensuring that our children knew where the food came from and now the grandchildren. Besides the animals each generation has/have been vegetable gardeners and so every child grows up knowing that carrots taste the best straight from the garden.
But back to the what’s on the plate, which this time is just rhetorical rather than physical. Which is how it meets thoughtful Thursday. I just want to encourage readers to think about eating local. I totally recognize that this can, up front, cost more than grocery shopping at Walmart. But, and it’s a huge but, the cost to the climate is smaller. Local fruit, veggies and meat in season taste better, support local agriculture and have a smaller environmental impact. Challenge yourself to look at your food footprint.
A really great book on this subject is by a local Saskatoon food writer. It’s called Prairie Feast: A Writer’s Journey Home for Dinner by Amy Jo Ehman. For an entire year they ate local like her grandparents would have. Kind of like how I decided to make “Cacciatore” because only 2 generations ago food was scarce, the dirty thirties were having a huge impact and most food did not come from a store.
A totally “outside the box” #whatsonyourplateblogchallenge. I often climb on a soap box and I’ve done it once again. I definitely have strong opinions about eating local and as anyone who has read this blog for a while or who knows me in person knows that I actually walk this talk.
What’s your favourite local food? Hands down for me it’s saskatoons. Fingers crossed that there is no frost and no crazy wind to blow off the blossoms like last year.