Friday, December 17, 2010

Local Foods are Easy in Seattle

This weeks' Change the World Wednesday Challenge is:

"This month, find and enjoy local foods. Research what items are local in your area and then incorporate them into your family meals. Let us know (through a post or comments on this challenge) how you found local foods, which items are available in your area, and how you used them

We're pretty lucky here in Seattle that we have some good local food options. The most obvious is our county's good network of Farmer's markets so organized that it has its own webpage.
I think the network is supported through King County. You may wish to see if your county would do the same, as a relatively cheap way for county government to stimulate the local economy while improving health and local resilience!
There's a farmer's market close to Kris' Pilates studio, one closer to our friends Ken & Crystal's, one close to our house, and of course the justily famous Pike Place Market! So it's not really an question of whether to buy locally grown food, but when. We also like to dicket a bit for a better deal!
Washington State's climate is diverse enough, thanks to the ocean and the Cascades, that we grown a fairly complete diet. While for variety one might want some foods that don't grow here (e.g. bananas), still you could be perfectly healthy eating only things grown in state.
Seafood is a special case. We love the salmon patties from Costco; they're tasty, economical and relatively healthy, but even better on all three factors are fish right from the Loki, a family-owned vessel that sells right on the docks, and also at several farmer's markets. The fish are not farmed and it's got a great sustainability profile.
We're starting to grow a bit of our own food, which is a lot easier now that we have our own house. Many of our neighbors grow a little food as well, so we can share tips on what works.
Berrypicking is still a possibility. The you-picks even have websites these days, so you know when and where to go. But if you have an eye for blackberries, there are still a lot of street-ends and odd-lots that you can fill a bucket at.
But by far the easiest local food we've enjoyed this year was the wine we bottled at Jim and Charlotte's! If you're going to drink alcohol, why not try something local? And what is more local than something made in house from a neighbor's fruit? Now, wine is a crop that takes years to mature but, as they say with trees: "The best time to start was ten years ago; the second best time is now!" So this summer we're going to be using the generous gift of a wine carboy to lay in wine from local blackberries to be drunk around 2018.
If you're in the area, stop by - we'll share a glass!

1 comment:

Small Footprints said...

Seattle does have great local food opportunities. While visiting the Pac NW over the holidays, I found out that WA also produces lentils and cranberries (the Long Beach Peninsula grows a third of the nation's cranberries). Wow!