Monday, September 27, 2010

Local - What does this word mean to me?

I just found this post that I started over a year ago and never posted for some reason.  I'm posting it now because in some ways, it has even more meaning than before.  We now live in Arlington which has less of that local feel than Richmond.  MTH and I have been discussing that we miss walking into a place like the Strawberry Street Vineyard or Garnett's Cafe and having them ask how Logan's doing.

Also, the CSA I mention below, Ploughshare Community Farm, stopped sending us produce in mid-June.  We lost our share.  That is the risk of joining a CSA but not all of the members understood that risk.  Some even threatened to sue the owner.  But, that's a different post that will probably never be written as I don't know the whole story.

Post from 5/29/2009:
That word has a lot more meaning now than it did in the past. There's even a new word - locavore. These days when someone says local, it seems to imply buying and eating local. MTH and I have been trying to follow this creed more and more. For example, we've joined two co-ops. One is the Ploughshare Community Farm out in Louisa County. The other, Fall Line Farms, is a group of farms that have come together in order to provide many different products.

The Ploughshare Community Farm has an assorted variety of vegetables. This past week we brought home spicy mustard greens, strong spring onions, a beautiful head of romaine, green spinach and assorted spring salad mix. With this co-op, you pay for a share before the season starts and then you receive items as they are harvested (even if you don't like them - e.g. cucumbers).

The Fall Line Farms has not only vegetables but also fruit, meats and other interesting items. With this co-op, you pay an upfront admin fee and then order whatever you want each week. This week, I ordered eggs, patty pan squash and locally roasted coffee from The Black Hand Coffee Shop on Sheppard Street in the Museum District of Richmond. Other weeks, I've ordered: strawberries, asparagus, fresh mint, honey, goats milk lotion, bread and many other items. One thing to note though is that there is the possibility of not receiving an item that is ordered. For example, one week, I ordered spinach and it did not come because the deer had eaten it out of the field!

But, there is another type of local. MTH and I also buy most of our wine these days from the Strawberry Street Vineyard. Although he does sell Virginia wines, we buy mostly other types of wine. So, we are not buying locally produced items but we are buying local. Plus, we are now recognized by the owner whenever we walk in (we can thank Peanut for that recognition :). I think that being recognized and having a conversation each time we go may be the best part about buying "local". Instead of going to Kroger where no one knows me, I get individual attention.

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