You are here

What about food miles?

Some of us recently saw the film "The Economics of Happiness" ( which offered a vision of "localization" as solution to many of the problems caused by economic globalization. I was struck by the appalling statistics on the transporting of food. It renewed my interest in buying local and storing things that are not in season.

Last summer I bought a lot of red peppers at the farmers' market, cut them into halves and quarters to save space and froze them in plastic bags. We are still using them to add color to cooked dishes (they are too floppy to eat raw, of course). I also bought about 30 heads of garlic and stored them in a paper bag in the pantry. We are nearing the end of the supply. Next year I'll buy more.

Please let me know of other ideas for staying local. What works for you?

When we first moved to WV our garden soil was pure clay. While we built it up, we joined a local CSA (community supported agriculture) and visited the seasonal farmer's market. Now we grow our own summer produce, freezing and dehydrating the surplus for the colder months. A small cold frame provides salad for all but the coldest times. We still supplement for variety while the farmer's market is open and visit the farm up the street for free range eggs, honey, limited produce, and apples when the market closes.

We have a variety of berries and strawberries in our garden. The raspberries I freeze on a tray then pour into a container for long term freezing, the strawberries I dehydrate. In the cool months, I cook up a big batch of steel cut oats, throw in some frozen raspberries or strawberries, season with honey, cinnamon and vanilla or almond extract for a week's worth of yummy breakfasts. We just used the final batch of last year's crop this week.