Tuesday, September 18, 2007

local Eat Local potluck!

For anyone in central New York who might be interested - there will be an Eat Local potluck supper on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. in the University/Westcott area of Syracuse.

Some more info:

What: Eat Local Potluck
When: Saturday, Sept 29th at 6:00 PM
Where: University/Westcott Neighborhood

In the spirit of the Eat Local Challenge, please bring a dish that is made from food grown as local as possible. This will give everyone a chance to share some of their favorite local food sources. Also, if possible, bring copies of the recipe so we can recreate your delicious dish on our own. We'll have a chance to talk about the joys and challenges of eating locally in Syracuse and, perhaps, lay a foundation for an Eat Local Dinner Club.

Sound like fun? Wanna come? Please e-mail Jennifer for specific location and directions: JLBASKER [at] SYR [dot] edu. See you there!

A baby is born!

Please pardon my absence for the next couple of days as I help welcome home my grandson Damien, who was born this afternoon! Six pounds, 11 oz. and equipped with an excellent pair of lungs. Mom and Dad are doing just fine and go home with their new bundle of joy Thursday morning. Tomorrow night after work I'm headed to their house to make sure everything is tidy for their arrival, and Thursday after work I'll be stopping by to make sure they have everything they need. So I'll be back Friday!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Low-carbon footprints

It stopped raining long enough to take a look at my garden yesterday - and thankfully it wasn't too much of a disaster!

Three big, red tomatoes ... a handful of grape tomatoes (which came up from last year's crop: we didn't plant any this year because we don't care for the taste) and a random cherry tomato. A dozen itty-bitty shoots of broccoli ... some healthy basil, oregano, and rosemary. With the addition of some locally grown lettuces, radishes and scallion that I brought home from the market, I have a good start on a salad whose total carbon footprint might be less than my own.

That's one thing that bugs me: Commuting to my day job means burning two gallons of gas a day. I'm not thrilled about that, but there isn't much I can do about it until a job in my field opens up closer to home (not likely). The least I can do for our air quality, the environment and the climate is to do my best to buy foods that don't have to travel thousands of miles to get to me. Bonus if they're organic/sustainably grown in addition to being local.

Next thing I do is pick up some locally grown root vegetables at the market this Saturday and roast them in my oven with some fresh rosemary and extra-virgin olive oil! I wonder if the local bus service goes from my neighborhood to the market on Saturday mornings ...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Local food for seniors

A cold and rainy Saturday couldn't stop me from spending some time down at the Regional Market in Syracuse. What a delight to see the incredible produce! And at such fabulous prices. A bundle of scallions - crisp, dark green tapers at least a foot long - cost a mere $1. A dozen ears of fresh-picked butter and sugar corn for $2. Red bell peppers, each the size of my doubled fists, for 50 cents each.

My favorite yogurt producer, Wake Robin Farm, was there! I discovered they sell milk, too. I saw Sundance Farm, too, from Marcellus, which was nice - I like to see stuff from my roots. Their heirloom tomatoes were irresistable!

But the best thing I found at the market wasn't food. It was opportunity.

Inside one of the sheds was a little table at which sat three women with a boatload of pamphlets from the New York State Senior Farmers Market Program. What's this, I asked? Turns out it's a program for people age 60 and over whose income is a certain level (it may also be open to families in the WIC program). What happens is once a person is accepted into the program, they are given a certain number of checks in the amount of $2 each that can be used at certain farmers' stands at local regional markets up to Nov. 15. The checks can only be used to buy locally grown foods (not honey, flowers, ornamental pumpkins or gourds, etc.).

I was delighted to learn of this program because so often, older people just don't have the money to buy good, wholesome food. And even though the program's been around for some 10 years or so, not everyone knows about this program - I was pretty sure my mom didn't. So I grabbed a pamphlet for her and brought it home to share with her later.