LocalHarvest Newsletter, June 23, 2008

Welcome back to the LocalHarvest newsletter. What a month! Things are different. You feel it too, right? With gas prices soaring, Iowa flooding, salmonella striking tomatoes, and a global food crisis threatening, it seems to us that America is finally, slowly waking up. The world is not what it seemed to be. Change feels inevitable in ways it didn't even a few months ago. The question now is not so much whether the collective we is going to change, but how - with what frame of mind. As we alter our consumption patterns, food and otherwise, we must be aware of how we approach change. We can be anxious or relaxed, defensive or curious, fearful or joyful. The differences are vast and vital.

Many of us live lives that are overly determined by convenience. Day to day decisions are made as if expediency and ease were our highest values. So habituated are we to these conveniences, so dependent on our luxuries (chocolate, coffee, bananas), that the idea of going without them actually makes us feel afraid. But fear - of scarcity, of change - is a terrible master. It makes us forget our own creativity and adaptability. We mistake the way it is for the way it has to be.

In that mindset, there is no way to discover something that might be better. Last month LocalHarvest was featured on a radio program out of Sacramento. The host started with the usual questions about how to define 'local' and how the website works. Once the conversation turned to actually buying local food, though, it became personal and he was stumped. Northern California offers astounding agricultural abundance, but this fellow could not see his way to buying this extraordinary produce directly from a farmer. He was used to shopping at Safeway, and the idea of deviating from the safe way (ironic, isn’t it?) made him tense. Shopping at a farmers market requires too much trust, he said, plus it's an extra trip and the veggies would sit in the frig drawer and rot anyway. Hmmm...

That interview stands out as an example of the kind of thinking we as a nation need to leave behind. If we greet every new idea with excuses that aim to defend our old ways, we will be lost. The future belongs to those who can walk lightly, willing to shift as needed, alert for the next ingenuity. If we let ourselves be afraid of this rapidly changing economy, it would be easy to lose site of the great beauty and new opportunities that surround us. If we keep ourselves relaxed and open, we will find ourselves reveling in the great gifts of this life: the beauty of nature, the comforting joy of friendship, the spark of creativity, and the civility of true community. And then we will be fearless.

From the LocalHarvest Store:

Lavender lovers, your time of year is drawing near! The lavender harvest is nearly upon us, and our farmers say it is going to be a bumper crop. Browse through our lavender department for lavender buds (a popular wedding toss), dried bunches, essential oil and more. Ahhh...

Going to a wedding this summer? A LocalHarvest gift certificate makes the perfect gift!

Want to make your summer salads even more nutritious? Sprinkle on some freshly ground flax seed, and get your Omega-3s along with your greens!

Proudly introducing

A new member of the LocalHarvest family was born this month. With great delight, we welcome Joaquin Alfredo Payet, firstborn of LocalHarvest's founder, Guillermo Payet and wife Amber. The proud mama and papa are soaking it all in, and wondering aloud what Baby J's first foods will one day be...

Nancy's Nutrition Corner: Ginger, A Remedy from the Kitchen Cupboard

To me, there is something so satisfying about going into the kitchen and concocting a simple remedy for myself from food. It just seems so right to reach for a plant and make a tea to soothe an upset tummy. One of my first experiences with using food as medicine was with ginger. I was listening to the radio and heard a well known herbalist talking about making a ginger and garlic tea for sore-throats. I tried it and had such great results that I use this remedy to this day. Since then, I have come to realize that ginger has many more uses, and is a great thing to have hanging around in the kitchen for both culinary and medicinal purposes.
(Read on...)

Recipe Corner: Ginger - By Lorna Sass

In its many forms, ginger is a staple in my kitchen. The fresh, knobby rhizome sits right next to the garlic and onions in a painted bowl on my kitchen counter. Recently, I bought such a large piece that before I got to use it, one "finger" began to sprout. I cut it off, planted it in good, organic soil, and am happily (and patiently) watching it grow.
(Recipes and More...)

As always, thanks for your interest in and support of LocalHarvest.org! See you next month, and until then, take good care and eat well!