LocalHarvest Newsletter, May 29, 2015
How will you eat this summer?

Welcome back to the LocalHarvest newsletter.

In many parts of the country the end of May marks the beginning of the local food season, and with it come many delights. Bringing home greens harvested just hours ago is exciting after months of shipped-in produce. After being snowbound all winter, it is just as exciting to see neighbors browsing at the farmers market, and the friendly, familiar faces of your local farmers. Late spring is a time of anticipation and reconnection for local food lovers.

The excitement of Spring inspires many of us to want to upgrade our eating habits in some way. This requires some consideration and thought, since changing our eating patterns takes intention and planning. Changes we might consider include shopping a farmers market or farm stand, setting aside more time to cook, redistributing our budget to create a little more money for food, and/or incorporating more fresh produce into our meals. Creating an intention for the new growing season essentially means spending time asking ourselves how we want to eat this summer.

Once we have committed to an idea, the next step in making it happen is putting structures in place so that the change is doable. The plan depends on the goal, but in all cases it is useful to make the plan as specific as possible. "Shop at the farmers market more" is not nearly as effective as "Stop at the farmers market every Tuesday on the way home from work."

Many of us have a general goal of eating more local food. Unless this goal becomes specific, though, it can feel either overwhelming or unmanageable. Fortunately, there are a variety of organizations that offer opportunities to help people jumpstart changes to their food buying habits. My local food co-op offers a 10 day "local food challenge" twice a year, and there area many of these nationwide. For many people, short term commitments like these are a good way to get started eating local or to take their commitment a little deeper in some specific way. Most local food challenges focus on the amount of local food consumed, but Michael Olson of Food Chain Radio offers a different angle. He calls it the "2 x 2 Pledge." The commitment is pretty simple: spend $2/day on local food, and convince two other people to do the same. One thing I like about Olson's idea is that it is so easy to measure and feels so doable. I can do $14/week without either breaking the bank or feeling overwhelmed. The other thing I am drawn to here is the potential cumulative impact. If a few people took the pledge and got two other people to sign up until eventually everyone in my town (population 20,000) signed up, together we would add about $1.5 million to the local food economy per year. Olson says that local food dollars recirculate seven times before leaving the community, meaning that our $1.5 million would have a $100 million impact on our local economy. Over time, that kind of money - and the energy it would generate - would utterly transform our local food system. It could happen here, and it could happen in every town and city across the country.

All of our efforts to upgrade our eating habits have the potential to make a big impact in our lives and in our communities. As the new growing season gets underway, we at LocalHarvest encourage you to spend some time thinking about how you want to eat this year. What's your intention and how are you going to make it happen? Please share your ideas! We love to hear from you.

Until next time, take good care and eat well.

Erin Barnett

From the LH Store

If you wanted to join a CSA this year there may still be time if you act now! Find one here. or look for one to join directly through LocalHarvest here,

We featured lychee fruit from Florida in our promotional email this month and many of you took advantage of the free shipping. Farmer Bob still has some lychee on the trees - order now if you're a fan of this luscious fruit! He also has mamey sapote and purple passion fruit and fresh mango in season now.

CSAware: Time to Take a Look?

Been thinking that you have to get some technology to help you run your CSA? Get in touch and we'll be happy to give you a tour of CSAware!

Food from the Farm: Avocado, Quinoa & Fava Bean Salad Recipe

Earlier this month our CSAware account manager, Liz Young, found a recipe by chef Yotam Ottolenghi that was recently featured in House and Home. She used the fava beans she grew this winter in her Northern California backyard. Liz played with the recipe, and raved about the results so we thought we'd share her modified version with you. Look for fava beans at your farmers market or natural food store.