It's that time of year again. Yep, you know, the New Year's resolutions. I'm going to the gym everyday, I'll swim, jog, bike -and possibly meditate, regularly. I am going to totally reorganize my life and in my spare time learn how to speak three foreign languages fluently -and take that wood working class which should help me in my several planned volunteer efforts. Did I mention a knitting class?
If any of this sounds familiar -or if you've found medication to control this kind of obsession, you may realize that these frenetic, multi-faceted types of resolutions generally go down in flames, or just get slowly washed away in the tides of a busy year. After quite a number of decades with broken resolutions under my belt I came to the awareness that I need to focus on one thing (or one resolution) at a time.
For me 2015 is going to be the year of the Baltimore/Chesapeake Locavore. Being a chef and a restaurant owner, I think a lot about food: what we eat, how we eat, where we eat and where the food we eat comes from. The more I read and hear about all sorts of food-borne illnesses, the poor quality of much of the food produced by our centralized-industrial food system, and diseases resulting from an “affluenza diet”, the more firmly I believe the only answer lies in rebuilding our own local food supply and local food economy.
So my resolution involves setting myself up to live and eat in a more local manner. I'm trying to keep it simple - and it's just a small start - but I came up with three steps for myself.
2 - Have a regular shared common table meal. I've been thinking about my mom and grandmother Gertie, and how there was always a hot meal on the table where family, extended family and friends would meet for good local food and good company. Lately I find myself with too little time spent around a common table with friends and conviviality. It only makes sense that if I am going to go to the farmer's market to gather local food to cook a meal, it should be for a meal shared with others. I'll start off with once a week and see where I go from there.
3 - Plan to grow at least three edible items this coming growing season. If I'm going to dive into this locavore lifestyle I believe it is important to grow some of my own. And I don't need a lot of land. It could be a window box, a five-gallon bucket, or a small backyard plot. You can grow just about anywhere. All you really need is a little sunlight, some dirt and some water! Just some herbs, cherry tomatoes, and pole beans grown on the balcony is a fine start. For me, watching plants grow is witnessing the awesome miracle of nature up close. It slows me down a bit and reminds me where, and who, I am in the big scheme of things.
So nothing earth shattering this year... Just a little resolution to depend on my local farmers for substance, and to spend my time sharing locavore delicacies with others. Wish me luck!
- And a Happy Locavore New Year to you all!