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Picture this …
You are walking down the sidewalk of your town’s main street. There is a butcher shop mid-block selling beautiful steaks, chops, and poultry. You walk in. The butcher greets you by name, asks how’s the family, and then the conversation goes to what are you looking for today. You trust this artisan, so you tell him you need a roast that will serve 6. Not how many pounds of meat, or which piece you want off of a shrink-wrapped styrofoam board. Just that you need a roast that will serve 6. He asks if you will be roasting in the oven or your slow cooker because he knows it makes a difference. After a brief conversation, you pay for your roast, wrapped in white butcher paper and exit the shop.
Now, what to serve with that roast? You have a few ideas going through your head, but you know you can’t make a decision until you get to the farm stand down the road next to the library.
As you continue your walk, you contemplate stopping at the bakery, but decide against it since you will have time to throw together a quick peach pie with the home-canned pie filling you made over the summer and a few items you have in the pantry.
You reach the small farm stand. You’re thinking about roasting some root vegetables along with the roast beef, but it appears they aren’t yet in season. Today there is a wide variety of greens, string beans, onions, tomatoes, as well as the first of this season’s sweet potatoes. You carefully select six sweet potatoes and a bag of string beans. The children can help snap beans after lunch. You thank the farmer and head back to your home.
As you walk into your kitchen, there is a basket of eggs sitting on the counter from the hens in your backyard. There are pots of fresh herbs on your kitchen windowsill. As you put away the groceries, you shake the glass half-gallon bottle that is in the refrigerator and are grateful that your neighbor offered to pick up milk and cream for you while they were at the dairy across town today. They should be back soon, and then you can finish getting your groceries situated.
Your canisters in the pantry are full of the necessary dry goods – flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, dried milk, brown sugar, salt, and the like. You know that with those canisters, a recipe card, and a little time and you can make just about anything.
When is it?
Now, think of this scene. When is it? Is this only something that happens in the past, like a scene from The Andy Griffith Show or Lassie? Is this only something that happens in small town America? Or in the south? Or the mid-west? Any chance this could happen today?
Over the next 90-days, my family is going to put this image of local food to the test. Can we get what we need to nourish ourselves from local, independent sources? I can’t wait to share our journey with you!