Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle has been sitting on my shelf for about a year. I remember I bought at the Annex Book City in Toronto on my way to meet some friend's a Pauper's Pub for pints. I was running early (TTC either had me places 20 minutes early or 10 minutes late - I never did figure out how to get anywhere on time) and had needed something to read and it was on the way. I read the introduction, my friend's showed up and then it sat on my shelf in three different city, was put through two moves (don't cry for it - I have book that have been through way more moves), before I picked it up off the shelf to read last week.

The funny thing is that for the last few months we've been joking that when we win the lottery we're going to move to the country (but not too far away). Someplace where my neighbours can't see into my kitchen or my back yard (help me, I'm turning into my mother...). Where I will plant tomatoes and make jam. Oh wait...already doing both of those. Ok, on a larger scale.

Sort of what Kingsolver is doing but for totally different reasons.

I've read other books and articles about people going local. The most notable is probably the 100-Mile Diet. Whereas the 100-Mile diet made going local sound crazy, insane, intense and pretty undoable, Kingsolver's seemed well-planned, researched, and easier. A certain amount of that was rural vs city but it also seemed like Kingsolver and her family had been moving in that direction for years and that it was almost a natural progression. For them eating local was important but it was more about feeding and supporting themselves and than "local". At least that was my impression.

When I was a kid we had gardens in the summer - pretty big ones. We'd grow carrots, beans, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce... We stopped at some point. Life got too busy. Most of my brothers and sisters had moved out (thus greatly decreasing the amount of available labour). My grandparent's maintained a garden until my grandfather was in his 70s. My uncles garden. Even when we weren't gardening we'd raid the family gardens (frequently being encouraged to do so).

One of the hardest things about living in cities is the access to fresh locally grown produce. I did eventually figure out that there were markets in Montreal and how to get to them. In Toronto I'd hit the St. Lawrence Farmer's Market (north side of the St. Lawrence Market) almost religiously. And in Ottawa there's the Byward Market, the Parkdale Market and the Sunday Farmer's Market at Landsdowne Park. Sometime in the next few weeks I'll be heading to a "pick your own" farm to pick a flat or two of strawberries to make into jam (most of which will probably be given away as gifts because we prefer homemade raspberry - we'll make that later in the summer).

I'll probably never raise chickens and turkeys or grow peanuts like Kingsolver. But supporting local farmers? Growing a wee bit of my own food? That's something I can get behind.