Local Life 1
One of the beauties of spring in the Catskills is the reopening of the local farm stands. Food that seemed so expensive and distant over winter suddenly becomes routine again, locally produced, at only half the price, and available at road-side stands often on the farm property itself. The last few days, while hard at work writing, I’ve been making myself a lunch sandwich of local cheddar cheese, (affordable!) beefsteak tomatoes and romaine lettuce, all from our local Hanover Farms, on fresh bread from Bread Alone, the nationally famous bakery whose ovens are right up the road from us. I’d like to say that the tea or coffee I have at lunch is also locally grown, but of course it’s not, and I would have a hard time returning completely to the land if it meant giving up my caffeine. On the other hand, at least the coffee is organic/fair trade/shade grown, according to our local producers, Catskill Mountain Coffee, whose web site, with alarming grammatical inaccuracy but good intent, notes “coffee like wine, it should be a great pleasure.”
Indeed, while this post seems trivial, it’s the accumulation of small pleasures that add up to the bigger ones in life. By eating local (where and when possible and desirable: this is hardly a manifesto), you remove yourself from the vast packaging and fuel costs that so harm the environment, and by cutting out these middle men, you save yourself money while putting it directly in the pockets of those who toil the land. Best of all, you can taste the difference. What’s not to like?