Monday, November 9, 2009

Local Food Weekend!

What a great weekend! Fantastic weather, lots of catching up with old friends, and everything seemed to be connected by local food.

On Saturday we headed to Pawtucket for the first weekend of the Wintertime Farmers' Market. What an amazing space. Located in the south end of the Hope Artiste Village, this indoor market was buzzing with activity. From veggies to meats and seafood to cheeses to jams and just about everything in-between. We scored some lunch from the Hewtin's Dogs cart, washed it down with some very tasty local soda courtesy of Yacht Club Bottling, and then hit the market.

Walking along, surrounded by over thirty different producers just brings the importance of supporting and growing the local food scene home for me. It is community nirvana. While we were there, our friends Eric and Jenna introduced us to one of their friends, Steve Hancock of NorthStar Farm in Westport. Steve had a booth at the market where he was selling some amazing greens and radish (amongst other things). Actually, the Sakonnet area was well represented at the market with a number of farmers/producers setting up shop. 

Then, as if Saturday wasn't great, on Sunday night, Sara and I sat down to watch Food, Inc. We had this documentary in our Netflix queue for some time and it finally was released this week. Over the course of an hour and a half we were floored, astonished, mortified, and motivated. You MUST see this film; then tell all your friends to watch it. Honestly, you will never look at "food" and your grocery store the same way again.

If you're not into documentaries, no worries. The film is extremely well produced with a story line that hooks you from the first minute. We finished the movie recommitting ourselves to work even harder to ensure that as much of our food as possible is locally grown and in season. I'm sure you will too.

Seeing Food, Inc. is really driving home the notion of trying to assemble a comprehensive local food resource guide. Maybe you call it the "100-Mile Diet". Maybe you just call it smart eating. Whatever you call it, we really need to try and do all we can to foster our local food systems: Conserving farmland, bolstering farm education and training programs, enabling local market development, and then leveraging that market to change our eating behaviors for the better. We can do it. We have to do it.

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