Eat Local stuff

Our camera is broken. These are last year’s garlic scapes.

There’s been lots of hoo-ha about going green, Eat Local, Locavores, 100-mile Diets and so on in the news lately, as well as a challenge to eat local for one week: the Penny-Wise Eat Local Challenge from April 23rd-29th. I freely wish to confess here that my recent vacation was also a vacation from my computer so had I known earlier, I would actively be participating in this challenge. But if you really wish to learn more about it, please read the above links and also please read this post by the esteemed Liz at Pocket Farm. I echo her sentiments exactly.

So, being behind the times as I was, I thought I’d make up for it by sharing the meal we ate last night here at Old Vines. All three of us are sick: me, continuously for a month or so, Tom, who’s just succumbed, and the kid, who’s on Week Two. SO! How about some green garlic with your Tuscan Beans?

Green garlic is something I kind of let happen around here. All those little cloves that sprout? I tend not to pitch them into the compost; I simply stick them back into the garden. They sprout, then the next year they divide themselves, then you have a handy patch of garlic for chives, scapes and green (immature) heads. The beans are Henderson’s Bush Limas, a first around here last year; they did very well. I hung a couple of rows to dry in the shed last fall and only recently got around to stomping on the shells and cleaning them. I put them on a quick boil when making breakfast, then let them soak in the fridge the rest of the day. I drained them, chopped the garlic “heads” and most of the greens, added lots of fresh sage and some sprigs of thyme and sauteed them in some butter. Then I added the beans and let them cook. I salted to taste, added some snips of the Italian parsley seedlings, and served the family. I also made some whole-wheat buttermilk drop biscuits with frozen leftover buttermilk from my milk share of last fall. Flour from here, local honey on top. Butter, sadly, from Wisconsin, so not local, but technically within 100 miles. But yum. I would bet this meal costs about a dollar per person.

I would like to hear from any Midwesterners who’d like to participate in the One Local Summer challenge. Liz had rounded everyone up from around the country last year; she did a fabulous job as usual but I thought I would lend a hand and take on my local Eat Locals. So please email me if you are interested, or post to the comments. I have a feeling things will still be kind of loose this summer. You needn’t eat every meal from locally produced ingredients; the objective last year was to eat one meal per week for twelve weeks. I will then make links to you. It’s kind of a roundup/recipe swap/drop by and maybe get inspired kind of thing. And it is supposed to be FUN.

4 responses to “Eat Local stuff

  1. My heart sunk when I saw your garlic all grown. Thank God you labeled it as last years picture. I don’t feel quite so behind anymore. I didn’t know you could freeze buttermilk. Something I always realize I need when I’ve already been to the grocery store. I’ve been saving my sprouted cloves. When is the best time to put them in the ground? Now? And I just use the aboveground parts from them, right?

  2. Hey Meredith
    I put the whole clove about 3″ below ground, green sprout up. They’ll find their way up. Plant them any old time. (I figure if they grow, they grow; they were garbage otherwise.) You might be able to use them this fall for green garlic but certainly you can use the chives any old time, and certainly the scapes (the curly things) if it’s a hardneck garlic you planted; they’re great atop salads or cooked dishes for some extra zing.

  3. Hi, El. I’ll try the eat local challenge this summer. I grow a lot of vegetables, myself, so why not!

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  4. Ok, I’m so hungry now after reading about your limas with garlic and sage and buttermilk biscuits. My stomach’s rumbling!

    I hope to ease into the local food scene gently. There are so many “firsts” right now, it seems like I’ll just have to hang on and keep progressing toward that goal…can’t do everything all at once, but will try making these new habits 🙂 Welcome home!

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