I love local food. Some people might call me a locavore. I’m not a member of the slow food movement per se, but I think smaller and closer is better when it comes to the foods I eat. I try to eat food in season from local sources. Certain items may never grow in New England, like coffee beans and Dorito trees; I’m eating and drinking less of the things I can’t find here. I’m not militant about it and I don’t ostracize people who eat kiwi fruit and strawberries on their Special K cereal in the dead of winter. It’s still a free country, after all. I don’t have to be a jerk just because I want to eat an apple from my neighbor and you don’t.
One of my favorite local vegetables is the carrot. I’m trying to grow some carrots and it’s been slow going. I don’t really know what I’m doing when it comes to carrots and I think I may have better luck with a fall crop. Carrots store well, though, and because of this, local farmers always seem to have carrots at winter market. John Wakefield, from Shagbark Farm in Rochester, NH grows a lot of carrots in low tunnels. I’m sure he gets tired of all the questions I ask him about this, but he always makes time for just one more.
Lately, though, there haven’t been many carrots around. Remember, food has to grow and growth takes time. We might be “in between carrots” right now. Imagine my surprise when I stopped in to pick up my half-share at Little Ridge Farm and there was a big container full of carrots! I took as many as I could without being a carrot hog.
I put all my vegetable in the cooler with the exception of one carrot; I took a bite of it as I drove up the Gould Road. Words fail to express the fresh and sweet qualities of that carrot. Let’s just say I had to wipe away a few tears as I crunched. Viva la carotte! (That’s French for “long live the carrot.”)
What local vegetables are you eating right now?