Thursday, October 2, 2008

What's in season?

I've officially been living in New York for almost two months, and I'm finally going to admit, it's hard eating what's local and in season here!
It was so easy in San Francisco, probably super duper easy for me, since I was working at a Farmer's Market, to eat local, seasonal, organic food. I think obviously part of this is because California has a much longer growing season with more produce variability. Also, though, I think it is because there is a higher awareness in the Bay Area around why it is good to eat locally and seasonally. It is sustainable! You are supporting local growers and also putting the freshest possible ingredients into your meals and into your body.
Here, in New York, I belong to a CSA (community supported agriculture). Every week, I pick up a box of vegetables and some fruit from Golden Earthworm Organic Farm, out in Riverhead on Long Island.
In San Francisco I think I was a big food snob--I didn't belong to a CSA not only because I was at the farmer's market once a week, anyway, but also because I wanted to be hand-picking my fruits and veggies.
Now I realize that's not as important. Receiving my produce from the CSA each week is just as fulfilling, when it comes down to it.

So what's in season now? In this week's CSA I received two heads of lettuce, a pint of grape tomatoes, a few bigger ripe tomatoes, red peppers, radishes, a couple of pumpkins, bok choy, and a big bag-o-apples (among other things). And if these items won't last me the whole week, I'll at least have some great basics to start with. You can also see when your favorite fruits and vegetables are in season, and what's in season now by checking out this website:

I think the Bay Area also currently has more public education about living sustainably. Kids in public schools ask where the compost is when they are done with lunch- they know that most of all of their scraps and even some of their food containers can be composted, instead of thrown away.
Last week I discovered Birdbath Bakery on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan. Where are more places like that? They have (and encourage use of) their own compost, their goods are delivered to the store form the bakery via bike rickshaw, and they even collect extra water in a bucket under the sink's undone pipe (so that water you don't use when you run the faucet can be reused, say, to flush the toilet later). And the vegan raspberry muffin I ate was delicious! Well, at least it's a start. I think New York may be moving in the right direction.

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