Emergence of the Locavores
For those who unfamiliar with the term locavore, it refers to individuals who prefer to eat locally grown or produced food products. The local food movement connects individuals greater to the products they consume, and was popularized in the book The 100-Mile Diet. Both a health and a green movement, the local food movement allows individuals to have greater responsibility over their consumption.
When I first approached the idea of the 100-Mile (roughly 161 Km) diet, I was full of enthusiasm. I thought that I would easily navigate the isles of the grocery store, surely full of local items. I was wrong. In fact, it was difficult to find many local substitutes to the products I generally purchased. Try and find an Ontarian grown banana. I dare you.
I realized that if I were to actually take on a 100-Mile diet, I would have to redefine what it was I was eating. Maybe I could have coffee, but it would have to be made from toasted acorns. Perhaps I wouldn’t have to give up wine if I made it myself.
As most people, I do not own a farm on which I can grow my own food. We had a garden when I was a child. From what I’ve read, home based vegetable gardens were the norm in Sault Ste. Marie in the beginning of the 20th century, but have waned with time. We too had flower gardens, which of course were separate.
I thought about the gardens we kept when I was a child, which gave me an idea. Of all the gardens I have kept during my adulthood, I have always separated between ornamental and edible plants. Perhaps rightly so. I thought of all the edible plants I had cultivated, and how they, if done correctly, could product both the esthetic and edible garden I required. Instead of purchasing annual plants for edging, why not carrots? Did you know tomatoes were originally planted for their esthetics and were called love apples before they were eaten in the western world?