Please forgive me for the sloppiness of this post… it hit my brain this morning like a lightning bolt and I sat down to write what I thought would be an intro… and out came the whole thing. It’s been forever since I’ve gotten a post up on TGK, so my anxiety of allowing this to sit will not allow me to leave it for an edit tonight… it’s going up now.
Are you familiar with the feeling of coming up with a great idea, only to lack the motivation to create a plan to execute it? And then, once you finally let the idea slip from the front of your mind, you find that someone else is just as brilliant as you with coming up with good ideas but is a whole lot better at pulling together the details?
Story of my life? Not so much, but a little serendipity is floating around right now. You might remember a post I wrote way back in the darkness of winter, wishing for the warm days of summer with dirt under my fingernails and fresh veggies in the garden out behind my parents house. At that time I was convinced I could challenge myself, along with maybe a friend or two, to eat only locally sourced items for a week or so. When nothing fresh was growing out of the ground. I recognized that my diet was going to be a whole lot of milk and cheese and eggs… and that’s where things kind of fell flat. (Wegmans was doing great things. We’ll remember that.)
Time flies when you’re having fun, and that’s what has happened in my life since then. Starting a new job at a winery has been fun, and it’s put me more in touch with some people directly involved in the locavore movement- noting that locavore was not in my vocabulary when I wrote my first post about eating locally sourced food. I am in no way suggesting I was a pioneer of this idea- if you know me at all, you know I’m not that smart or that much of a trend setter. I initially was influenced by chatter I saw on twitter and in blogs I was reading at the time, and always by my healthy eating friend, Lisa. But the busy days I’ve had at the winery have lead to reading and learning more about the strong surge to feed ourselves and our community with products that come from our own back yards, down the road at the produce stand, and by area farmers.
I was influenced even more so recently, when a post written by noted wine writer James Molesworth talked about the lack of local wines in restaurants featuring local foods. Working in restaurants for years and being a crazy Finger Lakes wine drinker, I’ve known that it’s a sad situation when it’s tough to get local wine at some of my favorite local restaurants. But it can happen, and it will. I’m not just talking about in the larger areas like Ithaca and Corning and Rochester… I do mean smaller towns that thrive on tourism like Penn Yan, Geneva, Hammondsport, Ovid, Aurora, Bristol… the list goes on and on. It’s happening and thriving in Hector, NY, on the southeast side of Seneca Lake, and I have no doubt that this area will receive even more attention due to the heartbreaking loss recently of one of the areas most amazing people, Deb Whiting of Red Newt Bistro. Look into her history- she was a locavore through and through with a great smile and a big heart. And because of her, I think our area really does have the drive to become something great at the front of this locally sourced movement.
But the point of my post is this: I wanted to challenge myself to eat locally, but I struggled to come up with an organized fashion in which to do this. Could I cheat? Would things count as local if they were somehow manufactured by a local person or business but sourced from elsewhere? I recognize that my timing was way off- I really was just looking to fill the white winter void with something green probably. However, someone else, much more driven and undoubtedly quite a bit smarter than me, was bitten by the organization bug and got things rolling.
Meet the NY Locavore Challenge. It’s set for September, and you better believe I’m on board. The little four-legged furry garden gremlins that have demolished half of my mother’s garden will be stopped by the fencing she recently put up, and we will have a plethora of delicious veg to use for this challenge. Take a look at the site, I’ll not bother repeating the details here.
So, the work has been done for me. All I have to do is sign up and participate. I plan to talk to some of my coworkers about this- after all, it’s always easier to do this sort of thing as a collective vs. as an individual, and I’ll ask the few of you that still read this (since I’ve stopped writing much at all lately) to participate with me too. And I tell ya what- maybe we can kick it off with a great big locally sourced meal replete with tons of Finger Lakes wine and beer and spirits down at a beautiful little place known to me as my happy place, or, the best place on earth? That may take some planning on my part, but parties at the cottage have usually been the easy thing for me to organize.