Tuesday, May 31, 2011

San Angelo Eat Local Challenge

I once had a very interesting conversation with a young lady about bread. I asked her if she knew where bread came from. Her quick quip: the bread aisle in my grocery store? Yes, she was being funny, but she'd also never made bread.Never selected the flour, never seen yeast bubble, never let her hands play with a ball of dough.

Unfortunately I've had too many conversations like that with too many young people. And I started wondering, why? Circumstances.

Growing up in Bangladesh, I was very lucky to have a baker for a mother. I grew up swooning on the smell of fresh baked bread. The house I grew up in was surrounded by a huge garden filled with fruit trees -- mango, papaya, jackfruit, and guava. We grew spinach, potatoes and gourds.

As an adult, I'm very lucky to have married into a West Texas farming family. For generations, the Cowboy and his family have been raising their own food and raising crops to sell.

Most of the meat in my freezer comes from freshly butchered animals from the one of the family farms or 4-H projects, and deer hunted by hunters in the family.

When building a house together, the Cowboy and I chose a 1-acre lot just so we could garden. We've grown eggplants, peas, potatoes, acorn squash and tomatoes. Every year, we try something new. What we don't have we get from the gardens of family and friends, or we supplement by shopping at the Concho Valley Farmer's Market.

The bread conversation, and others like it, has made me emphasize local food, gardens, farmers, and cooking to my own kids. I want them to know food, enjoy it, celebrate what it take to bring to the table.

Then I found out about the NOLA LOCAVORES and their first annual New Orleans Eat Local Challenge. I was awed, impressed and inspired. What a great idea.

This led me to embark on my own Eat Local Challenge, create a facebook page and led me to write an article to rally other West Texans. So from June 1-30, I'll be doing my best to Eat Local. Want to join us?

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