Eat Mendocino

2 women, 365 days, 3,878 square miles

10 things I am grateful for after 7 months of eating local

1 Comment

Tonight culminates the end of the seventh month, and marks the end of my daily blog challenge. I wrote almost every day in July and as a result I haven’t been to bed before midnight all month. But, it has definitely been worth it, and the writing will not stop here. Hopefully Gowan will trade off so that I can get some more sleep, like taking turns to check on the baby at night.

During the past month, our project has transformed into something much bigger than I could have predicted thirty-one days ago. I am tired, but I am filled with gratitude and awe at how this eating local project has unfolded…

10 things I am really, really grateful for:

1. Farmers

Bottom line, you are keeping us alive. The farmers in Mendocino County also tend to be the most radical, stubborn, soulful and loving of their breed. Thank you for feeding us, hugging us, inspiring us, and making us laugh.

2. The Seasons

Living so much in the moment means being entirely present with the flavors, smells and textures of each season. The conventional diet literally prevents us from tasting time. Summer feels like a honeymoon and the first few months of this year now seem like a distant Soviet past. But, each season yields many lessons and many gifts.

Pink Pear Apples w/ Chevre

3. The SF Chronicle

The recent article in the SF Chronicle, flawed as it was, has stimulated a spirited and essential discussion about access to local food in our county. Unfortunately, it grossly misrepresented both the family it focused on and the entire county. Yet, it gave us the opportunity to contribute to a conversation that has reached people all over the country and beyond. Most importantly, it has hit home here in Mendocino. Today, the woman profiled in the article, Irma Barragan, invited us to interview her so that we can tell her real story. It is an honor to be a voice for this community, and the second largest newspaper in California helped broadcast our voice beyond our imaginings.

4. Living (and drinking) in a small town

This is what happens when a small-town locavore orders a drink…

Me: Can I get a glass of Mendocino red wine?
Bartender Alex: Yup, I’ve got Zinzilla.
Me: Are you sure that’s local?
Alex: Sarah, I know what you’re up to and I’m NOT going to F— it up for you

5. The Mendocino Farmers’ Market

Managing the Mendocino Farmers’ Market has been a lifechanging endeavor (which got much better once I hired someone to help with the signs). I am grateful to hang with the vendors (all of them are total characters) and community members each week. It’s an honor to be part of an essential link in the local food system, and to help it grow. Plus, grocery shopping at the Farmers’ Market is the best.

Summer produce from Inland Ranch Organics

6. The MTA bus drivers

As a bus-pass carrying rider, I am grateful for the bus drivers who act more like chauffeurs and know their riders by name. The bus schedule in a rural area is severely limited and inefficient, but I have to be grateful that it exists at all.

7. The freezer

Thank you to my freezer for saving me from the guilt of fruit gone bad. Part of seasonality is sudden bounty, which doesn’t coincide with one’s schedule. And, most likely I will forget about 1/2 of what I put in there, so I’ll be in for some sweet summer treats when I dig them out in the winter.

8. My sisterwife Gowan

Thank you for having this visionary idea and for entering into an extremely intense, intimate, and all-consuming endeavor with me. Thank you for your calculated pragmatism, Germanic efficiency, and fiercely beating heart. I love every meal we share together and every crazy idea we dream up.

Gowan's "girl farm" fists

9. Everyone who made it this far in the list

Seriously, thanks to all of you who actually want to read what we have to say. In other circumstances, it would be creepy how many people introduce themselves by saying, “I’m following you,” but it is a huge compliment that you share your time with us. Thanks for all the ‘likes,’ comments and support. We love you.

10. Bacon

Tonight we ate bacon for the first time in seven months thanks to Adam & Paula Gaska from Mendocino Organics. It was a very special occasion; I am pretty sure we both have bacon-sized holes in our mighty little hearts. Thank you to the land and pigs that make bacon – and happiness – possible.

Smoked bacon from Mendocino Organics

One thought on “10 things I am grateful for after 7 months of eating local

  1. “Today, the woman profiled in the article, Irma Barragan, invited us to interview her so that we can tell her real story.” This is wonderful and totally fitting. You are doing a better job than the Chronicle writer, by far!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s