Late Bloomers Farm is named both for the 48 square feet of full-sun-deprived, raised-bed gardens and the middle-aged gardener who tends them but forages for sustenance elsewhere. The “farm” is a tiny physical garden and a somewhat larger mental farmstead; it’s a space to learn and grow and harvest ideas and information from nature and her stewards. In reality, the bulk of my food comes from the professionals: actual farmers with real farms.
I came to care more about food and its origins after reading Barbara Kingsolver’s book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. The first thing I thought upon finishing the book was, “I wonder if eating locally could be done here.” That was in September of 2007.
I read a number of other books about the food system by Michael Pollan and others. The information resonated with my life experiences: that fresh from the garden is better than shipped to the supermarket.
Paraphrasing Henry David Thoreau:
I wished to eat more deliberately so that at the end of my days, I would not realize that I hadn’t eaten food at all.
In a nutshell: I really don’t want anonymous food.
I began this blog as a place for recording my journey as a local foodie, soliciting advice, and recording and sharing notes. Over the years, my foodshed has grown along with my awareness of it. I define my foodshed as a 100-mile radius from my home (just east of Danbury, CT).
Initially, I imagined I’d be able to buy local food year-round at retail establishments—imagine that! Since that wasn’t the case, I had to resort to other methods to support my habit of eating year-round. I embraced putting by foods (mostly into the freezer, sometimes by canning, and other times by dehydrating) so this blog also includes my adventures in food preservation. Over the years, many more winter farmers markets have come into being, which certainly makes it easier.
Since I chose to be a locavore, as opposed to being prescribed by a doctor or proscribed by a religion, I am free to make my own rules regarding my diet. I do eat food from away but not much. If it doesn’t or won’t or can’t grow here, I’ll get it from where it grows. For example: coffee, chocolate, several grains, tropical fruits, nuts, spices, olive oil, Scotch, or Italian wines. If it grows here, I’ll expend the effort to find it when it’s in season, and preserve it, and/or wait for it to come in season again. I am often pleasantly surprised if not amazed at the quality and quantity of local fare that is available.
In my locavore travels, I’ve discovered some really interesting food situations brought about by health beliefs, distribution anomalies, political systems, economics, contradicting regulations, and corporate dominance. My thoughts on these topics are also recorded here on this blog.