Sunday, June 13, 2010

Visit to the Land of the Locavore

I spent the weekend in northern Vermont visiting the Leftover Queen (Jenn) and her husband Roberto on their new homestead - Thistlemoon Meadows:

They took me on a tour of their town and surrounding area - and being the good foodies that we are, it turned into a bit of a food tour. But being foodies isn't the only reason for that. It's also because local food is EVERYWHERE. On every other street it seems, there's a sign for fresh eggs, VT produce, maple syrup - or some other necessity or yummy food item. Farmers' markets, farms, roadside stands - they are in abundance here. Even the restaurants I visited - from small ice cream shop to full-service sit-down dinner spot - highlight their local food sources.

We have a little bit of this in the Pioneer Valley. Certainly, we have our farmers' markets and roadside stands. But meat farms are a little further out in the country and restaurants don't seem big on posting their producers, which only leads me to believe (in most cases) they're probably not local.
So, what's the big deal with eating local? Well, that's a whole other post (or series of posts). There's economical and environmental issues up the whazoo that I couldn't begin to do justice to. But even if you can't wrap your head around all that - there's 1 undenial benefit of eating local. It's amazingly fresh & yummy! I often come home from trips feeling like I need days to recover - in large part due to not-so-great eating - but that's not the case this time.

Of course, this foodie tour lead to a *few* purchases along the way. This trip was solo, so when I came home with a big bag of food, Mr. ValleyWriter was a little surprised (though not too much - he knows me well).

I've got Rock Art beer, Nutty Vermonter maple & cinnamon nut butter, Clare's wild blueberry jam, Vermont Pepper Works chocolate chipotle hot sauce and Fat Toad Farm goat's milk caramel. Not to mention the tomato plants and potato seedlings Jenn & Robert sent home with me. I should be cooking up a storm in no time! (I see ice cream with caramel sauce in my very, very near future... like, as soon as I finish this post. Gotta run!).


Jenn said...

What a fun trip to Vermont. Looks like you brought back some goodies with you, too. Mmmm...

kathryn said...

Looks like a great treasure trove of goodies there, sweetie!

That couple look so can see it in their faces!

Glad you had a great time!

Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen said...

We had a great time with you here and really hope for another visit soon, this time WITH Mr. Valley Writer!!! Can't wait to hear more about eating local! HUGS

Arlene said...

Jenn said what a lovely time they had with your visit. My turn coming up next week! I would imaging I will picking up some goodies along the way too.

Wonky Warrior said...

Vermont sounds lovely. Especially with all that food! I would love to visit!

Big excitement over here is I might be able to enjoy a BBQ with a fresh meat pack from the local butchers. Not too rock and roll but it sounds great to me right now.

Do you make all this stuff yourself? I had a go at making some jams out of the raspberries in the garden and some onion marmalade last yr and it was (as my 2 yr old would say) "it 'licious"! Keep going with all your making, it must be so satisfying

Stella said...

Hey Amber, I'm just stopping in from Jenn's place.
It is hard to do justice to all of the reasons for eating local. I often think of writing a post about that, but I just don't know if I can properly convey each issue. It is delicious though, and that is a very strong point (smile).
Glad you had fun with Jenn & Roberto and glad to find your site!