living local

Good morning!  I hope you're well and that Friday day starts your weekend off on a good note.  I'm finishing up some glazing today- yesterday my glaze assistant came and put in a good three hours of mixing, cleaning/prep, and dipping my pieces for me while I painted ferns on a bunch of mugs, bowls, and serving pieces.  I am so so grateful to have such a meticulous helper who does the work I'm less crazy about so I can focus on the details.  Today I have a few ladybug pieces left to finish and several dozen pieces to speckle before loading the kiln and firing it.  I'd also like to put some time in the studio at the wheel, but the garden's been singing a siren song and I find myself whiling away the hours pulling weeds, moving plants that have outgrown their space, turning compost and generally working my way back to peace puttering in the garden.

I took this photo on Wednesday- I swung by the produce store to get some things for a fish taco supper we'd been planning and could. not. resist. the cherries.  So so good.  These days most of our produce is local- like these beet greens beside the bowl- I used local onions, baby turnips and their greens, beet greens and swiss chard, local bacon and new potatoes from our CSA with some farm fresh eggs from my favorite dairy farm to make a hash (cooked veggies and a tiny bit of meat with eggs fried (more like steamed, in our case) on top, served with brown rice.  I can take any normally-refused vegetable and serve it this way and my family will eat it.  There are never leftovers. 

So many of our meals look like this- 90% or more local produce, supplemented occasionally with non-local avocados, mangoes, grapes, or a cherry splurge.  Eating local has become a habit for us.  So much so that I'm not planning to do the One Local Summer challenge this year.   This week I've had a delicious raw beet and carrot salad with feta for lunch almost every day.  All of the ingredients except for the olive oil, salt, and lemon juice came from the farmers market (where beets were $1 for a tray of 3 or 4.  I'll be buying more tomorrow!).  The lemon juice  was a gift (in the form of a 15 lb box of lemons!) from a friend.  The little meat (but sadly, not the fish, and I'll admit to hoarding gulf shrimp, which is as local as I can get) that we eat (or rather, that the boys eat, I'm still on fish but nothing else) is local and mostly organic and humanely raised and processed.  We're still eating the last of the beef and pork I bought last summer. 

My freezer is nearly emptied from last year's CSA saved veggies and farmers market supply- I have a few bags of ladypeas left and about a half-gallon of frozen cherry/grape tomatoes, plus one or two cans of tomatoes left.  More peaches and applesauce, very little jam, and I ran out of potatoes in January.  I'll buy more and plant a second potato crop as soon as I can find the space to plant!   Even though my summer preserving obsession was time-consuming, I was so grateful that we were able to eat fresh-frozen local produce all winter long, and especially grateful for the savings in light of our reduced financial circumstances.  I hope that this year my own garden will produce more - I've planted scads of green beans and my tomato plants are looking really happy.  My burgundy okra is just coming up and the leeks are fattening up- I'll need to thin them out soon.  And those potatoes- I'm just gleeful about their growth and potential (I planted two giant planters with french fingerlings!)

OK.  So, enough food and garden talk for now.   I hope by the end of the weekend to have another batch of berry bowls up in the shop. 

Y'all have a lovely weekend!