Independence Day


I am not a locavore. I love Italian olive oil and cheese, Belgian chocolate, South American coffee, Spanish ham, Alaskan salmon,and wine from all over the place. I am not an extremist about anything, and I think that cutting oneself off from the rest of the world makes less than no sense at all.
That said, it’s a lovely feeling to be able to produce a lot of what you need yourself, with the imports as luxury add-ons for variety. I value the concept of food independence and intelligent localism, and Independence Day weekend is a great time to take stock of how we’re doing at meeting our own needs, and celebrate with a local feast.
My current inventory looks pretty good. I’ve grown vegetables for years, but in my new location I’ve greatly expanded my vegetable garden and added laying hens and a dairy goat. I’m raising a batch of chicks for meat, and I have good local sources of grass-fed beef and humanely raised pork. So far this year, the only vegetables I’ve bought were potatoes and avocados, and not many of them. I can get flour from upstate New Mexico and southern Colorado. Not bad for a desert.
So, my 4th of July will start with a brunch of “yard salad,”homemade bread or cornbread, and eggs from our hens. Dinner is likely to include a grass-fed steak, more salad, and homemade egg pasta made from Sangre de Christo flour and backyard eggs. Midafternoon, we might snack on goat cheese from Magnolia, our “yard goat.” We’ll drink my own homebrewed mead, and drink a toast to our beautiful country and our own joy at being part of it.
This year I’ll ask my readers to consider having a local Independence Day feast, or as close to it as works for you. There are farmers’ markets this weekend, and some time to plan, so please leave a comment about how you plan to celebrate our local abundance.

6 responses to this post.

  1. It apricot time here, I’ve been canning, drying and making leather. Have also been spending time making lotions and moisturizers to give our skin a little extra care during this hot dry weather.

    Could you email me some information about your local beef/pork source?

    The baby is so cute and getting big.

    Reply

  2. Posted by wooddogs3 on July 2, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I’ll reply here instead of email in case others in the Albuquerque area are looking for good meat. I get all my beef from the Fishhuggers, Kenny and Brenna. They are at the Los Ranchos farmers market on Saturday and the Corrales market on Sunday. I prefer their beef because most grass-fed producers don’t keep the steers long enough for them to develop any fat, so the meat is very lean and lacks flavor. Kenny’s sign says “Kenny’s Grass Fat Beef,” and that’s accurate. A lot of the omega-3s are in the fat, so more than the flavor is at stake. For pork, I rely on Red Mesa meats. They are at the Santa Fe market, but now they send someone down to the downtown market at Central and Eighth on Saturday mornings.

    Apricot season sounds wonderful. I hope that readers interested in urban farming issues will check out Leiah’s wonderful blog at http://www.johnnysgarden.wordpress.com There is a very touching post called “Moving On” (near the top right now) about coping with the unexpected and catastrophic, which will always be part of life and part of urban farming. All best wishes to Leiah and Don for a growing season that contains radiant success as well as heartbreak.

    Reply

  3. Good picture of Magnolia’s milk supply, which looks abundant. Makes me realize a goat is a very good thing to give on Heifer. Your aged parents have the space, but not the energy for that yard gardening, so we’ll just bask in the reflected glory of your efforts….
    That’s our girl!!!!

    Reply

    • Posted by wooddogs3 on July 5, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      Great thing to bring up. I urge all my readers to consider the Heifer Project when giving gifts, and think about sponsoring a goat or other livestock to increase self-sufficiency in third-world families.

      Reply

  4. Posted by Amy G on July 5, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I want to say a big thank you! I found your site by accident, I was looking for a source for local meat. I read your post about where you get your meat. I went to the Los Ranchos Farmers Market on Saturday. I bought Keta Salmon, ground beef and some steaks from Kenny at Fishhuggers – WOW! It was the best! I now need to make it to Santa Fe for my chicken. Thanks for all your info!
    Amy

    Reply

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