Eat local this September.

There are lots of reasons to eat local food.

Health. Eat food that’s better for you. (In this study, spinach lost half its nutrients after a week of refrigeration. Think about that trip from California.)

Safety. Ask your farmer how s/he does things, don’t leave it to the bureaucrats.

Ethics. Prevent some of the death and destruction caused by flinging food around the planet by truck and train and ship and jet.

Economy. Depend on your neighbors, not monstrous corporations.

Apocalypse. Build a local food system in case the global economy falls apart.

But my favorite reason to eat local food is Pleasure. Fresh food just tastes better. Some of the tastiest foods in the world don’t take to large-scale commerce—they aren’t pretty, don’t last long after harvest, or don’t transport well. (Ever had a pawpaw? A Fallawater apple? Cornbread from corn grown and ground right down the road? Fresh milk straight from the cow?)

So it’s with great pleasure that I’ll be participating in the September Eat Local Challenge. And I’m extra excited that this challenge will focus on putting food by for the winter. (My friends will tell you how absolutely giddy I can get over a well-stocked pantry.)

September, then, will be local food month in The Herbwife’s Kitchen. I’ll write about old-time pickling, growing and cooking the tastiest dried beans, the best way to cook all that zucchini, and all sorts of things I haven’t thought of yet.

If you want to join me in eating local food for the month of September, here are some resources to get you started. A group blog dedicated to all aspects of local eating. Co-host (with San Francisco’s Locavores) of the September Eat Local Challenge.

The 100-mile Diet. Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon ate only local food for a year and wrote about their experience. A helpful site with good tips for getting started.

Local Harvest. A site to help link you to farmers, markets, and stores that sell local food. More coverage in some areas than in others, but definitely a good place to start.

Happy eating!


  1. darcey said,

    August 18, 2007 @ 9:20 am

    rebecca, have you lacto fermented any summer squash? I’m swimming in it here, and would love to do so. Any great recipies you could share?

  2. Kiva Rose said,

    August 18, 2007 @ 4:26 pm

    ooooohhhhh, nice new look, Rebecca! I love that picture, it’s so YOU and herbwifish (is that a word? LOL)

  3. crabappleherbs said,

    August 18, 2007 @ 4:39 pm

    You know Darcey, that’s one of my projects for this week. I want to try it with some of the traditional zucchini pickle flavors (mustard, turmeric, onions). I’m going to use a medium brine (~3 tablespoons of salt per quart of water) because it’s still pretty warm here (80s in the daytime, 50s-60s at night). I’m thinking of trying grated zucchini, to make a bit of a relish. Do you have the book Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz? He has good basic instructions for successful fermentation of any sort.

  4. crabappleherbs said,

    August 18, 2007 @ 4:42 pm

    Thank you Kiva!

    (Sure, herbwifish should be a word. And why not herbwifely, herbwific, herbwifesque?)

  5. darcey said,

    August 18, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

    dont have the book, but have lusted after it for years. I figured i’d just go ahead and try it as well, possibly shredded like relish with chiles and garlic and possibly slices as well…
    we’ll have to just compare notes i guess!

  6. Michelle said,

    August 19, 2007 @ 3:33 pm

    oooh, I like your new look! And I’m excited about the food preservation posts.

    Perhaps a 100 mile herbalism blog party?


  7. crabappleherbs said,

    August 19, 2007 @ 3:50 pm

    That sounds like a great idea Michelle! I think Darcey’s got one planned for next month, but maybe the one after that…

  8. chasmyn said,

    August 19, 2007 @ 8:31 pm

    I love this post! And I agree totally. Taste and pleasure are the reason!

    Good idea about fermenting the squash – I hadn’t even thought of that!

  9. darcey said,

    August 20, 2007 @ 12:14 pm

    well i’ve done it, and will now have to wait a week to see how they turn out!!

  10. crabappleherbs said,

    August 21, 2007 @ 10:48 am

    I’ve done mine too! I did a grated relish, with turmeric and mustard and onions and a few little peppers. I put the salt directly on the zucchini instead of using brine, sauerkraut style. The squash had plenty of water in it. We’ll see how it turns out!

  11. Jan S. said,

    August 24, 2007 @ 9:09 am

    I suspect “well stocked pantry giddiness” is akin to the feeling I get as I watch the drying cracks appear in the logs filling my cordwood pile, stacked and ready for winter. “Heating local”, like “eating local” save vast amounts of energy used to ship fossil fuels around the world, and releases carbon that was fixed by the trees in my lifetime, rather than millions of years ago. A well managaged woodlot and a well managed garden have a lot in common. One keeps us fed, the other keeps us warm.

    Speaking of eating local, I have bumper crop of blackberries coming in. Any favorite uses, nutritional, medicinal or other properties of the wild blackberry? (berries, leaves?) The ecology of my backyard seems to think the whole thing should be one huge berry patch!

  12. The Medicine Woman’s Roots » 100 Mile Local Herbalism Challenge Blogparty said,

    September 3, 2007 @ 12:39 pm

    […] post made caused me to remember a comment made by Michelle on the Herbwife’s Kitchen’s Eat Local This September post about having a blogparty based on using local herbs for month. It makes sense to me to do that […]

  13. Bettina Stern said,

    September 13, 2007 @ 5:20 pm

    Browsing the Eat Local Challenge, I found your blog. I thought that you might be interested in our website Loulies which has two features: (1) “e-bites” which are sent out , on average, twice a week via email. The are short musings on anything and everything inspired by food and always include a great recipe, must-have tip, menu idea, new ingredient discovered etc. You must sign-up to receive the e-bites. (2) A Cook the Book club for those who want to learn to cook better with us (like a traditional book club, but we cook instead of read – this is how Suzanne and I met over 10 years ago and have learned to cook better with friends – it is really a great concept).

    Please go to our website and sign-up to gain a better sense of who we are and how our site works. Everything we have written so far is archived on our home page.


  14. The Herbwife’s Kitchen » Preserving the harvest: zucchini relish. said,

    September 16, 2007 @ 2:06 pm

    […] promised to talk about what to do with all that zucchini, didn’t […]

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    March 31, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

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    Please visit for more information! We have plenty of recipes for you to try.


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