I tried to go buy a watermelon after I dropped my fiance off at his vanpool this morning. But this sad sight greeted me at WinCo:
Um. I know it says family farm and that’s great and all, but they grow watermelon in Oregon, thanks.
I grew up eating a lot of local produce, partly because I lived in the middle of an agricultural area. Pretty much anything we wanted in the summer or fall was grown within an hours drive-corn, potatoes, onions, apples, watermelon, pumpkins… you get the idea. There was a Dairygold plant about an hour away, so milk was local without trying. I’ve left that magic land for a big city, and a new state (although I’m still only about 3.5 hours from all that goodness). But it’s a bit harder here. We had an amazing fruit stand where I grew up, where you could buy 5 ears of corn, picked that morning, for a buck. There are a lot of farmer’s markets in Portland, but nothing that’s open normal grocery store hours like that stand, and they’re not nearly as cheap. Milk is driving me crazy. They make so much milk in Oregon, and yet somehow it’s hard to find local at a lot of the stores. All I want is some Alpenrose and I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.
Directions from my house to Alpenrose Dairy. Yeah, it’s that close. And no, I don’t live in the middle of nowhere.
Alpenrose actually also makes the ice cream for most (I cannot say for all, but I know here in Portland, and a lot of eastern Washington) of the Baskin Robbins in the Northwest. So, next time you get ice cream, you can eat local without any effort! Crazy huh?
So now I’m off to find some food that’s actually from Oregon. I go for Oregon or Washington as much as I can. No offense to anyone from California, but by the time your produce gets up here it’s not so tasty. And the giant farms scare me. I grew up in Washington so I know the stuff I’m getting. And I know there are farms like the Broetje’s where they’ve make their company run so that family’s have year-round work, letting their kids stay at one school, and providing scholarships so the worker’s children can attend college. (Plus the Broetje’s are big AmeriCorps supporters, and I’m an alum from that!).
I like knowing where my food comes from, as much as I can. But I’m not against having an avocado, which I know just can’t be local 🙂 It’s all about balance.