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Become a locavore

I just finished listening to the audiobook called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It really was a lovely compilation and narrative of their family’s year-long experiment with only eating local whether growing it themselves or supporting local farmers. Her husband and her daughter both narrated their particular essays making it a true family affair encompassing the entire project, which I thought was cool. Although exceptionally long, with some parts dragging on, it was filled with farming pearls, recipes, and funny stories. Especially the last story she recalls about turkey mating. That story had me laughing so hard. While they were not novice farmers nor writers, and pitched the idea of a book before they started their yearlong project, their experiment holds much value. They didn’t theorize local is better for human health, the health of our communities, and health of our planet, but showed through an actual living breathing experiment why it is better. As you know, I love experiments and I love that they wanted to show others through their actions how to support local while also farming themselves. I love they coined the term “locavore.”



You might be rolling your eyes thinking, ok, Amanda, that works if you’ve got land, knowledge, and resources. While doing the farming part yourselves may be a bit of a stretch, especially raising livestock. It isn’t too big of one. As we showed in Fayetteville, it is entirely possible to grow a plethora of fruit trees, herbs, berry bushes and a garden plus raising chickens for eggs on 1/3 acre in the city. Urban farming is definitely doable. Just takes a little bit of planning and some imagination to make happen. Moving out to the country with more acreage and actually living on the land is a passion and not for everyone. But hear me out. Once our land is covered with concrete and turned into another strip mall, fast food joint, subdivision, carwash or dollar store, farms start disappearing. When farms start disappearing, so do communities, and culture and food sources. Once the land is gone, it’s gone. Hundred-year-old trees are disappearing for parking lots and gas stations, and more stores. I swear those trees cried when cut down to be covered in concrete and made into a parking lot simply since it was in the way.



Nate and I are preserving our 45 acres in Wagram. It will never, ever be turned into commercial developments or houses. Long after we are gone, we hope that our sons will continue improving and healing the soil and enjoying all the trees we’ve planted and the ones they will plant for their children and grandchildren, the wildlife we’ve brought back, the ponds we’ve created with fresh water, and the beauty nature brings in all forms of life.  We have other friends who have small family farms practicing regenerative agriculture. If the local community and our neighbors support small family farms, small farms will stay alive. They can endure because they see a better future. To us, “The future is delicious!” Hopefully, over time, more of the conventionally farmed NC farmland can be healed and used to grow more than just corn, soybeans, and cotton for Big Ag.





In 2024, please add supporting local farms and orchards to your list.

-          Cook at home, shop local produce and let Farmers Markets and farm stands inspire your family meals. Don’t let lack of skill in the kitchen deter you. Pull up YouTube and just try! Don’t let a small kitchen deter you. I’ve got a barbie doll kitchen in the camper, and armed with a crockpot and Instant Pot, I can crank out some badass meals. Eating at home is a good start to healing our health.

-          Consider growing your own garden and berry bushes which you’ll see the fruits of sooner than fruit and nut trees, but plant anyway for a long-term vision for your land; our motto: “Plant trees like there’s a tomorrow.”

-          Visit local farms. Shop from them. Spread the word about them so your neighbors and friends can also visit, shop, and continue spreading the word. Your produce, eggs, meat, dairy will all be fresher, taste better and be more nutritious than anything you’ll find in the grocery store.

-          Become a “locavore” – what you eat and where you eat do matter. Consider dining at a local restaurant rather than a chain, buy gifts and wares from local artisans.  Keep your purchases as local as possible to keep supporting your own community growth, and preserving culture.

 

Another good read to consider is Small Farm Republic: Why Conservatives Must Embrace Local Agriculture, Reject Climate Alarmism, and Lead an Environmental Revival by John Klar


Until next time.

Love, Dr. Amanda

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