Like most good things that come my way, this opportunity came calling out of the blue but was something I had been thinking about recently -- what can I do to connect eaters and farmers in my community?? When Jason Fischbach, one of the masterminds behind the Bayfield Regional Food Producers Cooperative, called with an idea -- would I be interested in partnering with them and doing weekly blog posts and recipes (that will coincide with delivery of the Lake Superior CSA boxes), I needed about 30 seconds to formulate my answer -- heck yeah!
Local food has become the rallying cry across Wisconsin in response to an increasingly industrialized food system for a variety of reasons but for me, it can boiled to one simple statement: all food comes from somePLACE and that place is someone's HOME. Buying locally or sustainably raised meats or vegetables isn't important because they taste better (although they do). It's important because all food comes with consequences, good or bad, for the community where it's grown. The old adage, 'you are what you eat' should be expanded to 'HOW what you eat is RAISED matters' because community and food are intertwined. These questions about our food system (local and industrial) are complex and our answers need to be as diverse as the food on our tables and the people sitting around them.
And that's why I'm excited to partner with the Lake Superior CSA and Bayfield Regional Food Producers Cooperative -- in the next year or so, we'll share recipes, ideas, and stories because we support agriculture that not only feeds us but sustains a healthy community as well. I'll send out a weekly blog post every Friday starting June 1 through October 31 and then monthly every Wednesday November through March. I'll develop recipes that will utilize what's in your CSA box, as well as additional links to recipes I discovered on some of my favorite websites. That way, if you aren't a fan of gazpacho or corned beef, you'll have plenty of choices for making good meals from good food! I'll also try to include gluten-free and vegan recipes -- please send your suggestions my way -- this is meant to a conversation, not a lecture!
We'll send an email to you with a link to the recipes but you can also find the recipes on my website, The Cookery Maven, and the Lake Superior CSA website. I imagine our conversation will change as we move forward and get to know each other and I can't wait -- the sky is the limit! Our personal approach to food doesn't have to be a precious manifesto. It just has to be authentic, to be real enough to admit every day isn't about homemade puff pastry or roasted heirloom tomatoes but that there are moments of wonder, gratitude, and connection that live amidst and within us. Let's build a community of eaters and farmers who are working in concert with each other -- one CSA box, one table, one gathering at a time. Cheers!