Local foods

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Red Handed Jill

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We all know this is a trendy idea lately (really - we need a word like locavore?), but I think it is a little different for someplace like a BnB. It can be part of the locale, the attraction, the ambiance - getting into the area.
I've been trying to incorporate as much local food as possible, and have been able to fill my menu "templates" largely (not entirely) with produce from a couple farms up the road. I've noticed my guests are impressed and sometimes seem surprised when I can tell them exactly where the peaches/tomatoes/berries grew, the names of the farms, etc.
I have tried to acquire food from local producers (like local companies, not farmers). The thing is, the company's local, the food isn't necessarily. I go to the local pecan company. Lots of pecan products - but they're not locally grown/made. They're from all kinds of different states. I think "our" pecan company has a relationship with other pecan companies - one makes the jams, one packages seasoned nuts, one presses oil, one makes pies. I didn't find a single item that was processed here. (Well, bags of pecans. LOL)
I bought a jar of honey processed 20 miles away - to discover just that. The honey was processed there, but the bees were in South America. (Honey is heavy. Was it really worth the cost of shipping it?)
While meeting the farmer and picking the foods up myself is fun and cool (and even educational for my kids), DANG it's a lot of work in the kitchen - real cooking from scratch. I was relieved when one of the farm owners said his wife is working up recipes to can the local wild fruits and market them. Inside I was thinking, "THANK GOD! I'LL TAKE A CASE!"
Am I the only one who finds that "local" foods aren't necessarily local?
 

JBloggs

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Yes, our farmer's market has 50% of the produce brought in from somewhere else (ie Florida) and of that which is brought in me thinks, believes, they are culls. So I stick with whatever is local. I mean, you know what CAN grow in your area or not. Man o war the rattlesnake melons down there today were nearly 3 feet long!
 

egoodell

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We're lucky in that we have lots of local farms and artisan cheesemakers and such, and our stuff that I found to purchase is local. Even the sausage and bacon. We even have a farmer's market open about 5 days a week all within 20 minutes of my inn.
Riki
 

Samster

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Yes, we don't really have a good source of local fruit here.
We have market days on Saturdays during the Summer and the produce is grown within 30 miles of here, most organically grown. There's even a food co-op. We also have local honey, flowers, herbs. Not much fruit at all there. Baked goods are made locally and I get the most incredible pain au chocolate there. YUM! We also have some local "farmer's markets" that offer an assortment of things but a lot can't be served at breakfast - greens, beans, peas, that type of thing. I never found a good source for local bacon or sausage though. :-(
Going with the "local" theme, I thought I'd offer local chocolates for turn down from a mom & pop shop general store in our historic downtown. Found out they got their truffles from Texas (which is the last State that I lived in!). I couldn't believe it!! They do make their own fudge and sometimes I would buy that.
I guess it depends on your location. I just tried to do my best I could with the best fresh ingredients that I could buy....
 

gillumhouse

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My most often served breakfast is my egg bake and I tell the guests the chives came from my herb garden this morning (or whichever herb is used that day (could be tarragon, basil, oregano, or thyme). They are told the herb bread is sage and parsley from my herb garden.
 

Don Draper

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Even if the food itself is not grown right in your area, by purchasing locally you are still supporting your local small business owners. Guests are not so concerned with how "local" it is, more that you put the effort into getting it and making it available for them.
 

Red Handed Jill

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GH - I do have herbs and some tomato/pepper plants in containers. I also have preserves from my (old) garden. I like being able to step out and snip seasonings/garnish moments before I use it.
I am still on the fence about what gardening for food might look like here. I made myself wait a year before touching anything (I made the mistake at my last place of not observing the sun's movement before placing a vegetable garden), but I only have three months left before I need to make up my mind.
At this point, having someone else grow the fruits & veggies is less work than a garden, so I may still with strictly landscaping endeavors for a while.
 

One Day

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Our Long Island corn is awesome.......sweetest corn I have ever had.
We have farms, winneries east of me.....all the way out to the north and south fork.
never travel out that way.......but we have some small local farmers markets open in season that provide much of the local grown produce.
 

gillumhouse

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GH - I do have herbs and some tomato/pepper plants in containers. I also have preserves from my (old) garden. I like being able to step out and snip seasonings/garnish moments before I use it.
I am still on the fence about what gardening for food might look like here. I made myself wait a year before touching anything (I made the mistake at my last place of not observing the sun's movement before placing a vegetable garden), but I only have three months left before I need to make up my mind.
At this point, having someone else grow the fruits & veggies is less work than a garden, so I may still with strictly landscaping endeavors for a while..
This place was full of flowers. The first year I left everything grow just to see what was here. Anything I could not identify that did not look beautiful to me was removed. The beautiful yellow and purple irises fell actoss the sidewalk when in bloom - they are now blooming all ove town and in PA. The daffodills that DH kept mowing over after they stopped blooming are now blooming their hearts out safely in PA. I planted herbs around the house because I could use them in cooking. I am a "I planted you and now it is up to you to survive" gardener. I would have a veggie garden if I had more space though. Although if things get tight, my guests will be observing a veggie garden in my side and back yards rather than grass. Actually makes more sense and better use of the ground. Just means hoeing instead of mowing.
 

JBloggs

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I have corn coming out my ears. LOL!
I love the local sweet corn, around here most of it is grown for feed (or dog/cat food filler) or corn likker. :)
 

One Day

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I have corn coming out my ears. LOL!
I love the local sweet corn, around here most of it is grown for feed (or dog/cat food filler) or corn likker. :).
Joey Bloggs said:
I have corn coming out my ears. LOL!
I love the local sweet corn, around here most of it is grown for feed (or dog/cat food filler) or corn likker. :)
Locals make turpintine?
Gas station where I park my trucks, there is a mechanic, an older fella from south Va.......had told so many stories about his dad and grandad transporting shine......and that the shine would remove paint off a car in seconds.
 

Emily Spiers

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I have corn coming out my ears. LOL!
I love the local sweet corn, around here most of it is grown for feed (or dog/cat food filler) or corn likker. :).
Joey Bloggs said:
I have corn coming out my ears. LOL!
I love the local sweet corn, around here most of it is grown for feed (or dog/cat food filler) or corn likker. :)
Locals make turpintine?
Gas station where I park my trucks, there is a mechanic, an older fella from south Va.......had told so many stories about his dad and grandad transporting shine......and that the shine would remove paint off a car in seconds.
.
Tasted some really, REALLY good 'shine a few months ago. Not made from corn, exactly, but from a corn product. It was so smooth...only took a decent size sip and I could tell I'd had something! ;)
 
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