Forgot to mention another important aspect of local food: growing your own. In addition to the CSA, we have our own garden almost fully in for the season:
- Three varieties of tomatoes in containers – cherry, Roma, and a larger heirloom slicing tomato – all of the “indeterminate” type for maximum yield (I *will* learn at least the rudiments of canning this year!). Last year we were still harvesting tomatoes in December, even after we brought the plants into the garage to guard against frost.
- Yellow and butternut squash.
- Icebox watermelons and a couple of everbearing strawberries.
- A pimento pepper for my wife’s pimento cheese.
- Chives, oregano, mint, basil and rosemary (some of these are already established).
- The pomegranate tree is entering its second season; I don’t know when it will fruit, but certainly not this year.
- A scuppernong grape vine (native to this area). Scuppernongs and muscadines are my favorite grapes, so I’m especially excited about this one.
Also, we have some worms now, courtesy of a science project our daughter is working on, and once her project is over we plan to use them as the start of a worm composting bin.
Next year I’d like to try growing a tea bush (Camellia sinensis should grow in our area, as we were recently reclassified from Zone 7 to Zone 8, although we might have to bring it in for at least part of the winter) and some herbal-tea plants – this will take some research, however.
PS – the Happy Cow Creamery also has cheese, including a nine-year aged cheddar that is to die for. It’s the only cheese I’ve come across here that makes me homesick for the mature cheddar we got in England.