This is our SEVENTH year of One Local Summer and it’s hard to believe it’s been that long already. If you’re not familiar with the One Local Summer thing, it was a challenge started locally by Farm to Philly. The basic rules were make one meal a week using only local ingredients allowing for exceptions like salt, pepper, and oil. The challenge encouraged participants to visit farmer’s markets, farm stands, and get to know your local producers. It reduces “food miles” (the amount of resources from gas to man hours spent on getting a product to you) which means less of a tax on the environment to make a meal, thereby reducing your carbon footprint. I know that sounds a little hippie crunchy granola, but it makes sense. If you can get amazing locally grown asparagus, why eat asparagus that was trucked in from California? Plus, it supports your local economy and helps local, hard-working farmers who take pride in what they do and care about the crops/animals they raise. Over the years we’ve found everything from butter to flour, beef and bison, eggs and an amazing array of vegetables, but there’s always something new to make! It encourages us to eat healthy (free-range eggs, beef, bison, etc all are far healtheir for you than their commercially-raised quivalents) and be creative in the kitchen. In fact, during the summer months, it’s fairly likely that all of our meals are 90% or more local at this point! It’s become more of a way of living for us than just an annual challenge, but it’s still fun to concentrate on that one special meal a week that’s all local.
Explanation out of the way, our local farmer’s market, the Phoenixville Farmers Market, had their opening weekened on May 2nd. It was SO nice to see our favorite vendors back for the regular season – you really get to know these folks, seeing them every weekend for so many years, and it brightens my week to see familiar smiling faces and have a quick chat with my favorite vendors. Words can’t really accurately describe the wonderful little community we have in this market and I am truly grateful that it exists and has grown SO much. I’m rambling on again, aren’t I? That plate! Okay, back on track. Lots of greens! Earlier on in the season, there are SO many delightful greens available (mustard greens, pea shoots, lettuce, bok choi) and I HAPPILY scoop them up to include in our meals. Asparagus is another early season favorite, the mushroom guy grows year round in a climate-controlled mushroom house, plus the chicken (grilled with home-grown saffron on top!) which all made for a really full plate for dinner. It’s paired with a cool glass of homebrewed mead made with honey from local bees. The whole thing was enjoyed on a warm evening on the patio, and it was just the perfect end to the day.
Chicken – Deep Roots Valley Farm
White Trumpet Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Snap Peas – Jack’s Farm
Pea Shoots – Jack’s Farm
Mixed Greens – Charlestown Farm
Asparagus –Hill Creek Farm
Non Local – Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, Balsamic Vinegar