On Thursdays down in town they have a weekly farmer's market. Pretty colored tents get set up and the locals bring their wares. I've seen the signs before but yesterday was the first time I ventured down to check it out. There were perhaps just over a dozen booths set up with everything from fresh produce to handmade jewelry. There were even some fruit and nut trees and mushroom logs being sold.
I came away with apples, pears, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, eggs, strawberries, lettuce and broccoli plants and two loaves of freshly baked bread. I met a farmer gal that had pulled up the carrots and other treats just that morning, it was amazing to see one of her gardens nestled in the town between the police station and the funeral home. She literally walked the carrots over about fifty feet and sold them to me still dirty from growing. My smile was a permanant fixture.
There are a few things I noticed though, after the sparkle of the market wore off. The pears -while grown in the US- were trucked in. The bread was made with canola oil, not the end of the world but not what I would have done had I made it myself. The differences were merely standards.
Years ago, I would have taken a loaf of homemade bread and thought I was making a huge difference in the world. My standard of homemade was higher than my standard of ingredients. If homesteading has taught me anything these last few years it is that I am always learning. My standards are constantly changing. Right now, I'm evolving my standards of food to the 100 mile diet and have high hopes of producing 95-99% of my produce, chicken, eggs, and dairy products within the next 12-18 months, like these guys. With our mild winters and prolonged growing season, add in a greenhouse and it's not all that far fetched. The goats are on their way already.
Watching movies like "The Future of Food", "Food, Inc." and "Supersize Me" have helped me develop my sense of standards. I want good food. I want nutrient dense food. I want food that doesn't harm my body or the environment or has been mutated into substances that are molecularly non-food. While I'm not always perfect, I am trying. I still have a terrible sweet tooth and much of the time my budget doesn't stretch enough to cover all organic foods.
But I want to be better and I think that's a pretty good standard.