So I had this experience that has really nothing to do with the rest of this blog but sort of does have something to do with the above quote. I visited The Homeplace Vineyard in Chatham, Virginia last year for the third time. However, I experienced one of those enchanting wine encounters that may or may not be unique to me.
Sometimes while sampling wine, I taste or smell either A. things that are not edible (for instance, carpet or pine needles) or B. things that are edible but are completely unrelated to wine (i.e. popcorn). In this case, I had to buy a glass to detect the very distinct and undeniable flavor of Froot Loop milk. Seriously. Sip, wait 15 seconds, and what you've got on your palate is Froot Loop milk. I was totally aghast and enamored at the same time. If you're headed out that way, the wine is named "Rockin' Rose."
This has nothing really to do with what I'm going to talk about here. But I think wine is a good way to start anything.
Upon perusing Live Healthy Lynchburg's website, I discovered a link entitled $10 Buy Local Challenge. So, as underscored by the above local drinking, I thought to myself,"Psh, I probably spend at least $50 a month in local wine, let alone produce and meat (please feel free to visit my Woman's Day blog for evidence). I'll bypass everyone else on this alleged 'challenge' by far!"
Just so you know, it's not a competition. I just make random events and life experiences into competitions in my head if I know I can win them. When I was little I was the champion for three years in a row for how much packaged hamburger I could touch before losing site of Mom. I should probably talk to my counselor about that...
Anyway, I took the pledge and followed Live Healthy Lynchburg's website to another very pleasing site that is relatively new and very resourceful and educational. Here is what I learned:
1. Virginia Food System Council helps Virginians find local food sources.
You can find information and education about local grocers, farms, and co-ops and Virginia Food System Council doesn't make it costly or difficult. Here the instructions on one of their helpful links at Local Harvest:
Help us round out our database by contacting farmers or farmers' market managers in your area, and encouraging them to visit our site. Over twenty new farms and markets join LocalHarvest every day, but there are still many more who need to hear about this site. We appreciate your help spreading the word about LocalHarvest! If you are a Sustainable Agriculture or Family Farming group, contact us to discuss how we can partner together in support of your work.
(Bedford Avenue Meat Shop Chicken)
2. There are 10 ways you and I can support the $10 a week challenge:
- Encourage your local food group members to go online and pledge support
- Share the link to the $10 a week challenge website through your email networks
- Share the $10 a week challenge press release through your email networks
- Follow and “Like” the Virginia Food System Council on Facebook
- Use your social networks to encourage your friends to pledge $10 a week
- Share the press release and website with your region’s economic development offices and encourage them to distribute in their e-newsletters
- Promote the $10 a week campaign in your printed and online local food directories
- Encourage your county offices to promote the challenge and pledge support of the campaign
- Print out the $10 a week challenge poster and display at your area farmers markets, grocers, restaurants, etc.
- Write about the $10 a week challenge in your local paper’s editorial section.
Or you could just already write an awesome blog that includes buying and eating locally like I do but beware any and all mental competitions that may be involved.
(Meat: Bedford Ave Meat Shop Vegetables: David Farm Fresh Market)
3. Apparently (and I learned this on the VFSC website) The Smithsonian Institution and The American Museum of Natural History will both have major exhibitions devoted to food and the food industry. I will be planning a weekend trip in mid April that will involve lunch at a Farm-to-Table restaurant for anyone who would like to go.