I don't know if my sudden surge of energy has something to do with the summer ending and the cool fall nights signalling winter approaching. I am suddenly feeling an intense need to gather as much of the last local food as possible for our family, even though canning and preserving is a slow process with a new baby in the house. Maybe it's also my post-pregnancy "nesting" urge, as I'm thinking about all the great organic locally grown baby food Maya will get to start eating around about February if I preserve it now.
In any case, I may have overdone it, but I ordered a vast amount of produce and fruit from Bailey's Local Foods this week. I mentioned this business a few weeks ago - it's operated by a friend of mine, who has been a local food advocate for as long as I've known her, even before the 100-mile diet was trendy or local farmers seen as heroes. She grew up on a farm in Indiana, came to Ontario for university (where I met her), got married and now has three beautiful kids and lives with her family on an urban homestead here in our city. She is a true inspiration about how many projects one person can have on the go at the same time, plus baking bread from scratch each week (I learned to make bread from her back in university when we lived together), cooking amazing foods, tending her garden & chickens, preserving the harvest, caring for her kids, socializing in the community, running this local foods business, and working a professional part-time job. Her website is chock full of useful information, plus gorgeous food & farmer photos - www.baileyslocalfoods.ca
I already ordered pears, peaches, blueberries and plums from her a few weeks ago. Now I've ordered grapes, more pears & plums, red peppers, dozens of corn, squash & pumpkin, and a few other items which we weren't able to grow enough of on our own property. I will pick up apples for sauce from her in a few weeks. The next few days will be busy trying to put this all away for winter. Maya and I will head over tomorrow afternoon to pick up the food, and I hope it's all going to fit into my bike trailer to cart it home. They wisely discourage pick up by car so as not to clog up the neighbourhood with traffic. Most buying club members are local anyway, and come by bike, with backpack, panniers, trailer, cart, wagon, etc.
I'm dreaming of our winter months filled with the tastes of local grape jelly, pear-plum chutney, plum cake, corn chowder, roasted red peppers, pear sauce, pumpkin pie, blueberry pancakes, peaches on yogurt with granola, applesauce for Maya...