Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Hello and welcome to Local Fruit. I am new to the blogosphere, but plan to put up new info at least weekly. Although my blog is not about fruit, there will be fruit featured from time to time as I am a gardener and I promote local farms. Rather Local Fruit is about the benefits of planning, hard work and a healthy community.
Our family is food centered. Almost everything in the family revolves around food. We appreciate eating out of the garden, and support a local farm to get a box of organic produce each week. The kids grew up with fresh lemons, tomatoes and plenty of herbs; now that they are in college they proudly send cell phone pictures of tomatoes, peppers and rosemary that they grow for their own kitchen. We care about what we eat, and try to be aware of where our food is grown. We eat what is in season, and try to avoid out of season imported produce. We live in Northern California, so we are blessed with an abundance of local fresh food year-round.
After a few years of trying to eat healthy food, it was a natural and logical evolution of our consciousness to become aware of the impacts of our food choices. Partly because I had to defend spending a little more for organic or local produce, I became interested in how we can make small changes that add up to a measurable difference. I admit spending more on quality fruits and vegetables, but our family also spends less on meat and poultry than we did a few years ago. After all, it’s all about the food; with food and wine higher quality ingredients make for a better meal, and better meals make for a happier and healthier family.
Another reason to name my blog Local Fruit is that the local community is a source of social connection which is vital to healthy living. When we moved to Folsom, CA many years ago, we fell in love with the historic district and the eclectic, charming homes in the oldest part of town. After about twenty years of liking the area, we realized that we would be happy retiring in Folsom and we started looking at homes. In fall of 2007, we found a small lot for sale in the historic district (originally created in 1855) and started planning how to design and build a very efficient home that would be appropriate for a 50’ wide parcel in a historic district. As the housing market crumbled, we are embarked on a journey to sell our beautiful home in suburbia and build a charming and environmentally friendly home in the colorful historic district of Folsom, near bike trails, water sports, and urban renewal and light rail.
Given the history of the parcel-it was once part of a farm-the soil and trees were valuable to us. This small lot has fruit trees: an orange tree, three persimmon trees and two fig trees. It also contains two young pecan trees and a mature walnut tree. In addition, there is a massive Italian Stone Pine tree along the street of the house next door. Italian Stone Pine trees are the source of pine nuts, the expensive ingredient in pesto and a staple in Italian cooking. The squirrels knock the cones to the ground, wait for cars to drive over the cones, then the squirrels raid the cones and feast on creamy pine nuts. I once sat outside with a hammer and worked hard for pine nuts (they were so sweet!) only to see squirrels use gravity and autos to accomplish the same thing.
Local Fruit may from time to time refer to people, trees, gardening, rewards, and just plain good living. I hope to document our progress as we move forward on this journey to build our home, build a garden, and enjoy the community I have come to love. Forgive me if you happen to be a neighbor and I err on the facts; this blog is meant to share our journey with friends and family who are not able to be a part of the experience first hand.