Local Foods for Local Climates

Fall 2005/Winter 2006 — Climate and geography provide the foundation for the kinds of foods that can be grown in a particular area. In Freiburg, Germany, where my friend lives, cooler weather crops are in abundance now at the local markets: root vegetables, bitter greens and radishes. On Oahu and Maui and, where I have spent some time retreating, the juicy sweet fruits, leafy greens, bitter herbs, starchy roots, and plenty of fresh caught Pacific fish are all readily available at the local markets. Farmers in both Freiburg and the Hawaiian islands offer hardy market choices through all the seasons. In this way the land is nourished and protected, the farmers are sustained, and people are more connected to the process of feeding themselves with simplicity and grace.

No matter which climate you live in, pay attention to how many local foods you are consuming. Making an effort to simplify your choices, making seasonal adjustments and eliminating some of the foods that travel thousands of miles to your table will allow you to expand into a deeper awareness of who you are really feeding.