We’ve come to the end of the week-long Ban the Barcode event. It was a really interesting week. Actually, the lead-up to the week was very interesting as well.
I found a real love and enjoyment of going to farmer’s markets in search of produce and local foods. It’s easy to get into a rut when going to the supermarket produce section, the selection is nowhere near as varied, nor as solely seasonal as what you find at farmer’s market. Getting to talk to the people who grew the produce, who created the product themselves – nothing beats that! It helps to tie you into the community as well, and gives you a vested interest in seeing it continue to thrive.
In the course of getting ready for the event, I discovered a desire in myself to be more in charge of the foods we’re eating. Making as much of it as I can right now, picking up new skills and learning to do things I’ve never done before – like canning or making cheese. Eventually growing a garden so that we’re able to supply more of our own food. Putting food by so that in the winter, we can rely on what’s in our pantry or freezer(s) instead of buying out of season produce shipped in from some agribusiness here in the states or from some other country (which also seriously increases the carbon footprint of that food).
I’ve already started gathering books and websites to better learn about how to grow and what will grow in our short-growing season state. Colorado’s late frost date for Spring, and early frost date for Autumn mean that growing produce is a little trickier than in some other states. I’m happy that the part of the state I live in is at an elevation that will actually allow for a growing season at all, since parts like the mountains can be extremely tricky to grow in. If I do my planning and preparation correctly, I’ll be ready when planting time comes around next Spring.
One of the other benefits of this week has been really looking at what we eat. We’ve discovered that there are a few things that absolutely will still be purchased at the grocery store. One of those things is orange juice. Oranges don’t grow in Colorado, so I won’t be able to get them locally. My husband has been drinking orange juice every morning with breakfast since he was a young boy, and isn’t willing to give it up – to him, breakfast needs to have orange juice with it. The best we can do is buy organic orange juice that uses oranges only from the States, so they’ve had a short-ish trip to the grocery store. Another thing we’ll be continuing to purchase at the stores for a while longer is milk. I’m trying really hard to find a local dairy that leaves their cows in the field except during milking. Until then, I’ll be using milk from Colorado cows – cows that haven’t been treated with RBst – that I can get from the grocery stores.
So much of this falls in with our desire to tread more lightly on the earth. To be more responsible, and less wasteful. To live a greener life, in better accordance with the seasons. After all, as I’m teaching our children about the seasons, and as we celebrate the Turning of the Wheel, what does it show them if there is no connection to the land the food comes from, to the animals that we get our meat and dairy from? There needs to be that link, that understanding that how we live not only affects us, but it affects the land that our food grows on.
If you were Banning the Barcode this week with us, what was your outcome? Did you find things that just didn’t work? Did you learn something important about yourself?
If you didn’t join in the fun in time for the Summer Solstice, no worries! There’s talk that we’ll be Banning the Barcode again for Autumn. :)