We made two egg sandwiches on Glutino's new Multigrain English Muffins. Topped with an egg each (his poached, mine sunny side up) we added a selection of our own freshly grown herbs. My sandwich was bold and vibrant with it's whole leaf purple basil, while Mike's was more subdued with a hint of chives and parsley. Don't they just look delicious?:
The English muffins were phenomenal. I've tried Trader Joe's English Muffins before and have never been impressed, as they lacked that key feature of an English Muffin: Nooks and Crannies. Those were not lacking in these muffins. They were light and airy in the middle, even after toasting, and crunchy on the outside; just what I remember for an English Muffin. They passed the sandwich test, maintaining themselves even under the weight of our massive eggs. They were also fine on their own dipped in some homemade chili, for which we used the Original English Muffins.
Brunches like this remind me why I love eating local. We are truly lucky to have space for our own chickens, herbs, and garden; it's become it's own mini echo system. Our chickens lay eggs, we eat the eggs and use the shells in the garden (or to feed to the chickens for calcium), and the scraps from the garden go to feed the chickens. We also use the chicken waste (i.e. poop) as a fertilizer for the garden, and give to others for the same reason in exchange for other goods, and they cycle keeps going. Our food is flavorful, fresher, and cheaper as a result.
But even if you don't have the space or opportunity to have your own chickens or garden you can still access local foods that will be fresh and flavorful (although not necessarily cheaper). Here's a few tips for accessing local foods, while supporting local business:
- Attend Farmer's Markets: For years this has been the go to staple. I can easily visit my farmer's markets throughout the year (winter too) for produce, gluten free pastries, yogurts, flowers, and more. Prices can be a bit steep here, but you can get whatever you want from various local sources. The USDA and Local Harvest each have search engines for markets.
- Join a local Community Sustained Agriculture (CSA) group: Another safe go to is a CSA. Local farms set these up to draw in funding for themselves. You give a set amount of money for the season and get weekly produce (usually a selection the farm picks) in return. Again, the USDA and Local Harvest have a database for CSAs.
- Check out Farmigo: Get the best of both of the above worlds by getting involved with Farmigo, where you can join other individuals in your area looking to source local goods. Individuals set up food shares in their area out of homes or public buildings, which can be either closed or open to other individuals, and individuals orders are placed each week for goods offered by local businesses (farms, fisheries, small businesses etc.). It is only available in select areas now but it is growing.
- Create your own network of food sharing: Want total freedom over what you give and get? Try exchanging with your friends. Just as as an example: as I said above, we exchange chicken poop fertilizer for other goods. How about exchanging some veggies in your garden for some eggs from a friend? Or if you both have gardens grow different items and simply swap!
While eating locally can sometimes be more expensive, I personally find it to be a good sacrifice for bolder fresher flavors and goods. I hope you are enjoying this spring as well as I am! I'm interested to know, what do you do to eat local?