Friday, November 21, 2008

Keeping it Free Range


So Kaitlyn is reading the book Omnivore's Dilemma, she has been reading little excerpts to me.  There are a lot of things that are surprising to hear, but at the same time they aren't that surprising.  Example, the free range chickens that are sold at Whole Foods, only get to range free outside their cages for something like two weeks of their lives.  

So we are trying to eat more locally.  We have joined a co-op.  Every two weeks we get together and put an order together.  It is delivered to the mailboat in NE Harbor and brought out to the island where members split up the bulk order into each members smaller order.  The food all comes from farms in Maine. As well as trying to eat food that comes from nearby, we are trying to eat foods that are closer to the seasons.  If we were farmers we would have a root cellar full of potatoes, squash, onions and other vegetables that keep for long periods of time, we wouldn't be eating a lot of greens.  We are eating more meat, such as chicken and beef.  Last night our whole dinner came from Maine.  We had french fries made from Natures Circle Farm in NEw Limerick, Maine.  We had lobster that was caught that morning by our friend Richard Dudman on his boat Scorpio's Lady.  By eating food that comes from more nearby, we hope that we are contributing less to process of shipping vegetables across the country or from South America, thus contributing less to the amount of fuel being burned in the world.  We also help to keep money in our state, and further help to keep farm land the way it is.  

These certainly aren't my original ideas, but we enjoy taking part in them and in helping to spread these practices.  Next year we plan on buying a share in a local farm.  By investing in the farm in the late winter we get a share in the crop come spring, summer and fall.  It will be a little more effort to be sure that we go off island to pick up our produce, but we do that anyways when we drive to Ellsworth and go to Hannaford.  Don't worry Hannaford Bros., you won't be totally losing our business.  I still will want my orange juice, and we'll need to buy tissues and toilet paper.

Living here on the island has really opened us to the idea of keeping things local.  Each day I watch 15-30 workers get off the boat to come and work on houses here on LCI.  All that money then goes off island.  This island really has the great potential for being relatively self sufficient.  You can grow things here, lot's of people already have egg laying chickens, and there were four pigs raised here this year.  Not to mention that there are deer here, and hunting season offers the chance to harvest the ultimate free range meat.

I went out this morning to hunt.  I did not see any deer, but I did see lots of crows and ravens, a really fat Hairy woodpecker, and a Marsh Hawk (Harrier) and lots of sea gulls.  It was a beautiful morning to be out in the woods, little wind and lots of sun.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Paula says the next book you must read is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

We're enjoying keeping up with your island adventures.