Lannae's Food and Travel

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May 2, 2007

Eat Locally Part 2 - starting to shop

I am starting to get nervous that I will not be able to find enough locally grown veggies. The middle Tennessee growing season was going along nicely through March, trees and flowers were in bloom, and fragile leaves were just budding. Then, we had a deep freeze for a couple days, and set back the growning season for a few weeks. What normally would have been a great 1st weekend in May for a lot of growers, has been pushed to mid-May. That said, this is what I have done so far.

I went to the Produce Place, 4000 Murphy Road, 615-383-2664 because they carry locally made butter, milk, cheese, a small amount of meat, and veggies. This place is locally owned by a guy who is a hippy and seems to have the ideal of good food at reasonable prices. There are recognizable local farm names on local items, so it was easy to figure out what I could buy and still be within the rules I have set up. This is the list of what I got:
Rock Springs Milk 1 quart = $1.99
Rock Springs 1/2 lb butter = $3.49
Avalon Acres eggs = $1.99
Scott Hams bacon 1 lb = $4.49
Sweet Potatoes 2.25 lb = $2.23
Bonnie Blue Farm goat cheese 0.45 lb = $9.00
Total = $23.19

The guy at the computer at the Produce Place was so kind to me. I quickly told him my experiment of eating locally, and he acted like that was a completely normal thing to do, and he was happy to help me to find out distances from the farms where he gets his products from. So, here is the rundown:

Rock Spring Dairy is in Wildersville, TN, about 85 miles to the west of Nashville. Rock Spring is a small 35 cow dairy, no website that I know of, and they use glass bottles that come with a deposit. The whole milk is pasturized, as per law to sell milk, but it is not homogenized to allow the delicate cream to float to the surface. This is as close to raw cow milk as one can get in the open market. I had raw milk once from my friend Lynn's grandma's farm in NW PA, and there is nothing like the creamy sweet goodness of a free range, grass eating cow.

Avalon Acres is in Hohenwald, TN, about 50 miles to the south southwest of Nashville. Avalon Acres is a consumer supported agriculture farm that has both eggs and veggies. I have not bought into the share boxes because I travel a lot, and it does not fit my lifestyle. Plus shares are very large with a lot of food. Since there is no middle man for CSA share boxes, the price is reasonable.

Scott Hams in Greenville, KY, about 80 miles to the north of Nashville. They had a product in the Produce Place, and fit into my eat local challenge. I don't know much about these folks, but they are KY State Fair 1st Place winners for their country ham.

Sweet Potatoes from Fayetteville, TN are from about 75 miles to the south of Nashville. I was worried about having enough starch and grain products for the week, and I am thrilled that there was a whole bin of sweet potatoes for me to choose from.

Bonnie Blue Farm in Waynesboro, TN is about 80 miles to the southwest of Nashville. One blog I read, a running fiend and foodie in Nashville, he talked about a local goat farm with amazing cheese. I have been thinking about this goat cheese because I would like to have little dabs of tasty cheese on my salads, or melted over my burger made from a local cow. I could not possibly start the eat local challenge with out cheese. I am so thrilled that there is this tasty treat waiting for me.

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