- What’s a locavore? Someone who eats food grown locally.
- What’s considered local? The generally accepted rule is 100 miles from where you live, but that’s often stretched to 250 miles, and even a day’s drive, depending on what your sources are. For this site, it means a 100 mile radius from either New York City, or Dutchess County NY depending on what day of the week it is. Seriously.
- Why accidental? Couple of reasons. One, try living on what’s local and fresh in New York in January or February. Somehow my city apartment is missing a root cellar, and storage for whatever I might have preserved from the summer. Second, I stumbled into the whole local food thing accidentally in 2009 with the initial arrangement I made with my farmer upstate. Here’s how it happened:
When my neighbor, local farmer Paul Wigsten closed up his farm stand in favor of weekly appearances at the local farmers market, I was devastated. Not wanting to brave the crowds at, nor travel the distance to the farmers market once a week, yet still pining for the produce that only the Culinary Institute of America’s produce purveyor could offer, I made Paul an offer: $20 week for a box of produce of his choosing.
Paul accepted and I went from amateur chef to Accidental Locavore.
Each week Paul introduced me to the ripest collection of local produce. This in turn challenged me to find ways to cook and showcase the sometimes unknown produce. Now I’m passing that knowledge onto you and hoping you will share your experiences cooking local and fresh with us. Here we’ll explain how to find the best produce (what to look for, what to avoid) and suggest ways to cook with it.