The Accidental Locavore: How it Started

For those of you who don’t know my locavore story, here’s how it all got started…

As you know, sometimes in life, opportunities come from the most unlikely places.

The Accidental Locavore was created when, in the summer of 2008, my local farmer, Paul, decided not to open his farmstand.

He decided to focus instead on the farmers’ market in Millbrook, and building his wholesale business. Understand that I never make it to the (only on Saturday mornings) Millbrook market. Besides, I don’t have the prerequisite black Range Rover matching black retrievers, or proper riding boots(although, since this was originally posted, we have rescued a black dog reputed to have some retriever in him). And as much as I love farmers’ markets world-wide, when the weather is nice I’m on the golf course. 

What to do?

Spoiled for years, by being able to run down the road to grab a couple of amazing tomatoes, I came up with an interesting idea (necessity being the mother of invention).

Would Paul consider putting together a basket of whatever was fresh that week, that I could pick up on Friday afternoons?

A deal was struck, and soon picking up that mystery basket became the high point of my week! The only restrictions I put on the basket were that when corn & tomatoes were ripe, they had to be in every basket.

The lesson from this was that I really enjoyed the challenge of working with ingredients that were incredibly varied, came from down the road (doesn’t get more locavore than that!) and not necessarily what I would have chosen.

More fun was figuring out how to cook with these great ingredients in a manner that would honor their peak ripeness!

Another test was not revert back to the same-o same-o every week (for example, those few weeks when we were overrun with eggplants or corn). In the weeks and now years since then, I’ve written about what was in the weekly baskets, and what delicious meals they turned into!

I hope it inspires you to buy local and fresh–be your own locavore.

And please feel free to comment and share your favorite recipes.


2 thoughts on “The Accidental Locavore: How it Started”

  1. It is absolutely true that nothing better than freshest ingredients for a good meal. The basket of FRESH is an excellent idea if you can find a farm, preferable an organic farm near you. When I lived in East Coast, we drove far off to get some fresh vegs from an organic farm stand over weekend and brought back to NYC with one week supplies. Even keeping for a few days, it is still taste better than those from supermarkets. Now we lives in California, vegs are just much fresher even from supermarkets and all year around. But I still miss the freshest ones that just came out from earth. Mmm, the smell of earth. I have been searching for little organic farm stands. So far I haven't found anything near me. Rather spending more time to search, I decided to grow them myself. For everyone who loves food and cook, you should, minimum, try to grow every day herbs yourself – just a little bit of dirt and sun, it grows. The ingredient is much stronger than you get from supermarket and you only need half of normal usage.
    At sunset, right before you start cooking, walking to the garden with a little basket and pickup some salads (arugula, lettuces, watercress, tomatos, …) and cut some parsley, thymes, oreganos …. It is such a satisfaction and pleasure. By the way, I do the same when I am in Pennsylvania (no excuse about East Coast weather)

    Anne, I will have a little surprise for you in Fall (if I grow 'it' successful).


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