Blessing the hands that feed us

January 13, 2014

Could you live – for even a month – eating only food grown within 10 miles of your home. Why would you even want to?

When Tricia Beckner, Whidbey Island small farmer, wanted to see if she could actually feed someone three squares a day for 30 days right out of her garden, she found a willing partner in Vicki Robin, long-time, well-known sustainable lifestyle maven. Read on for the whole story. (to read her daily posts on the 10-mile diet blog click here.)

tricia in garden

Vicki had dabbled in local food. She’d joined the first Seattle CSA. She’d shopped at the first farmer’s market. She hadn’t stared local food in the eye, though, until moving to Whidbey Island and discovering that there was only a 3-day supply of food in the grocery stores, and less that a month’s supply of food in those bounteous fields. In other words, her rural island was completely hooked on semi-trucks of food lumbering onto ferries every day. Knowing that economic and energy resources are limited and the climate uncertain, she started looking for a way to relocalize her food system. In Tricia’s invitation she recognized a chance to start small: relocalizing her mouth.

Then came the reality. Where would she get protein? Could she really live without tea in the morning or salt on her food? Uh-oh. No wheat or other grain. How would she live without toast, crackers, and sundry crunchies? Together, Vicki and Tricia worked out the terms of the game – including Tricia’s food, four exotics, permission to find honey and meat within the 10-mile radius defined by Tricia’s farm and Vicki’s home, a daily blog, a detailed tally – and on September1, 2010 Tricia delivered her first box of fresh food from the garden.

jess veggies

They counted on challenges, but didn’t count on the depth of friendship, the hilarious stories, the spiritual epiphanies or the passion that would arise for solving some of those big issues – like how can we all bring our eating closer to home.

Blessing the Hands that Feed Us; what eating closer to home can teach us about food, community and our place on earth follows Vicki as she is surprised, peeved, moved, deprived, curious and empowered by her month of hyper-local. She emerges victorious and on fire from the 30-day experiment. In February she does a 50% within 50 miles –just to prove it can be done in every season. Then – ever the activist – she starts organizing her community, writing the book and searching for answers to the big question about what kind of food system do we really want for health, community and fairness? Tomato-hands

Every chapter has recipes and practices eaters might try as they recognize that they too want to unhook from the anywhere global industrial food system and enjoy local, relational food fresh from the farms of their region.

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