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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

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Lettuce on Bicycle; Eating Locally Grown Food

It was time to visit the Boston branch of the family. The anticipation of seeing my daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters made the 6-hour car ride enjoyable, especially since the highways were free of snow. Each time I visit Boston, I get a culinary treat from the very tasty fruit and vegetables that my daughter sources. This time the surprise was savory lettuce.

My daughter cares about the quality of food she serves her family. For several years, she received incredibly tasty organic produce delivered to her door on a weekly basis. However, the quality of that produce deteriorated in winter; and would rot upon delivery. Eventually, she switched to buying locally grown food, year round, from a co-op run by Enterprise Farm in Massachusetts. In summer, the farm grows edible crops close to the greater Boston market. In winter, it sends a truck down the east coast of the USA, culling produce from organic and smaller farms, en route. To conserve energy, the truck never leaves Massachusetts empty. It is loaded with last season’s locally grown root vegetables and apples from the farm’s cold storage. The northern grown produce is delivered to southeast customers along the coast, while freshly grown produce is picked up from growers as far south as Florida. Upon the truck’s return to Massachusetts, the farm prepares a box of assorted produce for each co-op member.

Since I do not grow food, it is unusual for such a topic to inspire a blog. However, the culinary experience with lettuce in Boston deserves mention. A weekly box of food from the co-op was delivered to my daughter’s home, as I arrived. It came on bicycle to reduce both energy consumption and pollution. That same evening, a salad was prepared with the box’s fresh ingredients and I must confess that I had never before eaten lettuce with so much taste.

Buying produce that is grown close to home reduces the pollution and excessive fuel consumption necessary to bring food to market from distant growers. Local produce is tastier and fresher due to harvesting closer to sale date. Best of all, eating local crops encourages growers to continue operating farms. Many towns in North America have farmers’ markets and co-op services that offer fruit and vegetables harvested by nearby growers. To learn more about this healthy option for sourcing food, click here to visit the Enterprise Farm website.

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Reader Comments (2)

Loved the lettuce story, I am going to try planting my cool crops this weekend. I just have a small raised bed but I can get quite a bit from it by layering crops.


March 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEileen

I have a quick question for you. I am an oil painter that frequently paints flowers and I am looking for photos to use as inspirations for my paintings. Can you direct me as to where or from whom I might find photos of flowers? Thanks!

March 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie Saeta

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