I've finished the book, and while I am not going to go out and order my own flock of chickens who are known to lay eggs through the winter months, the book has influenced me to change some of my ways. I am never going to be a purist, but I do think I can work on ways to give my family and me a more intimate relationship with the food we eat and the area where we live.
1. I do want to join Slow Food organization. The money has kept me from doing it in the past, and will probably keep me from joining in any month surrounding the holidays, but the impetus is there, and I will work toward that goal.
2. I will become cognizant of where my grocery store produce hails, and make local choices, when I have the option.
3. I will visit the farmers' stand BEFORE I go grocery shopping. I know they get some food shipped to them, so I will make sure to ask which products are grown on their property. No excuses. This particular stand is one mile from my house.
4. I will give cheesemaking a try. I admit that this is mainly a curiosity, and I would check it out even if it weren't connected to a cause.
5. I will be a more conscious gardener. I'm not saying I'll be bigger or better, but I will put more thought into it and try to engage my kids more in the act of raising food.
6. I will plan more of our meals around seasonal food. I do this to some extent now, but I will be aware of how often I do this and when I veer. I do have a pretty good idea what foods come into season and when, so that is a start.
7. I will look into buying local eggs, meats, poultry, and flour. Not knowing what my choices are, I don't want to promise that I will always buy local, organic, free range, but I am on the lookout.
8. I will look for fair trade coffee. I am looking to cut down my coffee to 1 cup a day and to eliminate the diet soda (who wants all those chemicals) anyway. This is as good an excuse as any.
Some things won't happen. I don't anticipate giving up citrus, fish, or cheese from other countries. I do can and freeze some of my own foods, but I don't know that I'll step up production. These steps aren't mandates, but goals I have for myself. I think they fall within the realm of what is practical for me and my family at this time, yet uncomfortable enough to stretch us out of our comfort zone. Isn't growth-- of animals, plants, and the human spirit--what this is all about?