Monday, June 21, 2010

Locally Featured: Local In Season

A new week is once again upon us and as such- it is time for another installment of "Locally Featured"!

This week I want to take a look at a service, rather than an actual product.  As the summer months have been creeping in I realize that more and more I've been discussing Farmers Markets and all of the wonderful local farm stands that we are lucky to have around the region.  Local farmers make it easier for us to gain access to their produce and we are all able to benefit from the glorious, nutritious products that our own soil helps to produce.  You know what though- wending our way through those delightful farmers markets isn't always "easy".  What are half those products?  What do I do with them?  How do I plan my weekly menus to accommodate them?  I have a solution for you-stop by Local In Season website-they have all of your answers!

Local In Season, or LIS as I've come to know them, is a Massachusetts based website that takes a deep dive into where to get that great local produce, what is best in what season, and what to do with it once you get it home.  In business for under a year, LIS has already put together a great network of local food bloggers who put together recipes and ideas for what to do with your market hauls.  All of their suggestions and recipes can nicely be found all in one place- on the Local In Season website.  

So why not ask a question that perhaps you've asked yourself- why local?  As in -why would you want to buy local?  What is the difference really?  I'll let Co-Founder of Local In Season Jon Ross-Wiley respond: "I think many people come to the local/slow food movement because they realize that there is a global responsibility component to it.  When you buy local food, you are reducing the overall footprint required to put meals on your table.  You are also sending a message that smaller farms and the farmers that run them hold an important place in our food culture.  At LIS, completely value these components of buying local, but we also are in love with the idea because local just tastes better.  The LIS tag line is "Better food is the reason.""  For the record-I completely agree.  The US has always been a country that can self sustain itself with produce and food products from our own farms.  Subscribing to the methodology of supporting those farms in our very own backyard, not only send a clear message that they are important to our community, but by cutting down on transport emissions, we also start to make all of those products safer, and the earth happier.  Besides that- they are completely right- a carrot that was picked up out of the ground that morning, as opposed to one that has been shipped all over the US is just so much more delicious.

Wonderfully for us, some of the great chefs in Boston have begun featuring local ingredients on their menus.  LIS provided some of their favorites, which I heartily agree with! 
  • Tony Maws--Craigie on Main
  • Jody Adams --Rialto
  • Mary Dumont--Harvest
  • Ming Tsai--Blue Ginger
Checking out any of these establishments will give you a feel for what eating local really is all about:  playing off of the flavors of the season.

However, with all of that said, we all must recognize that it is not always possible to only eat local food.  Our growing season is abbreviated due to our snow winters and diet essentials (at least to me) like spinach, greens and fresh tomatoes become more and more scarce.  Have no fear though, Local In Season provides you with what to do when those times set in including how to preserve the summer harvest, and ingredients to gather when Local isn't an option.

I urge you all to check out Local In Season weekly (at least though I find   myself on that site often for inspiration) to keep up to date on what is in season right now, and gather ideas for what to do with it all. 

LIS is a fantastic local service, bringing you local produce.   
 LIS Founders Patrick Kent and Jon Wiley-Ross

1 comment:

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

Awesome idea of featuring LIS! I love them and all that they stand for. I find myself turning to them for inspiration and also for getting a better understanding of what's in season. Great post!

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