Aaron and I have a yearly goal: every year we choose one thing in our lives that we want to work on. At the beginning of our marriage we made a commitment to treat each other with the same kindness and patience we would offer a stranger (isn't it sad how we often forget to respect our loved ones with little common courtesies?). A few years ago we made a pact to give sacrificially of our money and resources. It hurt at first, but we're slowly getting to the point where we don't see our money, our possessions, or even our home as our own. And this year we've decided to take better care of ourselves and our family--by upping our activity, eating healthier, and going organic as much as possible.
I won't lie to you. It's hard. At 12:30 when my kids are hungry, tired, and more than ready for their afternoon nap, you can bet a box of Mac n' Cheese is the fastest and easiest way to pacify them. But have you ever looked at the so-called nutritional value? I might as well feed them cardboard spread with butter. Eating healthy takes a work, and a lot of creativity--especially when two eaters in your family are little and think nothing could compare to a pudding filled long john with buttercream icing and chocolate stripes. Mmmm... I'm not sure I think anything could compare to that!
Anyway, in a grand effort to change my family's eating habits, I just bought a half-share in a summer program run by a naturally grown vegetable farm in my community. Every week I get to look forward to a box of fresh, homegrown, organic vegetables that have been harvested directly from sweet Iowa soil. The first pick up is this coming Tuesday, and I've been told I can look forward to lots of greens, spinach, asparagus, radishes, and other early spring offerings. In the coming weeks my box o' veggies will change to reflect the season, from broccoli and cauliflower mid-summer, to tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers near the end. It's kind of silly, but I'm giddy with excitement. Over vegetables.
I love buying things that are locally grown. I love it that our summer will be filled with fresh, pesticide and herbicide free foods. I love it that I'll be expanding my culinary horizons, and I'm even looking forward to eggplant--a food I've never tasted in all my 31 years. I love it that we're taking steps, however small to living a more simple, healthy, and green life.
I'll keep you updated as the summer progresses. Apparently, in addition to receiving an overflowing box of fresh produce, I'll also receive recipes and ideas for how to prepare it. As I come across good ones, I'll pass them on. And I'll let you know how my kids are reacting to fresh crudites and homemade dips for their after-nap snack. Sorry Keebler. Your elves have been officially banned from the Baart house. Well, I suppose they could still sneak in for the occasional visit.
How about you? Do you have any good recipes? Any tips for eating healthy and reducing environmental impact by buying locally? I think my next step is to join the local food co-op, but Aaron's afraid that I'll make him stop cutting his hair and force him to wear clothes made out of hemp. Come now, I can't imagine I'll ever lose my love for my hubby in a slim-fitting J. Crew dress shirt. But hey, never say never...