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Thursday, October 18, 2012

My hubs and I finally got around to watching a program we had dvr'd last night. With baseball playoffs and football, it is hard to schedule time with Marvin for us to watch tv together!!  The program aired some while ago on our PBS station and the title was Eating Alabama.  A young couple in their early 30s decided to do an experiment. They would eat only food grown in Alabama for one year!  As Alabama is an agricultural state, I thought that they would have no problem eating locally grown food. And for the most part I was right but I did learn some new things from watching this tv show.

The couple started looking for food at the Birmingham Farmers Market. ( I am not sure where they lived as it was never made clear but I think Northern Alabama is a safe guess.) There were some locally grown foods there but some of the products sold there were just distributed here so be careful to read your labels. They also visited the Montgomery Farmers Market finding the same thing there. One locally grown food that they found in abundance was Turnip Greens. Turnip Greens are loved by some and hated by others and I would be one of the "others". They drive all the way to the Gulf where they do find some locally grown citrus, Satsumas, as well as lots of local seafood. Now that is up my alley but I cannot drive six hours to buy locally grown food products.

Back home, they meet some truck farmers who raise crops for restaurants etc. They also grow some of their own food in the garden in their yard.  Alabama is blessed with lots of fruits in season..blue berries, strawberries, peaches and in the fall, apples. There are also plenty of local vegetables to be had in the summer. The young folks found a farmer who grew chickens for sale so they go to the farm to see the "process" of killing and cleaning chickens. I have to say here that if I had to "process" my own chicken, I might not like chicken tenders so much!!   They also found a farmer who sold them half a pig and local beef is available as well. That leaves bread!! And Southerners like their bread. Ground corn meal can be found locally but wheat flour is another thing. A local wheat farmer was willing to sell wheat to the couple but they were on their own to process it. And they did! First they separated the wheat from the chaff with a fan...then they had to have it ground with the bran included. They were able to make some bread and it looked tasty. I do have to say that if we all had to work as hard as these young people did to eat locally we might appreciate our food more than we do when we go to the grocery store and throw it in the buggy.(that is a grocery cart for all you folks who are not from the south!).

It was a good program...the next time I take down my White Lily flour to make biscuits, I will be a thankful for white flour!!

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