Beautiful Cache Valley, Utah
I am really interested with the concept of eating locally. I try to imagine myself stocking our shelves and our fridge with nothing but what was grown or raised locally - local meat, cheese, milk, eggs, produce, etc. I try to imagine myself living without bananas or fresh pineapple. (Does canned pineapple count?) I try to imagine also eating what was only in season and what we lay up in store for the winter. Could I do it? Could I really eat locally? I like to think I could, but I know it will take one step at a time to conquer that mountain of changing habits.
Which brings me to my experience today. I was getting together a package to send to my family out in Indiana. I was trying to get a lot of holidays and special occasions covered in one box. And I wanted to get them something special. I like getting food because it doesn't sit around gathering dust (at least that's the hope), and it gives a lot of pleasure. So, I thought, "Hey. I'm going to get my step-mom some of our local raw honey from Cox Honeyland and some cinnamon basil seeds from our locally-owned gardening store." (Well, I thought that in so many words...) I continued on that line of thought and ended up getting my dad and brother some coffee beans from our local coffee roasting company Caffe Ibis (organic, shade grown, and fair trade!). I felt bad that my little brother wasn't getting anything, so I headed over to our local candy factory, Bluebird Candy, and got him some yummy chocolates.
As I was packing up the box I was struck with the realization that I was sending them gifts that were 100% supporting local Cache Valley companies. I then got this overwhelming sense of satisfaction and happiness. I felt like I was so integrated into my community that I could support the companies in that way and also have wonderful unique gifts to send to my family that they couldn't buy anywhere else but here. It may not sound that big of a deal, but to me it was huge.
I actually feel really lucky living here in Cache Valley. We have a local cheese factory, candy factory, local grass-fed beef ranches, local eggs, local honey made from local flowers by beautiful bees, gorgeous huge raspberry farms, multitudes of fruit trees like apricot, peach, apple, etc. and the list goes on! I guess I've taken all of this for granted the entire 3 years I've lived here and now that my husband is looking for a job with no possibilities of staying here in Cache Valley, I am tremendously sad at the thought of leaving! What will I do without the cornucopia of local offerings? It's hard to believe another place will have so much to offer. So, to compensate, I'm stocking up on the honey. :-) And I'm going out to Bear Lake for their famous raspberry shakes in a few weeks. Mmmm. My mouth is watering. Live it up in Cache Valley while I can!!