The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
– Genesis 2:15 (ESV)
From the beginning of Creation, one of the roles of man was to take care of God’s creation. This isn’t our only role. Everything that we do is to be an act of worship – that is to permeate our entire lives. Giving glory to Elohim – God the Creator, Preserver who is Mighty and Strong (among His many names).
Since I was in middle school, I have cared about the environment. I read this book and this book back in the day – 1990. I was the VP of SAVE – Students Against the Violation of the Environment. I tried to start recycling programs at the school, at the very least for all of the aluminum cans coming out of the coke machines.
My mom was upset with me because that year I insisted that all of my notebooks be recycled paper. They weren’t pretty then. The paper was gray and the teachers hated it. We started recycling. She also didn’t like that either because it involved extra work and there really wasn’t anywhere convenient to take everything. Curbside recycling came and went in Nashville.
I stopped doing all of that for years. God convicted me earlier this year – don’t just be a steward of what I give you financially, be a steward of this earth. So, I keep my thermostat above 75 (for the summer). I started taking the bus (though that had alot more to do with the fact my employer will pay for it to/from work so I don’t have to use gas than out of any decision to be green.) I started carrying my own shopping bags. I use them about half the time. The plastic bags I use for my small trash cans or recycle. I recycle like mad… barely one trash bag a week.
I try to buy locally when I can. I’ve loved the Farmer’s Market for years. It is better for the economy, it is better for the environment, and it is better for our bodies. For generations, people ate what they grew on their own farms – which meant locally. There is a reason our grandmother’s canned all summer and fall – to preserve those fruits and vegetables throughout the winter when they wouldn’t have them.
It has only been in the last 150 or so years with the advent of high speed transportation (the railroad then cars and planes) that the food system changed. Tomatoes are available year round. The drive to grow bigger, longer lasting produce has bred the taste out of many things. (Think about it… people wanted big, beautiful roses but they don’t smell like roses anymore. They don’t smell like anything.)
A couple of years ago, I bought CSA boxes from Plumgood Foods. They partnered with Delvin Farms. Often there was a box of locally grown, organic strawberries. I don’t like strawberries as a rule. I find them to be rather bitter if they have any flavor at all. These strawberries were much smaller but their flavor was so intense and sweet. I usually downed the pint the day I got them. Best eaten raw or enhanced with good quality balsamic vinegar and brown sugar (macerate for 30 minutes before enjoying).
They’ve bred the fat out of cattle… where it is next to impossible, as Julia Child would have said, to find a steak with the appropriate kind of marbling to make it taste good… which that kind of fat is fine if your day is spent working in the fields… not so much if you are a desk jockey like me.
I want to set up my own at home composting system. Every time I throw an apple core away or other left overs, I feel like I could be doing something better with that.
Here are some of my favorite sites where you can get more information on eating locally as well as living a more sustainable lifestyle.
Eat Well’s Guide to Seasonal food by State – click your state and find out what grows when.
Nashville Farmer’s Market – much improved. Lots of local growers, meat producers, international fare. Events every Saturday.
Delight.com – where I bought my envirosax, dryer balls (no more dryer sheets… I still have a bunch that I use to with my sheets because the dryer balls don’t work well with that). Lots of items – practical and gifts – that are green.
Food Security Partners of Tennessee – local information about creating sustainable, healthy, and fair food systems in Tennessee.
The Sustainable Table – blog, articles, recipes, and information about setting up a sustainable kitchen
Food Fit‘s guide to:
- Spring Fruit
- Spring Vegetables
- Summer Fruit
- Summer Vegetables
- Fall Fruit
- Fall Vegetables
- Winter Fruit
- Winter Vegetables
Because… you know… strawberries aren’t good all year round. Just click on a piece of produce to find out more information as well as get a recipe.
50 Simple things you can do to save the Earth – the book that inspired me back in 1990. Updated with a website and resources. Learn things how the USDA will penalize large farmers for renting acres to small farms to grow things not approved list or how they penalize grocery stores for using locally grown produce (besides a little table). Yeah… you thought the government was here to help. Pfft. Again, now do you see why I am a libertarian?
Here’s a list of Nashville-area Community Supportative Agriculture programs. Many of them deliver to downtown Nashville, the Vanderbilt area, and Brentwood at different times of the week. There are summer and winter CSA’s. Get out there and support the local economy!