Locally sourced food started to become crucial for our health, the wellbeing of everyone around us and thus the planet.
I’m a huge fan of supporting local businesses as much as possible. In this circle, everyone wins, the customer has access to fresh and often much healthier products, the seller is usually a family business that puts all their sweat and heart into the products they make, all the people on the planet because of the reduced carbon footprint and last but undoubtedly not least our beautiful Home, the planet on which we live all.
Another essential fact of locally sourced food is that we can also eat seasonally. This is extremely important for our health. Building a lifestyle around seasonal food supports the natural healing process of our bodies.
I believe it is also vital to support the local economy. It doesn’t matter if we are local or from another city or even countries. The town or village in which we live it’s our home. We are part of that community, and if it’s thriving, we thrive with it. If you want to go even further you can seek producers who pay their workers’ fair earnings and get involved in social justice. It is a complex process but I believe in this way we can make a change even if we are simple citizens.
I know it is not easy, especially if you live in a big city but just give it a shot. Do an experiment and see what you can find, how you feel when you buy from a local producer and how those fruits or vegetables taste. Try to find out more about what you eat, how it grows, or how the harvest was. Be curious and connect with that farmer, I bet he will be more than thrilled to speak about his work and his products. After we started asking questions to the local producers we visit frequently we discovered so many new things we didn’t know about them and about what we were eating. The amount of work needed, the story or the quality of the products were things we knew only on the surface.
Plukselv Græskar, Gaardens Grønt
Location – Åstruplund, Denmark
A few months ago we discovered with the help of a friend a local pumpkin farm, Plukselv Græskar, Gardens Grønt – Åstruplund of which we fell in love instantly.
For all three, it was the first time when we saw that many pumpkins on a field. Even though it was quite cold outside, we managed to have some good fun exploring these beautiful vegetables. They had different kinds of pumpkins and popcorn all grown locally. We bought a new type of pumpkin we had never tried before, and we made a delicious pie. I put the recipe below in case you want to try it.
Arun was thrilled. He tried lifting the pumpkins, climbing or rolling them on the field, he jumped and ran all over the place. He also explored the wheelbarrow in every possible way he could. I managed to take some nice shots. You can see them below and maybe have a little fun.
For kids, exploring such places is incredibly inspiring and fun. Their creativity and freedom of exploration take off and we as parents can only be impressed and happy. I was watching Arun being so joyful that my heart was melting despite my hands who were cold as ice on the camera.
Things You May Not Know About Pumpkins
Pumpkins together with squash, cucumbers, honeydew melons and gourds are part of the gourd family. Pumpkins originate from Central America and Mexico but now grow on six continents, all except Antarctica. Indigenous from North America cultivated pumpkins long before cultivating corn or beans. They started thousands of years ago.
Every part of the pumpkin is edible – skin, leaves, flowers, pulp, seeds, and even the stem. The pumpkin also has numerous benefits. I will share just a few of them:
- rich in Vitamin C, E that can boost immunity
- highly nutritious and particularly rich in vitamin A
- lutein and zeaxanthin contained in pumpkin protect eyesight
- weight loss resulted from nutrient density and low-calorie count
- high antioxidant content that may reduce the risk of chronic diseases and lower the risk of cancer.
The best time for planting pumpkin seeds is between the last week of May and the middle of June. In October, after 90 – 120 days of growth, the pumpkins can be picked. When their colour is bright orange. We saved some pumpkin seed from the ones we both had and we intend to plant them in our little garden. I’m so curious to seeds how this experiment will go. I will share the process on my Instagram account.
The heaviest pumpkin in the world was grown in Belgium, and they presented to the public in October 2016, he weighed 1,190.49 kg.
Pumpkin Tart Recipe
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Then add the butter cut into cubes and gently mix everything with your fingertips until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Stir in the water, one tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. It has to be slightly sticky. If the dough is dry, add one teaspoon of cold water and a second one if needed. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
On a floured surface, roll the dough out to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Place the crust in a pie plate and press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Make some little holes in the crust, with a fork from place to place.
1 Striped Spaghetti pumpkin
2 tablespoons of butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 teaspoon of rum essence
250 gr mascarpone
walnuts and raisins as much as you like
Cut the pumpkin in half and put it in the oven to cook for 50 minutes facing down at 230 °C. After it is cooked, peel the pulp with a fork, so you get thin strips like spaghetti. If they are too watery, squeeze the water out of them. In a pan, put the butter and the pulp and cook for 5 minutes while steering regularly, until browned.
Let the composition cool down for 15 minutes and after mix with mascarpone, egg, vanilla, rum, walnuts and raisins until all combine. Pour the composition on top of the crust and insert in the oven for 50 minutes, at 220 °C until the crust is brownish. Let the pie cool down for 1 hour. Enjoy.
For us, locally sourced food improved the quality of our lives in many ways. We have better health, new friendships, more fun. We offered Arun new learning and exploration opportunities, we have a feeling of connection with the community and much more.
Another beautiful aspect that I forget to mention above is that you can start developing new and beautiful relationships by making a habit of buying from local businesses. It is possible to build even friendships over time, making you feel more connected with the community, kinder and happier.
Christian and I discovered a local cafe almost three years ago, La Vie, which has delicious coffee and beautiful jazz music. Since then, we went regularly and developed such an incredible bond with the owner. This made us feel more connected with the city and the culture, we supported the local business, and on top of it we also made new friends.
I hope I gave you plenty of reasons to start looking in your community for new producers, use more sustainable products and support the local economy. Locally sourced food can be your first step. Nowadays, almost everyone has a website or a page on social media so you can start looking for them there.