Fresh & Local

Today’s Workout:
The Plan: 45 Minutes Strength
The Actual:  45 Minutes Strength with Susan – sticking to my barefoot training

The “buy local” movement has been going strong for at least five years in Maine which isn’t surprising since agriculture has always been a large contributor to the local economy.  What is surprising is that it’s one sector in recent years that’s actually GROWING!  The average age of the Maine population itself is older than the national average – fondly referred to the oldest state in the US of A – but, per the 2012 Census of Agriculture, the average age of our farmers is actually younger than that of the national average.  Even cooler, the number of women farmers is on the rise at a decidedly quick pace.  I grew up in a CT town known for its fruit orchards so summer and fall fruit picking was a common family past-time as was baking and “jamming” with all the fresh fruit.  After moving to an area of MA that wasn’t so farm heavy, I quickly realized how spoiled I was as a kid with all this fresh and local food.

Enter Maine – stage right.

Fresh and local is EVERYWHERE!!!  I have two CSA’s within 3 miles of my house and the Portland Food Co-op has memberships available for only $100!  The first year up here was about finding a place we could call home, followed by the last two years being about making said place our home.  Now it’s time to get back to the kitchen and the food that brings me back home.  After replacing our deck last month, I was FINALLY able to start some basic herb planters and got myself a tomato plant.  There’s nothing like the smell of fresh sauce or jam on the stove – YUM!  I loaded up on fresh strawberries when they were in season but Alex is a strawberry-holic so there are none left.  I’m hoping I can keep him away from the blueberries that start in season this week!  Then we’re on to peaches and apples – yaaahooo!

You’re probably asking yourself, “What does this have to do with running?”  A lot!  At least it does for me over the next 60 days.  The first month of training wasn’t too far off from what I had been doing this spring.  Actually it was probably a little step backward since the peak of half-marathon training.  The next two months, however, are a whole different story.  Real speed work started this week and the long runs start to get, you guessed it, LONG!  My twenty miler is in about five weeks – YIKES!  If I want to get the most out of my workouts I need to make sure I’m fueling my body fully and correctly.  Most of my previous posts have been about the training itself but now get ready for some good-for-you-fuel ideas that aim to take advantage of in-season foods you can probably get your hands on no matter what part of the country you’re living in.

Yes, there are “running” benefits to refocusing my diet but, honestly, being able to tell Alex where every element of our dinner came from last night and having him realize that it was either from our own yard or a farm he knew and visited was the real highlight.  You could see the wheels turning and that’s just cool.

What’s your favorite “in-season” dish at the moment?

Potatoes, green beans, tomatoes and beef all from local farms.  Herbs courtesy of our own backyard.
Potatoes, green beans, tomatoes and beef all from local farms. Herbs courtesy of our own backyard.

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