I’m traveling this week. Since I bought my own small farm I am a homebody. I don’t leave for lengths of time very often. Such is the life of a farmer. Livestock doesn’t feed itself and plants don’t water themselves. I wouldn’t trade it.
But when I do travel, I love to check out local food and local farms. And for this week I have been doing lots of both. Agri-tourism is developing everywhere. Folks want to see where their food is coming from and educate their children about food and animals. It is a great movement and I love supporting it wherever I am.
When I was growing up a lot of the family farms were closing and farmers were generationally transitioning into off farm jobs and selling land for development. That isn’t unique to where I come from. What amazes me is in the last decade with every trip home I see more and more folks returning to farming. CSA’s are popping up and farm stands and farmer’s markets are growing. Cheese makers and dairies are returning. And more options for pasture raised meat are available. These farms are smaller than before, but viable.
If I have a message in this post, it is check out your local flavor, whether you are home or traveling. If you want to know what makes a location unique find it’s flavor. I’ve had wild Maine blueberries this week and lobster, fresh goat cheese and lamb pizza, and plan on a visit to the farmers co-op for some up and coming artisan cheeses. These are the tastes of home for me. And when I return to my own home on the Front Range, I will throw a steak on the grill and pick up some local greens for a salad along with whatever else is fresh from the garden or the farmer’s market. I can’t wait.