100 Mile Diet: Insta-Garden, Insta-Meal

[Previous 100-mile adventure post] Do you ever get eco-overwhelmed? Let me explain what I mean. I'll think: I should do the 100-mile diet. Then, I'll think: I should start a porch garden for my 100-mile-diet. Then, I'll think: I should start a compost for the porch garden for my 100-mile diet. Then, I'll think: I should take a composting class so I can start a compost for the porch garden for my 100-mile diet. Ad infinitum.

Luckily, I managed to stop my brain-whirl long enough to actually take some 100-mile-diet action. I set up a recurring alarm on my celly for Wednesday morning, so I'd get to the farmers' market before it closed. This one little step not only got me some yummy, local food, but it also gave me my own little herb garden.Again, let me explain. One of the first booths I ran into at the Santa Monica farmers' market was run by Cheryl, a woman who sells little herb plants for would-be herb growers. Not only did she sell me 3 herb plants in little pots -- thyme, basil, and parsley -- for just $10, she gave me all sorts of instructions for making an herb garden work in my north-facing balcony.

After purchasing my little insta-garden, I kept poking around Cheryl's booth, and bought some Herbs de Provence Jelly, made by Cheryl herself. This jelly has just 6 ingredients: herbs, sugar, apple pectin, lemon juice, and water. The sugar and wine were the only ingredients that weren't grown by Cheryl herself.

With the jelly, Cheryl gave me a little recipe card: "For a French Appetizer, try our Herbs de Provence Jelly over fresh goat cheese, served with crispy baguette slices. Garnish with our fresh lavendar. Enjoy!"

So I went to a goat cheese booth, where a cute man from Redwood Hill Farm in Sonoma County, Calif., sold me some local camelina cheese. Then I stopped at the Rockenwagner Bakery booth, and got a locally baked baguette (Yes, I know I'm cheating a bit since I don't know if all ingredients in the bread come from within 100 miles, but remember, for right now, I'm focusing on just produce. I'm not on the bakery-goods level yet).

Lunch on Wednesday was a real delight -- fresh, yummy, bursting with flavor, and quite local. I ate my little appetizer meal on my balcony, watching my pretty herbs grow.

For more of Siel's adventures, check out Green LA Girl!

Tags: Agriculture | Local Food | Los Angeles

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