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The Green Life: Inviting Winter to the Locavore's Table

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February 19, 2009

Inviting Winter to the Locavore's Table

Honey In January, we explored options for eating locally during winter. By now, some readers may be observing their fermenting sauerkraut with trepidation while others patiently await the maturation of the sage seedlings in their new indoor herb gardens. And yet, at the end of the day, when our tummies grumble, we step into some sticky questions in the kitchen.

Now that we've invited winter to take a seat at the table, we'll have to find creative answers to locavores' most common issues.

1. Want to ditch those expensive, imported spices? Use herbs and hot peppers from your garden or the farmers' market.

2. Having trouble finding local oil? If you're an omnivore, consider cooking with lard or butter from a sustainable dairy or butcher shop.

3. Want to sweeten up a dish without using imported cane sugar or sugar from genetically engineered (GE) beets? Depending on where you live, you may be able to replace sugar with locally produced maple syrup. Otherwise, head to the farmers' market for some honey or, if you've been antsy for a new project, consider keeping bees.

4. Craving a PB&J sandwich but having trouble tracking down local peanuts? If almonds or filberts grow in your bio-region, try making your own nut butter.

5. Is your breakfast's carbon footprint getting you down? Leave imported coffee and tea behind. Instead, warm up with a cup of herbal tea. Chamomile, lavender, and mint can be surprisingly easy to grow at home.

--Melissa Weiss

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