The Fruit Stand


It’s called Carol’s. It’s a few blocks and a pleasant walk from my office, and it has the best local produce in three counties. Okay, let’s make that ten counties. I’m feeling pretty good about Carol’s today.

I went through on a scouting mission this morning. They have peanuts and king cakes in abundance right now, which tells me they have their priorities straight. They also have potatoes, cabbages, and turnip roots. The freezers are loaded with pink-eyed peas and such that look like they were put there by someone’s Granny. I love it. Anyone on a mission to eat locally should seriously shop Carol’s.

I bought a couple of oranges and a hunk of hoop cheese today. Sorry, my friends, but this was only a scouting mission. I was on my way back to my office where I lacked freezer space to load up on garden peas. Even at home, I’ll have to eat a few Lean Cuisines and frozen pizzas before I can make way for many healthy, environmentally friendly options. But the trip to the fruit stand tells me it can be done.

Yet another point gleaned from Barbara Kingsolver is that local eating doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. You can do some good by only changing part of your eating habits. So what if you or I go to the fruit stand once a week before going to the grocery store? One small fruit basket of seasonal produce grown locally could become the basis for several meals through the week.

This means healthier, better thought out meals. It means supporting local farmers and a local business that goodness knows we would all suffer without. And it means reducing the number of food items we’re consuming that have to be shipped long distances to reach us. It’s a winning proposition all the way around.

If enough of us shifted even part of our shopping and eating habits to a local orientation, we could shift real economic leverage back to the small family farm and reduce our dependence on petroleum products by what Kingsolver claims is a stunning amount.

Something to ponder…

Plus, you should go to Carol’s anyway because Wal-Mart has nothing on their decor.


To say nothing of the fact that somebody’s Mama right here in town made those chess bars.

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