Monday, November 28, 2011

Sticker Free

Here we are home again; back from a lovely traditional Thanksgiving gathering. When we travel from our place in the mountains to my parents place near the coast we cross the fertile Sacramento Valley. Between Marysville and Oroville on Highway 70 there is a succession of fruit and veggie stands that sell the produce of the region. Our favorite is Tony's. We have been stopping there for the past 8 years as we make the trek across the valley to visit family. Jerralee has watched our son grow from a baby to a boy and gifted him with honey sticks and gourds to decorate. In the summer their stand is overflowing with multiple varieties of peaches and other fruits and veggies galore. This time of year you can find winter squash, persimmons, pomegranates, mandarins, dried fruits, and nuts.

I have to say that I am partial to produce without stamps or stickers on it. At Tony's, like at most farmer's markets, there is not a sticker to be found. To me it is an indicator of low food miles. Many of the stickered fruits and veggies you find at the grocery store have traveled many miles indeed. Lately here in Quincy I have seen avocados from New Zealand in the stores. Since California and also Mexico are such big avocado producers it is hard to understand how it is economically/environmentally viable to import this fruit from a completely different part of the globe. Yes, a good deal of the food we Americans eat is much more well-traveled than the populace eating it.

It is challenging to eat sticker-free in our isolated mountain town through the long winter but our holiday trips through the valley and to Tony's are helpful in this regard. 

Seasonal, sticker-free produce 
The lemons are from my parents' place. I am fortunate in that both my parents and my in-laws have lemon trees because they certainly don't grow here. Last winter I used some of my in-laws' (they live in Calistoga, CA) Meyer lemons to make a delicious limoncello (Italian after-dinner liquor). The sugar pumpkins are good for cooking and came from a new favorite stopping place near Petaluma, CA called Green String Farm


  1. Good post. I hope that more and more Americans pay attention to the source of their "fresh" fruits and vegetables. I find the taste of imported asparagus to be insipid.

  2. Three cheers for farmers' markets!!!