For me, summer means not only a time to decompress from the madness that is the school year, but also a time to check off a few items on my culinary to-do list. The past few weeks have been spent doing just that- baking and cooking until my heart is content, visiting my beloved farmers’ market, starting a garden, and exploring farms. Much of this fascination with close-to-the-source food has been sparked by the book that I am currently reading : Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingslover. For those of you who have not yet read it, this lovely book is a testimony of a family who spent a year of life planting, growing, nurturing, and harvesting all their own food (including chickens and turkeys). While it would be a dream of mine to be able to grow every piece of food that passes my lips from scratch, I do not think I would have the patience to plant and tend to all the plants and animals necessary to feed a family of four. However, Kingslover has inspired me to start my own garden and simply focus more on buying local foods. Supporting local farmers is not only beneficial to our health and well-being, but the health of the environment and the rest of the world. I have strived to eat more locally by visiting my local farmers’ market and taking trips to farms.
As my love for food grows, I find myself more and more interested in where it comes from- the Copley Square farmers’ market in Boston is one of my favorite places to get closer to my food.
Siena Farms is one of my favorite sites at the farmers’ market mainly because it is run by the awesome chef, Ana Sortun, owner of Oleana and Sofra. I have had the pleasure of eating at Oleana but Sofra is still on my never-ending restaurant list.
The thing that I’m most proud of is the garden that I started Memorial Day weekend. My family and I own a house of Cape Cod and every summer my Mom would grow a small garden, usually consisting of tomatoes, basil, parsley, and zucchini. But this year I was inspired to branch out and plant some more “exotic” plants. Right now in my garden sit both red and yellow pear tomoatoes, rainbow swiss chard, butternut squash, arugula, Genovese basil, thyme, cucumbers, as well as the typical plum tomatoes, zucchini, and basil. I am excited to grow some of my favorite vegetables in my backyard and can’t wait to see how it turns out! While I will be in Italy for seven weeks, I am hoping by the time I return home in mid-August, the tomatoes will be ready for the plucking.