Explaining this whole “Lenten Locavore” thing to people has been a real challenge. They basically look at me like I’m insane, and I’m pretty sure I am. This is winter. This is New England. This is impossible. And no, it is not easy. It is not cheap. There is tons of cooking! It takes serious planning and time. But what came to my attention yesterday, is that it really takes some courage to be a locavore. It takes bravery…
Sure, to some extent you might be giving up your mac’n’cheese, ramen, and pbj staples. NBD. To actively commit to [do] anything takes bravery. You’re essentially putting your usual patterns off in order to make something better of yourself, or a project, or a cause, or society, or the world. You may learn something. You may raise money. You may raise awareness. You may start running. It takes bravery to do these things. It takes bravery to change your patterns even if it’s temporary, hence, the Spirit of Lent.
Yesterday, I realized this. I was hanging out in George Howell’s Cafe (the coffee guy I gushed about here) with the bf (Steve), and George Howell was there! Steve pointed him out to me. Had I been by myself, I might not have noticed, and I would typically never bother a celebrity coffee stranger, but Steve encouraged me, and I just COULDN”T NOT go up and ask him about fair trade versus direct trade. I spent a whole day researching coffee and decided to buy his! I wanted to hear what he thought about all this! I had a chance, and I took it. [If only he also made butter, I’d basically be in George Howell Heaven.]
If you want to know, he is a very nice man. I totally outed him in front of a stranger looking for espresso beans to buy (which they were out of), and George just asked the baristas to bag up some for his patron on the house. Very cool.
George told me all about fair trade and direct trade. about his coffee. about what he’s looking to do next. how he’s ready to make a super cafe. He gave me some info on Sweet Maria’s a self-proclaimed “coffee university” and place to buy green coffee in San Francisco. Handed me his card (NOTE: El Presidente) and told me I should read God in a Cup by Michaele Weissman, which I bought today.
This isn’t the only brave thing I’ve done in approaching people as a locavore, it just made it more clear to me. Since I began, I’ve had to do some serious asking around to find what I want. I’ve found butter. Raw milk. I’ve belligerently challenged farm stands about their $7-8 eggs! I’ve watched how the venders work their tables. I trust them, and seek their trust, in order to share products, my patronage, and information. We’re so used to things being easily accessible without ever having to ask. Not the case for local eating. There’s only so much information you can find on the interwebs, and it takes serious bravery to ask and then incorporate what you learn, and then ask again. and again. and again. Until you find what you’re looking for.
Being brave always makes a better story.