A Plea for Red, White, Blue -- and Local
Last September, I wrote about Roger Doiron’s grassroots campaign for a White House garden. Now Doiron, who’s based in Scarborough, Maine, is taking his home-grown ideas to another level -- one of stars, stripes and all things patriotic.
Founder of Kitchen Gardeners International, Doiron has launched (in partnership with IATP Food and Society Fellows and the Mother Nature Network) Food Independence Day, a campaign to make your Fourth of July cookout local and sustainable.
Remember last summer’s Eat Local Challenge? The same idea applies: Try sourcing as many of your feast fixins within 100 or 200 miles of where you work or live. In doing so, you’re doing your part to stimulate the local economy, a highly patriotic act, says Doiron.
It’s not just the voting public Doiron’s after; he’s circulating an online petition asking for participation from America’s 50 governors, “to lead and eat by example this July 4th by sourcing the ingredients of your Independence Day meal as locally and sustainably as possible.” The petition, available here and on Facebook, has garnered nearly 6,000 signatures, Doiron told me on the phone yesterday. He’s also requesting holiday menus from First Families around the country; so far, he’s heard from just seven states, including Maryland (Governor Malley and family will be feasting on crab cakes and a mixed green salad from the first lady’s vegetable garden). Doiron promises to send updates as menus from additional states trickle in. The word on Fourth Fixins remains mum from the White House; we'll keep you posted.
As for Doiron, here's how his menu his shaping up: “We’ll look to our garden for lunch that day," he said. "Strawberries, salad greens and baby red-skinned potatoes. We’ll boil 'em up and serve them with butter and dill from the garden. I live on the coast of Maine, and I’ve got a recreational clamming license, so I’ll probably take my boys out that morning and get us a peck of clams.”
What’s local on your Independence Day menu this year?
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