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.

(Photo courtesy of Foodindependenceday.org)

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?

By Kim ODonnel |  June 30, 2009; 7:00 AM ET Eat Local Challenge , Sustainability
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I hope to clean up the grill and to cook a chicken - it'll be part EDF (getting it out of our freezer), part Eat Local (it's from the farmer down the road), and part love letter to my past, using my Grandfather's chicken basting sauce recipe.

We'll round things out with a big salad of ingredients from the farmer's market (greens, beans, peas, herbs, cheese) and a baby red-skinned potato salad (holding the mayo). Local strawberries are gone and blueberries are almost here so a red, white and blue dessert using them atop some home-made blondies with white chocolate chips will probably come from the grocery store.

Posted by: CentreofNowhere | June 30, 2009 9:44 AM

We're going to have pork spare ribs from a local sustainable farmer. Probably strawberry frozen yogurt and some baked potatoes from the farmer's market.

Posted by: mmauk | June 30, 2009 9:20 PM

I was thinking of buying some sausages from German Gourmet at Baileys Crossroads (NoVa). Also, there's a great new market on Capital Hill that sources its dairy semi-locally (southern PA).


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 30, 2009 10:15 PM

I don't have a garden, but will do a drive by of some friends' house for their rosemary, mint and tomatoes. I might be an all veg'd out
feast down here in ATL. I know one of Whole Foods here sells local food. Nice work, Doiron.

Posted by: FlanBoyantEats | June 30, 2009 11:30 PM

We eat mostly local all summer as part of the One Local Summer challenge, but I'm especially excited to eat the half smokes from Meatcrafters I picked up at the Crystal City farmers market yesterday -- and probably a Pennsylvania cherry pie.


Posted by: ColleenFoodieTots | July 1, 2009 10:16 AM

We're eating mostly local all summer as part of the One Local Summer challenge, but I'm particularly excited to eat the half smokes from Meatcrafters I picked up yesterday at the Crystal City farmers market -- and probably a Pennsylvania cherry pie.


Posted by: ColleenFoodieTots | July 1, 2009 10:48 AM

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