Since making it a priority to shop at the farmers market every week, I'm more appreciative of certain things. For one, I appreciate where food comes from, and really, where other things come from as well. I think more about who produced things and how. I'm more gung-ho about supporting locally made products.
There's a great article in the Times detailing the Brooklyn culinary movement, comparing it to 1970s Berkeley in its return to the traditional way of doing things. Some of the gastronomic arts highlighted: pickling, hand butchering, chocolate making, knife crafting. It warms my heart to support local/handmade products in response to the proliferation of mass-produced, made-in-foreign-lands goods. Whether I'm eating a salad at Franny's made from farmers market greens and locally made cheese, chowing down a grass-fed burger at Diner, or crunching on deliciously spicy Mean Beans from Rick's Picks, there's a great sense of satisfaction that I'm supporting people who care a whole lot about what goes into what they're making.
The next step in my appreciation for all things local was to bring it all even closer to home. I've begun cooking more at home, baking, and making other things with my own two hands. I now save veggie scraps to make stock (I made about 10 quarts less than a month ago and have already gone through it all making soups). I've been experimenting with muffin and dessert bread recipes (ingredients are as local and organic as I can get). Unfortunately I missed the really good end of summer pickling season, but I plan on taking advantage of it this year. And I've started making crafts as well.
Why buy it if you can make it, or remake it?
Some of my projects...
Inspired by a picture frame I saw on Etsy, I made this picture frame out of vintage upholstery buttons, linen, and an old frame I had lying around. (I'm the little one on the right.)
I've been wanting a neckwarmer that would fit under my coat better than a scarf would. So I taught myself to crochet using the Stitch 'N Bitch book and crocheted this one using super-soft Peruvian highland wool. So cozy!
I read recently that crochet can only be created with human hands. So when you see something crocheted, you know that no machines were involved (except for maybe the spinning of the yarn).
I also wanted to freshen up an old bookcase we had, so I got some milk paint (in Soldier Blue) to do the job.
I think I've got the DIY, crafting bug, and I think I like it.
PS. I just found this great green crafting blog, Crafting a Green World. Exciting!