As I was crossing the border from my sister-foodshed in Florida the other day, back to my foodshed, I stopped to buy some locally-grown goods that span both foodsheds, and I actually felt my heart swell with pride! Now, I've crossed this border many times before and never really felt this way. But this year, the oranges, grapefruits, peanuts, pecans, and Vidalia onions linked me to a land I am growing to truly love.
Even gazing out the window during my 13-hour drive, I reveled in the changing landscape, from palm trees to orange groves to live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, to my favorite, the perfectly lined-up pecan trees, their long elegant arms and Spring green leaves reaching for the sky. Georgia leads the nation in pecan production, and pecans are the only tree nuts truly native to the United States. (And by the way, I grew up, up North, saying "pe'-can" and am always thrilled to hear the soothing, elegant Southern pronunciation "pe-con'."
Locally-made chocolate from Chamberlain's ( www.WeAreSweet.com ) greeted my family Easter morning, as did the local, raw honey and grass-fed goat's milk cheeses from a foray I made to South Georgia a few weeks ago.
Ah, local. I feel the earth pulsating all around me with new growth and can only imagine the bounty ahead.