Sunday, May 22, 2011

Localvore: A Made-Up Word, But I'll Take It.

Paxton Family Cherries

Normally I shy away from the Localvore crowd in Boston because I feel like they judge me for the fact that the only crops my neighborhood is known for are potted aloe and certain unmentionable fungi.

I remember as a teenager drizzling out my nose in the spring and wheezing as I declared that there was no way I could have survived before the mid 20th century. With my debilitating allergies to every tree, flower, bush, and animal that isn't a cactus, I wouldn't have lasted a day without my air purifier.

Last week I had a fascinating conversation with one of my coffee shop regulars who told me that he cured his seasonal allergies through the use of local honey. It's amazing that something as simple as eating locally can literally inoculate us to local allergens. A coworker then came up to the counter and reported that he too experienced far fewer allergies since eating local honey.

They both used to take allergy shots, which my mother is convinced do some weird hoodoo on your life. She's probably right. The Kris List of Things That Do Weird HooDoo on Your Life is a pretty extensive list. It encompasses everything from FloNase to certain pieces of mid-19th century landscape. If any of you have met me and wonder why I have some of the odd aversions that I do, it's because of this comprehensive and exhaustive directory of Things to Be Avoided.

Anyways, I was thinking about last summer and the incredible healing I experienced from reaching into the garden to pick my collard greens, kale, and carrots, and it became so clear to me that we eat so much produce from South America that we're probably inoculated against their pollen. Between the bleachings, waxings, pesticide sprays, and long-distance shipping, are we losing some of the all-important germs that we should be eating? What ever happened to "God made dirt, dirt don't hurt?"

Now I am sitting down eating steamed collards from the front yard and cherries from my brother's cherry tree. I'm not going to play games and say I'm a good gardener... May left her plants in my care for a few days and I put them too close to the radiator and... it was like that scene in the Lord of the Rings where the Ents were trying to take out Isengard.

Burning limbs everywhere, and the slow, creaking sound of tree death.

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