Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mark Your Calendars for the 2014 Season!

[Pic from, but it sure captures my own sentiments!]

If you don't follow the Bellevue Farmers Market on Facebook, you may not have seen the announcement of this season's opening dates:

Thursdays: May 15 and

Saturdays: June 7!

Celebration! If you've been eating non-local, non-fresh-from-the-ground food for too many months now (and who hasn't?), you may want to salivate over the May-June harvest calendar in anticipation. Greens and beans and fresh, crunchy lettuce and hothouse tomato to layer on the first Skagit burger of the season, tossed on the grill if the sun happens to peep out for five minutes. Aah...spring in the Northwest.

The Disney World pic is appropriate for other reasons. My family just spent a few days in Orlando over Midwinter Break, and compared to our visit to California's Disneyland a few years ago, I am pleased to report an entirely anecdotal drop in the number of park patrons getting places riding Rascal scooters and cutting to the front of the lines. Could America be turning a corner, or could it just be the number of Brazilian tourists bringing our averages down?

According to this recent article by the New York Times, however, we've seen our first drop in obesity rates among children ages 2 to 5. Over the past decade, the numbers add up to a 43% decline! I'm hoping this correlates to another article in the Wall Street Journal that claimed Americans were, on the whole, eating healthier.

The winds of change were even blowing through Disney World. At the over-priced food stands there was the usual junk food with fries, but more than one place offered steamed broccoli as an alternate side. A "Chinese" restaurant in EPCOT's World Showcase included eggplant in its veggie dish, and I was wondering if it was grown in the Disney greenhouses we toured during the "Living with the Land" boat ride we went on earlier in the day, where we saw tomato trees and hydroponic crops and aquaculture and nine-pound lemons. All this, after we queued up in the air-conditioning and read enviro-friendly quotes painted on the walls.

Well, whether or not America is making strides toward healthier eating, I was reminded of how fortunate we are in our state, blessed as we are with the abundance and diversity of foods grown. There isn't a corner of Washington without its farmers market or local food stand--the very opposite of a food desert--and I can't wait for May, to dive in again!

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