This week my internship brought me to some pretty special places around the city including Longue Vue House & Gardens (https://www.longuevue.com/) and City Park. The Locavores hosted two events back-to-back with Dr. Charles Allen, an expert on native plants of Louisiana including ones that have special properties. The event at Longue Vue House & Gardens brought in over 75 people from the Eat Local Challenge, Master Gardeners, and members of the general public. We all listened to Dr. Allen go into detail about certain local plants, holding specimens up as he talked and sharing stories about edibles and spice plants. In the back of the room were a dozen teas for sampling brewed from local plants such as persimmon leaves. I personally sampled all of the teas and thought the persimmon one was very tasty. Everyone was engaged in tasting the different specimens after the talk. It was great to see so many interested people who wish to learn more about their local flora.
The next morning we hosted a follow-up event with Dr. Allen in the Couterie section of City Park which has a lovely forested path. The event was at 9am, and I didn’t expect a great showing for a weekend morning. Boy was I surprised! About 100 people showed up ready to learn about the edible plants found right in their own backyard. I really enjoyed seeing how many wild plants are actually useful to humans, whether by providing sustenance, spice, or as a natural mosquito repellent.
Later that day, the Locavores had a stand at the OCH art market where we provided the final kits for the eat local challenge to participants. Many people are surprised to find that such essentials like salt, rice, and sugar, can all be bought from local sources easily. I participated in the challenge by ordering a week’s worth of groceries from Good Eggs (https://www.goodeggs.com/nola), a grocery delivery service which connects consumers to local sellers and is one of the easiest ways to get local food to your house quickly and efficiently. I was surprised by how much selection they had of fresh produce, dairy, meat, eggs, baked goods, and pretty much anything else you would need to complete the challenge. I was happy with the quality of the products when they arrived to my house and also the friendliness of the delivery staff. I will definitely be ordering from them again in the near future.
Overall, its been a great week for local foods. My favorite part of this challenge is the way it brings members of the community together who might otherwise not come together. Local beef raisers with master herb gardeners with college students and chefs. The events bring together all kinds with a shared love and appreciation of food and its value to the community. I look forward to our next event coming up tomorrow that I have been preparing a small fact sheet for, which I intend to share in the next blog post.
HAPPY EATING 😀