Guest Post by Laura LaVoie
There are so many “sister movements” to living in a tiny house and I would love to explore all of them over time. They include things like living without refrigeration, not using commercial shampoo, and eating locally – all of which I have tried to one degree or another. While I will eventually share my experiences with all of them I wanted to start with the idea of eating local and eating fresh.
Changing the way we live by moving into a small space or simplifying our lives is just the beginning. My relationship to food has not been all that healthy. When I was living in the city and going to a job every day I would find that food was the only thing I personally had control over, so I would snack all day. When a customer or employee would stress me out, I would go get ice cream or chocolate. I realized that moving to the tiny house was a chance to break free of that cycle. Eating farm fresh foods seemed like a good way to start.
The Asheville area has several farmers’ markets making it very easy to find local produce and other farm fresh foods like meat, eggs, and cheeses. I am an omnivore, but I do walk through the markets with the eye of a vegetarian thinking of what I can do with all the delicious vegetables available. Farmers’ Markets are becoming quite popular and wherever you live there is likely a weekend market you can visit.
One of the ways we got involved with the local food community is to purchase a share in a local CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and it is a great way for local farmers to ensure they sell their produce within the community.
Most of the time you will buy a share of the grower’s crops and you will receive a box of produce each week. The CSA we chose does things a little differently by offering their food market style. Instead of getting a box of whatever they choose, they allow us to attend the markets they participate in and select what we want and have the money deducted from our balance each week.
We have used this method to try a lot of new things we might not have considered as well as getting a lot of typical foods that we know we enjoy. Just this week we bought yellow and orange carrots and found them incredibly sweet and delicious.
We liked them so much we went back to the next market and bought purple and white carrots. The CSA is affordable and they usually offer options depending on the size of your family. We bought what they call a “half share” which can easily feed the two of us. In fact, in several months we’ve only used a fraction of the money we put in. We need to start eating more vegetables!
Eating locally and taking advantage of farmers’ markets in your area is something you can start doing even before you transition to tiny living. In fact, even if you never want to live in a very small house you can take advantage of fresh and local food. Check out CSAs in your area and see if anyone is offering a service you can use. In some areas even restaurants are making an effort to provide only local foods on their menu. This simple change is not only better for your community but better for your health as well. Give it a try.