Gather around, friends, and let’s talk about food in the olden days. You know about the olden days, right? I see a lot of talk about history in this here neighborhood, and I expect you know that folks back then liked their dinner as much as we do today. But maybe they didn’t have the same variety we do.
Who thinks the gold miners consumed pineapple and bananas? Who thinks Montana ranchers ate caviar? Who thinks the stagecoach stop served Indian curry one night and sushi the next?
Our ancestors here in the West believed that wealth came from a milk cow and a few chickens. Okay, maybe not wealth, exactly, because chickens don’t lay gold nuggets. But then again, you can’t eat gold nuggets, and I’m guessing after a while hard tack and jerky didn’t seem all that appetizing.
Fact is, our ancestors ate the same diet week in and week out. They ate what they could grow and preserve. They ate what kept well and they could import cheaply, like dry beans, flour, sugar, and the like.
So all the choices we have today—that’s good, right? Well, yes, to a degree. But there is a growing number of people concerned about food security. About the dangers of depending on an international supply system, to say nothing of the loss in flavor and nutrition caused by shipping food across the continent and around the world.
Some people want to take back their food. Want to know where it comes from. Want to grow their own or buy it from their neighbors like our ancestors did. But maybe with a bit more variety.
And… some of these people are fictional. My contemporary Farm Fresh Romance series follows the adventures, romantic and otherwise, of a group of young women who band together to buy a farm where they plan to grow their own food and live as sustainably as possible.
I know a bit about this as a gardener, farmer, and beekeeper. I’ve spent a lifetime growing vegetables and preserving them for long Canadian winters. We have three deep freezes… for two people. I’ve served my community’s food security association as a board member, blogger, and webmaster. My daughter-in-law is the manager of our local farmers’ market. My family is immersed in local food.
Green Acres (you’ve got the theme song from the old TV show running through your head now, haven’t you?) is a fictional farm set in northern Idaho, not far from the valley in British Columbia where I live. I needed to know the climate and growing season intimately for books that revolve around growing food, so my own backyard was perfect.
Dandelions for Dinner, the fourth book in the projected six-book-series, released March 3. It’s fun (for me, anyway) to see Green Acres Farm develop over the series into the kind of cooperative farm the girls had envisioned when they bought the rundown place. Through the books they’ve moved out of the mouse-infested ancient mobile home on the property and into a spacious straw-bale house. They’ve catered weddings and other events to keep the financial wheels turning. They’ve added beekeeping and backcountry tours to the mix, and now, in the fourth book, they’re finally building the farm school they’ve been talking about for years.
Through it all, I’ve had fun exploring themes of environmental consciousness, sustainability, and local food from a Christian worldview. Why don’t you join the thousands of visitors who’ve enjoyed a visit to Green Acres?
For an appetizer, the first book, Raspberries and Vinegar, is free on all e-book platforms. It’s also available in paperback and audio. I’d love to give a digital copy of Dandelions for Dinner to one commenter today, or—if the winner prefers—an earlier Farm Fresh Romance title.
About Dandelions for Dinner:
She hates him. He loves her not.
Men are weeds. Allison Hart doesn’t need them in her carefully tended life, though her friends at Green Acres seem happy with their guys. Why can’t Allison open her heart to anyone but her young nephew? Then again, he’ll be a man one day, too. If only the irritating contractor in charge of building her home and farm school wasn’t the boy’s favorite person.
Fireworks with Brent Callahan’s newest client shift from antagonism to the rocky possibility of a relationship. When he comes face to face with a history he’d much rather forget, he realizes hiding his failures isn’t the best option for finding forgiveness, let alone love.
Can a little boy help weed out the past before it chokes their future together?
For buy/ download links for any Farm Fresh Romance books, click here: http://valeriecomer.com/series/farm-fresh-romance/
Photographer: Hanna Sandvig. Used with permission