Grit Blogs > Waking up in Kansas

On Being a Locavore

By K.C. Compton

Tags: Fieldstone, blackberry,


We locavores certainly do eat well – even when we don’t even know that’s what we are.

As a kid growing up in rural Oklahoma, I belonged to a family of seasonal locavores – so very hip before my time. Locavore, as you probably already know, is the hot new word these days, denoting someone who eats food grown locally. The definition of “local” is a somewhat moving target – some say within 100 miles, others within 300. In my family, most summer evenings, that meant within 50 yards.

Last night was an echo of those garden-fed dinners of my youth. My neighbors Ken and Nancy invited me over for a lamb chop. I brought the wine – the only non-local item on the menu – and we had a dinner so congenial I barely wanted to leave the table.

The lamb chops were from a neighbor just up the road and were grilled to sweet perfection. Four varieties of tomato came from Ken and Nancy’s garden: Black Kilm; Celebrity; Beefsteak and an orange tomato the name of which I didn’t learn. Nancy had prepared a cucumber and onion “pickle” (OK, I don’t think the vinegar was local) and I brought some ‘Peaches and Cream’ corn I had purchased in Kansas City from the Hen House grocers there (kudos to Hen House for their great work in offering as many local products as possible!).

Berry BasketDessert was hardly needed, but irresistible once Nancy brought it out: A communal bowl of fresh, nectar-sweet cantaloupe chunks and some of the big-as-kiwi-fruit blackberries from Ken and Nancy’s South 40. That color combination of cantaloupe and blackberry never fails to knock me out.

We had supper out on the enclosed porch overlooking the pond and watched my dogs and cat cavort across the lawn between us and the water The dogs occasionally came and pressed their noses to the window to let us know how willing they were to help us polish off any lamb chop remains, but the pooches were sadly out of luck. Not a scrap remained, only sharp little bones I didn’t feel comfortable sharing with my greedy little guys.

As we finished off the last of the wine bottle, the evening dwindled to twilight and a yawn made its way around the table, person to person, starting with me. Satiety, achieved.

I can’t imagine who could want more from a meal.

Photos by Nancy Krause