Jack TenneyExtra Point

by Jack Tenney, Publisher

October 2008

Pass the Alka-Seltzer

Eat locally, season globally,” the little sign on Route 100 in Warren urges.

So ... how long are we going to be dependent on foreign spices? Like ginger, for goodness’ sake. Do you have any idea how long a ginger root can last? What’s the yield for an acre of ginger? Oregano, cinnamon, cumin — we can’t grow them around here?

We really need to get as resourceful as those Quebeckers — they apparently grow so much Montreal Seasoning they can bottle up the surplus and export it. I read somewhere that a farmer in Ohio — no doubt in the shadow of a football stadium or tire plant — grows cocktail onions.

Wall Street Journal! Maybe that’s where I read it. The farmer makes a killing. I figure a couple of window boxes of cocktail onions ought to be enough to make your own homemade Gibson politically potable, assuming you skip the vermouth and use local vodka.

Salt. Salt a spice? Doesn’t matter, you should cut down on salt, anyway. Seriously, all over Vermont there are ski trails that, from May to October, are just green fields. Check out pictures of Asian terraced gardens in National Geographic. Imagine using those ski trails in Vermont as Asian terraces from late spring to early fall.

Peppercorns, mace, mushrooms, ginseng — you could grow it all. Of course, we’d have to get itinerant Indonesians to actually do the work. I am pretty sure this could work out. We already have tomatoes (want some?), zucchini (want a lot?), maple sugar, corn, dairy, free-range chickens, goats, lambs, several breeds of cattle, yak, deer, duck, buffalo, and geese.

Pass the parsley!

Localvores, unite!

This year, the farmers market. Next year, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Then, true season independence!