Still Local 1,000 Miles from Home: Responsible Eating – Week of 3.19.10

Sadly, there will be no Farmers Market to visit in Philadelphia this weekend.  Work has confined me to several days in Dallas, Texas, so I sacrifice my weekend of hand-picked produce for a steady pay check.

Relegated to a hotel room and chandelier-draped meeting space for four days, my pattern of experimenting with, and writing about, food may be broken, but it is certainly not defeated.  I’ve been managing to stay on top of news stories and even complete my St. Patrick’s Day post on St. Patrick’s Day.

And I’m still asking questions, which could be the best habit I’ve developed.  In speaking with Gustavo, the catering manager at the hotel, I learned that the Chef recently planted tomatoes, green peppers and a slew of herbs on the 3000 square foot herb and vegetable garden on the hotel’s rooftop terrace.  Small greenhouses occupy the terrace as well as the first floor entrance to allow for fresh herbs all year-round.  In excitement, I offered my story of the small garden that I pioneered just last weekend, and we exchanged looks of pride.

Upon further research, I learned that the hotel earned two green leaves from the Stay Green web site, a registry of property reviews to help consumers choose environmentally-friendly lodging.  The hotel is “committed to purchasing local, organic, Fair Trade and sustainable food products wherever possible, including utilizing organic or biodynamic wines, local purveyors and on-site herb gardens.”  The esteemed Chef who designed the roof-top gardens recently left Dallas to pursue an opportunity in San Francisco, and luckily his edible vision remains.

The more questions I ask and the deeper I dig, the more I realize I am not alone.  People doing their part to promote sustainable living; provoking more meaningful conversations, creating common ground, and giving bloggers something to write about when they’re over 1,000 miles from home.

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