The ongoing pleasures of shopping local


Lisa Reeder, who’s a really great local foodie and chef, as well as ABODE‘s kitchen columnist, alerted me today to some new posts on her blog, in which she documents her trip to Torino, Italy as a delegate to the Slow Food convention, called Terra Madre. I savored reading those (oysters! wild boar!) and then kept reading back through earlier posts, with such topics as local raw milk, Appalachia Star asparagus, and the Meade Avenue farmer’s market weaving their way through her writings.

It all makes me feel hungry, first of all, and also grateful, as Lisa does, for the abundance of local foods and other wares that can meet our needs and support local businesses at the same time. I have my favorite and regular stops for the stuff I need, and it feels really good that none of them are Wal-Mart:

*Living in Nellysford, we’re extremely lucky to have a natural food store within spitting distance. Wintergreen Grocery (which everyone out here still calls Valleymont) sells stuff it can be hard to find even in big towns: organic spices, organic dried beans, even organic ghee for Indian cooking.

*Right next door to it are a few other key local shops: Basic Necessities for wine, cheese and bread; the True Value for hardware and conversation; Blue Ridge Pig and Ambrosia for delicious takeout.

*One more Nelson County fave: iHanuman, a site where you can buy downloadable recordings of yoga classes. It’s a virtual purchase that supports local entrepreneurs.

*Moving along to Charlottesville: I love Integral Yoga for all my bulk goods, rice and lentils and granola and nuts.

*Nearby, you can walk into Shenandoah Joe and ask for water-processed decaf beans without earning funny looks. As a nursing mother, I appreciate this greatly.

*Blue Ridge Eco Shop is my go-to for baby supplies; O’Suzannah for birthday cards; Daedalus for gently used novels. I get most of my clothes at secondhand places like Jean Theory, the SPCA store, and the second floor of Duo on the Corner.

*Last but not least, one of my favorite things about living here is that I can do all my Christmas shopping without setting foot in the mall. The indoor farmer’s market at the Rockfish Valley Community Center (first Saturday in December), the city’s Holiday Market, and the holiday show at McGuffey Art Center actually make gift-buying fun.

Where do you love to shop local?