Monday, April 29, 2013

Embrace Local

There are pros and cons to moving every two or three years.  You don't grow roots, but you get to see a lot of new things.  You make many friends from many areas and countries, but you have to say "see you later" far too often.  And on a lighter note, you get to experience the local food and shopping scene, but you never become that "regular" that goes there for decades.

By far, one of my favorite things about the military lifestyle is living in areas long enough to explore the local culture and vibe.  I am one of those people who loves to try new restaurants, wineries, and visit small downtown areas.  You won't find me in a chain restaurant unless it is a dire circumstance (like, a road trip where even Yelp can't find me a place other than Cracker Barrel) and my husband makes me pay in cash at Wal Mart because he doesn't want any paper record of us ever shopping there.  No, not kidding.  Supporting local families and getting a quality product and a good shopping/eating experience are things we appreciate very much.  (I realize I might sound hipster or snotty and I hope I don't.  Believe me, I love Amazon Prime a little too much.)

Yesterday Johnny and I got to experience a wonderful local farm experience.  For my birthday, we bought tickets to a Wine and Cheese Appreciation event at Green Dirt Farm.  It was a pairing of farmstead cheese with the Amigoni, a local urban Kansas City winery.  And as if that wasn't enough, we happened to be seated next to a writer/reviewer from Edible Magazine.  Um, can I have her job, please?

The barn at Green Dirt Farm, Weston, MO
I now have a list impossibly long of all of the amazing Kansas City eateries, butchers, farmer's markets, and local farms to try.  We are only here until December, so hopefully we can experience enough where we feel like we really "did" Kansas and Missouri local. 
If you are at Fort Leavenworth or coming here soon I highly recommend the food and wine events that Green Dirt Farm hosts.  The food and wine was delicious, the atmosphere was wonderful, and the hosts were extremely friendly and made us feel right at home.  I am so excited for the Leavenworth Farmer's Market to open back up next week so that we can buy more of their delicious cheese throughout the summer and fall. 
If you are a military family, do you prefer trying the new or do you find comfort in staying with familiar favorites? 
For local recommendations and to write reviews of your local favorites, visit Military Word of Mouth, a great website created and run by my good friend Laura.  The website only gets stronger with more opinions and critiques!


Angie said...

I try to eat at local places every place we live. I have found some great places, and I can't wait to visit those cities again.

Beth said...

you forgot to mention that your OTHER seatmate was spectacular as well. ;)

Margaret at Green Dirt Farm said...

Jill, we're so glad you and Johnny were able to attend our first Cheese Appreciation Event of the season -- and that you enjoyed it so much! We've a special place in our hearts for military families, so your kind words are extra-special. Thanks again.

Kimber said...

I love to explore local, but it is hard with three kids, two of them two-year old toddlers. Sometimes it is hard to try "unknown" places, though I LOVE discovering fun local places!

Hi, I'm Jill!

Hi, I'm Jill!
Extrovert. Mom of two. Wife of a cute Naval Aviator. Lover of wine. When I'm not chasing my two kids around town you will find me writing, taking too many photos, and researching the ten future areas the Navy could potentially (but probably won't) PCS us. We are fish out of water, landlocked at 7,000 feet. For now.

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