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Berry Pie and Why I Eat Local

August 22, 2013

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I live in a part of the country that is very blessed with a healthy harvest of almost anything in the summer months. Berries, peaches, corn, kale – you name it, there is probably a farm stand or a pick-your-own field close by.

A few weeks ago I set out to go marionberry picking for the first time, and came home with 12 pounds of berries, 10 peaches, kale, cauliflower, a bouquet of dahlias, and a new appreciation for farming. There is nothing more satisfying than pulling your food right off the plant it grew on. It’s the literal definition of “farm to table.”

Knowing where your food comes from, and how it was grown, is an important part of living a sustainable life. Getting your food directly from the farmer (or in this case, directly from the plant) cuts out the need for a middleman, i.e. the grocery store. This means the farmer alone profits from your purchase and you usually get a great deal – I brought home 12 pounds of berries for just about $25!

Produce and meat farmed in mass production at crowded corporate farms require a lot of natural resources, like gas and water to grow and transport. They are also full of unnatural hormones and pesticides. Making the decision to buy local, even if it’s just once or twice a week, will benefit not only your health, but also reduce your carbon footprint.

I used all of my berries to make a delicious whole wheat pie. Use this recipe from Whole Foods Market to make your crust (remember to use local, organic butter) and fill it with whatever fruits and berries are in season in your area!

Whole Wheat Berry Pie

Whole Wheat Pie Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons very cold butter

Instructions

  1. Mix flour with salt in a medium bowl or food processor.
  2. Add cold butter and cut in using a pastry blender, or pulse in food processor.
  3. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, until dough forms into a ball.
  4. Gather up and pat into a disc. If possible, cover and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes before rolling out.
  5. When ready to use, roll dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 10-inch circle.
  6. Gently fold into quarters using a little flour as needed to prevent sticking.
  7. Place dough in pie plate and carefully unfold, fitting loosely and then pressing into place.
  8. Trim the edges and crimp for a decorative crust.

Pie Filling

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh, local berries or chopped fruit
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
  • Pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg 

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix all filling ingredients together and pour into prepared pie dish.
  3. Top with another layer of piecrust.
  4. Place pie pan on a baking sheet, and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.