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Evangelists for local food

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They’ve set up their self-proclaimed “ministry” here in Montana, where they preach about the benefits of local eating from a pulpit surrounded by mountains and hayfields. Although they stay busy working their land and home-schooling the two boys, a good portion of Jenny’s time is spent teaching others how to eat locally to promote healthy bodies and a healthy community by supporting local farmers. And they practice what they preach.

“It means consciously paying attention to the season, and then purchasing or raising [the food we eat] ,” Jenny says. “It’s a lifestyle shift, saying ‘I’m going to embrace the plenitude of the season and enjoy the activity that comes with preserving it.’ ”

The effort that goes into each meal has become part of their daily routine. Jenny wakes each morning before dawn to feed the animals, water the garden, and milk the cows. Mark handles the kids in the morning and oversees the cattle operation. Jenny spends an average of two hours a day preparing or harvesting food, either for storage or for their daily meals.

“It’s all about setting aside the time,” Jenny says. “Most people won’t make this lifestyle happen; it’s purely a matter of choice. People choose to sit in front of the TV or shop on eBay. That’s where their life energy goes.”
The Sabos keep up their locavore lifestyle throughout the long Montana winters.

“December through February is not a green time of year,” Jenny explains. “But how did we survive through centuries with no Visqueen greenhouses and before canning? We had crocks of sauerkraut and pickled vegetables.”

The family’s winter diet includes cabbage-based foods that store easily, along with a root cellar full of turnips, carrots, beets, leeks, onions, potatoes, and other root vegetables.

“Our diet is really seasonal,” Mark adds. “We definitely don’t have as much fresh vegetables in the winter, but we have a lot stockpiled in the freezer down at the barn.

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