Skip to content

the Locavore movement… 100 years ago…

December 4, 2011

I have defined my blog about life in the Walla Walla Valley as:

“This is a blog about living and working locally, reclaiming, reusing and remaking the best parts of the past in the present and all the while exploring everything this valley has to offer.”

I’ve explored and written about building furniture from reclaimed wood, shopping locally, and eating locally – being a member of a CSA, a member of a community garden, and shopping our Farmer’s Market.

It seemed to me that this “local movement” became mainstream or gained strength within the last five to ten years.  I did a Google search and came up with:  “Those who prefer to eat locally grown/produced food sometimes call themselves locavores or localvores.   This term began circulation around August 2005 in the San Francisco–area when a number of “foodies” launched a website,, after being inspired by the book “Coming Home to Eat” by ecologist Gary Paul Nabham.”

The 2005 date reinforced my sense of when the the locavore movement began.  That was before I bought some old newspapers for Shady Lawn Antiques and began to price them.  I scanned through each paper to see if there was an event, story or advertisement that made that newspaper more significant – read valuable.

I came across this 1912 article…

Printed in the January 7, 1912, Walla Walla Union newspaper

“Plan Unique Dinner.

SPOKANE*, Wash., Jan. 6. — One 0f the most unique dinners ever served in Spokane will be given January 10 at the Spokane hotel, when the annual meeting of the Buying-at-Home league of Spokane will be held.  The only edibles will be those grown or made at or near Spokane.  The viands are to be served on dishes manufactured in this city and the cigars will be “Flor de Spokano;” but these things are trimmings to complete the “piece de resistance,” which consists of foods produced by the Spokane country.  The dinner will provide a surprise to many of the guests as it is unlikely that even the best informed among them as to the resources of the Inland Empire enjoy full knowledge of its capacities to spread the table with homegrown dainties all the way from soup to walnuts.  The league has blocked out extensive plans to educate the Spokane public during 1912 into the profitable and praiseworthy habit of buying Spokane-made goods and thus encouraging Spokane industries.”

That article was published just a month shy of 100 years ago.  While the actual word “locavore” is only about six years old, I was surprised to see the organized efforts to live as locavores a 100 years ago.

*Spokane is a city that is about 160 miles north of Walla Walla,  in the State of Washington

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: