When Lee was a boy, buying local meant buying produce from the Central Valley. That's where his family lived, and he has many stories of going to farm stands for produce and of lucious fruit off his father's half dozen back yard trees.
I don't buy much from the Valley these days: Sunmaid Raisins are the only consistent purchase. Anything grown in California has to be trucked--or, even worse, flown--thousands of kilometers to Montreal. Better to eat locally as mch as possible, I figure. If root vegetables are about all local suppliers have in the winter, well, that'st the way it has to be.
The New York Times today has a story about how the Central Valley is being badly treated, It is a cautionary tale, as troubling as the E.coli cases linked to the XL plant in Alberta that apparently processed 35 per cent of Canada's beef.
The real message may be to buy locally--for everything.