Friday, October 20, 2006

Relocalizing food

Earlier this summer I wanted to try to eat 100% local. I started to try it and then felt overwhelmed with the idea of eating 100% local and seasonal. I couldn't understand how to do it. I felt that I was biting off waaaay more than I should. So, I decided not to worry about it.

Well, this summer I started to do my shopping at hte local famer's market. It started slowly - I went every week, however, during the week I would also go to the co-op. Gradually I stopped going to the co-op. I may shop at the co-op once a month. Everything else is local. I realized the other day that my food shopping is almost entirely local. Yes, I do purchase some bulk items (wheat berries, dried beans, etc). However, all veggies, cheese, eggs, milk, and the occasional chicken comes from someplace within a 100 mile radius. Wow - I didn't realize that I could do this. I thought that I would feel deprived. Instead, I feel healthy and energized. I love it!

So, when I originally thought about cooking a 100% local Thanksgiving dinner, I was overwhelmed. Now I know that it is very possible. I don't see any problem doing this. Of course, J will be working and I may only be cooking for my children (I don't know if we will have nay family visit), but it will be a festive local Minnesota thanksgiving dinner.

I have yet to decide what I will be cooking. We did just join a local CSA for their winter harvest. I am also looking at purchasing some bulk items for food storage (onions, squash, carrots, etc) for the winter season. I can't wait to see what is avialable. I will plan our meal around this. I am excited to try this!

It really suprises me how easily this happened - only after I let go of the "rules" that everything had to be local. It helped to want to go to local orchards and the local famers market. Shopping and picking fruit became a family event. The kids are as well known at the market as I am. It is fun to be one of the "regulars." So many vendors at the market asked me about the baby. I had missed one weekend of shopping during this season. The one weekend was when Samuel was born. When I went to the market last weekend vendors were asking about him. Wow - when did I become a regular?

So, now my food is approximately 95% organic and 80-90% local!

My next goal is to learn how to make cheese. hmmmm.....


Gavrielah said...

That is so awesome! I hope that one day we will be able to move to an area that will enable me to do that as well. We have a farmer's market, but the offerings are pathetic to say the least.

I look forward to hearing about your local Thanksgiving!!

BurdockBoy said...

Congrats on reaching your goal of buying mostly local. I'm not quite there as I am still adjusting from moving from Oregon where I was doing a mostly local and organic diet. I have a feeling I bought my last local veggies today (brussel sprouts) because winter has come.

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

Our farmer's market in our neighborhood ends this weekend; however, there is an all-organic one open year-round in another neighborhood. (We always buy from people who don't use pesticides, but they aren't all certified. Some have small family farms and can't really afford the certification.) We may swtich to using a CSA this winter; there is plenty of local produce in Georgia all year as long as you are willing not to be picky! I have some dietary restrictions that limit us a little, but I've also used to learn lots of new-to-me fruits and veggies since we have been shopping in the market.

Emme said...

I know! I have been introduced to so many new (to me) fruits and veggies. It has been quite exciting. I have made a lot of great new foods since shopping at hte market.

Our market ends this next weekend as well, however, there has been a decision to extend at least through november. I don't know what will be included at the market. I think milk, cheese, meats, and some veggies?

Faith said...

Dear Emme,
I am writing a series of blog posts about alternative celebrations of Christmas, especially how to be more "green" in our celebrations this year. I was wondering if you have any thoughts about this? Please send me an email - my addy is on my profile.
Thanks in advance!

Evan said...

Dear Emme:

I found your blog from a link from Path to Freedom. Thank you for sharing your adventures. We're new on this journey, too. Our first attempt at a garden failed miserably and ended up feeding the deer and rabbits. I don't begrudge them the food, we've been in a terrible drought. We're taking steps to be totally sustainable, off the grid and completely independent. It takes time and goes too slowly sometimes, but we've come so far from where we were before. It's good to know there is someone out there who is more determined than myself. I've already learned a lot from you, thank you.

Emme said...

Welcome evan! I am gald to see that there are others who are on this same journey. It certainly brings me a lot of hope for our global future!