Monday, January 3, 2011

Eat Local 2011

The past few weeks we have had some interesting conversations around the table. Many of them have been spurred by ideas and anecdotes from Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Most often, when we weren’t laughing along with the story, the conversation ran along the “we’ve done that” and “when we did that this is what happened…” The rest of the time we talked about the nature of our food, where it comes from, what cool things Barbara’s family did that we want to try, etc. At the end of CC and I reading and discussing the book we found ourselves with a wistful, empty feeling. We had done most, if not all of the local living adventures described in the book (except the trip to Italy, which is on the MUST DO list.) We talk about the importance of local food, write about it, read about it, and dabble in it. But we always backslide. The month long project ends, or we get busy, or… any of a thousand things. So, we find ourselves creeping closer, but never really fully committing.

So, as they say, “talk is cheap, (it’s time for us to) shut-up and dance.”

This week we are launching our Eat Local 2011 project. We are going to spend the year building the habit of eating local food.
I know, January is a pretty stupid time to start such a project. There is nothing growing locally. We are setting ourselves up for failure even before we start. But, we have given some thought to this. We are giving ourselves three months to put the pieces together.

Here’s our plan:
  • Local Food Fridays – Our main meal on Friday will be 100% local. We will use this as an opportunity to push our awareness of what is available in the long dark season, and to build connections with local producers.
  • Explore where our food comes from.
  • Find sources for staples.
  • Plan the new and expanded garden so that we can meet more of our food needs.
  • Filling the gaps – What things can we not possibly get locally? What can we do without? What is the best source for those things we can’t do without?
  • Snacks – Local alternatives to the processed chips, crackers, etc. that we love.
  • Start the garden.
  • Continue Local Food Fridays
  • Planting, Planting, Planting
  • Explore food storage options so we will be ready for the production season
  • Find local cheese, and learn to make cream cheese, soft cheeses, feta, etc.
  • Find processer for chickens, rabbits, etc. (Or convince the family that we can and should do our own…)
  • Continue Local Food Fridays
  • Take the plunge, 100% local.
  • Continue Local Food Fridays Posts to highlight what is in season here and how we are dealing with it.
Beyond that, we will see what happens.

This week I will be adding a page explaining the project. I’ll include a button you can get to link back to the project information. I’ll also include a link to anyone who wants to dance with us.


our friend Ben said...

This is great, Alan! I think your monthly plan is super-sensible. (But of course I want you all to try your hand making crackers, chips, etc. and tell us how you do.) We were making pretty good strides last season---our best garden ever!---then got hit by a three-month-long drought coupled with blistering heat. Our little stream and rain barrels dried up. Sob! Let's hope 2011's more temperate. Meanwhile, best of luck! We're looking forward to reading about your adventures.

the inadvertent farmer said...

Good luck on this...I will be following along with your progress. If you can do it I may attempt it in the future. I'm just not sure I can give up wheat, tea, oranges! Kim

Kevin Kossowan said...

Great concept, look forward to hearing more as you work through it.


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