Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Local Food Friday(s) - week 3 and 4 - Eat Local 2011 January wrap-up.

We wimped out a bit the last two Fridays of the month.  We didn't have to do much searching for our local food.  Week three we had steak from our cow, mushrooms we grew, and squash soup we bottled earlier in the fall.  Week four we had spaghetti and meatballs from sauce we bottled this past summer, meatballs we made from our beef, and bread we made from local flour.  We were lacking on the salad for the last meal, but our greenhouse plants aren't ready to harvest and we didn't have two hours to drive to Wooster and back.

For the most part we were successful with our Eat Local Project for January.  One meal a week 100% local made us stretch a bit, and spurred us to find sources for some staples we don't produce ourselves.  What we found was pleasantly surprising.

What we learned
  • many staples like flour, grains, potatoes, cheese, meat, eggs are available from local producers year round. 
  • Oils are much more difficult to find.
  • You can't do this alone.  You need a local network to help you find producers, and to support them so they can keep producing.
  • There are a lot more people in our community interested in local food than we thought.
  • Preparing for the long dark season starts in the early spring.  If you don't plant it, it won't be there in the winter when you need it. 
  • We need to can more, have better storage options, and buy things when they are in season.
  • Cooking local food (which means mostly cooking from scratch) takes more planning and more time.  Learning new processes and habits is hard.

For February we will continue Local Food Fridays.  We hope to build a more comprehensive network of producers and get it posted on the blog for others to use.  We will be having at least one local food event.  And we are going to take on snacks.  We are snackers.  We eat 6 or 8 times a day (little bits, not huge meals...)  Finding local, healthy alternatives to crackers and chips is the challenge for Feb.  HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
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