We are talking about doing an Eat Local Challenge for the month of October. Of course in our family there will be a few exemptions. I think anyone who does this has one or two. Even back in pioneer days there were the few staples that one had to stock up on once or twice a year. Things like coffee. It just doesn’t grow in many places of the world.
We are going to have our challenge be to mostly eat or shop local. The big thing is that we want to get away from the big box store and support our local farmers’ markets, stores, and farmers.
Initially I am thinking our rules will be as follows:
1. We will allow coffee, tea, sugar, spices, bananas, goods already in the pantry, and peanut butter. Hey, I’m a coffee addict and I have two little kids, one of which I think lives on peanut butter.
2. If we are gifted something or have a social engagement we won’t make a fuss. Just accept kindness and enjoy the social outing. Halloween is included in this.
3. We will shop first at our farmers’ market and direct from the farmer. Second we will shop at the local grocery co-op we are members at. Thirdly locally owned grocery stores, and lastly the big box store.
4. Our goal is to stay within our small budget while supporting local food without changing our diets drastically.
5. We are considering 200 miles to be local. Bigger than a lot of “local” challenges but a lot less than what the average fruit or vegetable travels to the grocery store.
A couple of things to note for us. We already have a half hog in the freezer and several pounds of local grass-fed ground beef. Our meat goals will be to eat more whole chickens and little to no processed meat like mystery hot dogs.
Vegetables we will need to figure something out. We aren’t very good about eating a ton of them. Especially Fall veggies like squash. None of us are big fans so we’ll need to figure out some good ways to prepare stuff that we like. I also need to remember to add salads to every meal along with two or three vegetables.
Cheese, yogurt, and butter could get expensive. Even more than normal. But maybe not. I’ll have to crunch the numbers. I have a local milk and butter source. I can make yogurt. The big one will be the cheese. There is a local goat’s cheese source. My problem is no matter how hard I try not to I can still taste the flavor of how a billy goat smells. I am sure it is mostly in my head but I still taste it. We might end up allowing cheese.
Eggs will be interesting to see how it goes since we are heading into Fall and Winter and my two hens will slow their laying and may even stop. Even the people with lots of hens will have fewer eggs in the next couple of months.
Just looking over my grocery list makes me think it won’t be too bad. I use a lot of local sources anyway for groceries. We just want to push that and see how far we can take it. Oats and a few other grains might be tough to find which is why we have the pantry rule. Rice I got stocked up on last December and won’t have to buy rice for another year or so.
I will keep you posted as we progress. My plan is to start October 1.