Today is the big day. July 15 through August 15 I will be trying to eat local food only, with local being defined as within a 200 mile radius. So, how am I going to do this? My family is joining me on this little endeavor. This means I have the opinions of my husband, an eight-year-old, and a five-year-old to consider. I also have the rule that we can use pantry items. I have a couple of main goals with this: Use up things from my pantry that have been in there too long. Support local farmers/friends. See how hard it would be to truly be self-sustaining.
I will say that this year if I had to do this challenge totally out of my yard I would be done. I have the grasshopper invasion from %$#*. They have eaten my catmint, parsley, cilantro, irises, hollyhocks, grass, oregano, asparagus, strawberries, and more. And now they have started on the tomato fruits and on the trees. I have lots of not nice things to say about them. I got chickens again and that has helped some, but has still hardly made a dent. It is amazing to watch the utter destruction from a relatively small creature. No I’m not spraying for them, but I squish any I can and we are testing out some homemade deterrents. Time will tell. What it boils down to though, is that I am very glad I am relying on others for my food during this challenge.
Breakfast this morning was more of a clean out the fridge moment than anything. My family had decided to have pizza last night as it will be mostly our last night of eating out. Luckily we have a couple of places that qualify for the Eat Local challenge but everyone wanted pizza last night. That means my son snagged leftover pizza for breakfast, I’m guessing that my husband did too, and my daughter probably either did pizza or cereal that was still in the pantry. I did my normal morning smoothie, but all of our breakfasts will be changing by the end of next week I’m sure.
What do we plan to eat this month? Lots of vegetables for one. We are part of the Meadowlark Hearth CSA so every week I pick up vegetables and milk. We have pork in the fridge from a friend in Harrisburg (about 25 miles south of us) and I have chickens I will pick up from another friend in the Harrisburg area. I’ll pick up beef from the farmers’ market or from my CSA. We generally lay out a rough meal plan for the month since we do one big grocery trip for basics and then we supplement with the stuff that goes bad quickly.
Some ideas so far:
Breakfast – eggs and veggies, scrambles, Quiche
Lunch – salads, tacos, sandwiches, leftovers
Supper – zucchini fritters, Basque chicken, Quiche, tomato tart, beans, casseroles, homemade pizza
I need to do things like make some yogurt and bread. And I am hoping to plan our meals more like a week at a time so we can make use of the farmers’ market and CSA items as they come into season.
Would anyone like to join me in this challenge? I will be putting together a list of area producers and foods to help you out. As we go along I will also put together a group of local recipes as well.