Thursday, August 30, 2007

Eat Local Challenge, Day 15

Two weeks into the challenge, I feel I've not been trying as hard as I could, but I'm certainly continuing to make local origin a priority, if not a sine qua non, when I shop for groceries. Today I stopped by the co-op and bought a beautiful organic cauliflower and some sweet corn from Gardens of Eagan (which, despite the name, is in Farmington) and two pounds of frozen ground beef from Thousand Hills Cattle Company, currently on sale. I also bought some non-local cashews, cookies, and juice. I looked in vain for local spinach; it's been too hot for that lately, but I hope we'll see some more in the fall. I'm still picking the occasional tomato or cucumber from my backyard container garden, but production has dwindled in a late-summer kind of way. My dairy products and eggs are local, and I still have a lot of dried black beans I bought earlier this summer at the farmer's market. I have a stack of Faribault-made tortillas to work my way through, and the rest of our breads are locally made as well. I was traveling last week and have had two restaurant meals this week (one at Big Bowl, where they do label local products and try to work them into their menus), so probably overall I'm eating 60-70% local, which is roughly where I've been for the past month or so.

By the way, Just Food is helping coordinate support for some of their sustainable and organic suppliers whose crops have been hit hard by the recent flooding in southeast Minnesota. They've made it easy to donate to the cause, providing convenient coupons in several denominations that will ring up your donation at the cash register.


Katherine Gray said...

Loved reading through your blog! We're starting the Eat Local Challenge via Locavores in the Bay Area. In Portland it's not hard to find produce, meat, eggs, dairy locally, so now we're trying to step up our game to include more "detailed" ingredients. I'm in the middle of Barbara Kingsolver's book, finished Plenty, and plan to dive into Omnivore's Delimma again (it was a bit dense for me last year right after I'd had a baby).

The best part of this whole change in eating habits is developing community and developing my skills in the kitchen and in preserving foods. I'm not crafy, as in knitting or sewing and such, and I love feeling like I have this new skill that calls on all of my creative talents.

Can't wait to see how this adventure turns out for you!

Penny said...

I really appreciate your thoughts, Katherine. Eating more locally really is a decision that reinforces both community and home. Since I work fulltime outside the home these days (though I spent a number of years at home when my older kids were young), I don't spend as much time as I'd like in cooking creatively and preserving food (did make jam with local strawberries this summer, though). I was looking at your blog, Dirt to Dish, and enjoyed your photos and descriptions of food you've been cooking. Frittatas are wonderful, and I should make them more often.

Thanks for writing!

Katherine Gray said...

I hear you about time. I work at home part-time, and took a bit of a lazy summer. Now I need to get my nose to the grindstone again and I'm wondering how I'll fit it all in...