So…what the heck is this, El, I thought this was a gardening blog. Well. For many reasons, many of us are reconsidering our food miles. It may be pithy to restate this, but the contents of the average dinner in North America have traveled 1500 miles to end up on your plate. That is a LOT of diesel, people! So some of us are wondering what we can do to put our dinners on a diesel diet. One answer? Find local ingredients for one dinner per week this summer. Cook with them. Blog (or email me) about it. In so doing, you will inspire others, share your frustrations, share your findings, share your…dinner.
Liz of Pocket Farm in Maine has started this challenge, and I volunteered to round up all interested Midwesterners. It is NOT a contest. You will not get kicked off the island should you fail. If you live in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota or Wisconsin, I would love for you to join. So far, we have 15 interested parties, including myself; go sign yourself up here!
The rules are fairly simple. There’s a big emphasis here in Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff: should you not feel so inclined to make your own salt or press your own olive oil, then DON’T. But other than the condiments, your meals should be prepared from local ingredients. What’s local? That is up to you. In state. 100 mile radius. 250 mile radius. Me? I will be using a combination. Michigan, fortunately, is an agricultural state that makes most everything EXCEPT olive oil, so finding my raw victuals won’t be so hard for me. Finding local food is fairly easy during the growing season most everywhere in the country. Go to Local Harvest to find sources for farmers’ markets and CSAs and small farms, or Eat Wild for grass-fed and naturally-raised meats; there’s also the Eat Well Guide for other tips, and the Campaign for Real Milk for local sources of milk and cheese.
We’ll start next week, on Sat., June 23rd, and I will round everyone up into a blog post for Monday July 1st. This means I will need you all to have cooked and posted (on your own blogs or by email) by 6:00 EST on Sunday the 30th. Bon appetit, and happy hunting.