One empty shelf left for applesauce and grapes. Then, no more canning until June! Woot!
Today, October 1st, is the fourth anniversary of buying the farm. Last year on this date I posted a picture of my groaning shelves of canned goods, and asked myself a question:
What would the ideal be, I thought to myself. The ideal, of course, is what most everybody has now: the denial of the seasons that our first-world global-access grocery stores offer us. But what would it truly mean, that is, to deny the seasons and STILL do what I am doing on my 100-Foot Diet?
Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle documented her own family’s local-eating journey. The book worked around the construct (fairly arbitrary if you ask me) of eating locally for a year. The start date for the beginning of that year was squishy: they picked asparagus season. Like her family, I suppose I can’t really account for when we truly began our local eating here. It may have started after we signed the papers that day four years ago. We came back here and ate some of our apples. (It’s addictive, eating your own.)
I will say this, should I have a food audit: at this point in the journey, 95% of what is consumed is either produced on this farm or produced down the road from this farm. Most of the remaining five percent is local stuff, mostly Michigan made.
Am I a zealot? Have I gone door-knocking in a dark suit? Do I think a buzzer will go off if I eat a Twinkie? I think the answer to all of these is “no.”
Our future on the farm is fairly clear, even if I do really worry about the rest of the world. Local eating, even as the extreme sport as we tend to practice it, is the way we will go. I answer my own question: with the aid of the greenhouses, and that seasonal deniability machine called the freezer, I know what it means to be a complete locavore. And I have never eaten better in my life.
I am participating in the Eat Local Challenge for October of 2008, and this is the first post of that challenge. I have done these challenges before, most recently in September of last year when the challenge involved food preservation, and also the summers of 2006 and 2007, with the One Local Summer challenge. The challenge for this month is to eat local for 30 days.
- What is your definition of local? For me, I copped out to look to what I eat that comes from furthest away: in this case it is dairy, which our place sources from Michigan and northern Indiana.
- What exemptions will you claim? The usual: olive oil, salt and pepper, some foreign spices.
- What is your goal for the month? I would say my goal is not one of personal challenge, but more about sharing what I have learned. If it gives even one other person the impetus to try to DIY then the challenge will be successful to me.