Eat Local Challenge

canada goose outlet parka Okay, I justcome right out and say it: The 2008LocalFood Challenge was notthe transcendent experience I anticipated. Suddenly confronted with surviving on mostly starches and dairy, I gained five pounds the first week and promptly developed chronic indigestion. Chocolate and avocados haunted Canada Goose Coats On Sale my dreams. Was it enlightening? You bet. Was it fun? No way. canada goose outlet parka

canada goose uk On the positive side, the Challenge providedan ideal opportunityfor The Perfect Man to master his techniques for making butter and cheese. And, in the absence of spinach or broccoli, we discovered that fresh picked kale makes a very respectable quiche. But drawbacks included large amounts of gasoline required to canada goose clearance round upa very limited variety of veggies and large amounts of time required to prepare basic ingredients. canada goose uk

I haveenormous admiration for the brave souls who shepherded their entire families throughthe longmonth of local only menus. Ang Jordan at Gulf Coast Local Foodis at the top of that list, because she right here in south Alabama, where sustainability is a new and exotic concept. (Ask someone in Mobile if they support CSA, and they likely to assume you mean the Confederate States of America.) Then there Cafe Mama, who writes about her local food quest in prose as spare and sweet as poetry. And Sarah Beam makes it all sound easy at Recipes for a Postmodern Planet.

Call me a curmudgeon, but my mood soured by the middle of the second week around the time that I ran out of innovative ways to cook sweet potatoes. When I turned to my fellow bloggers for inspiration, their posts sounded so chipper. Was it possible that I was the only cranky Challenge participant, a vegetarian doingwithoutvegetables, grumpily counting the days until the local only pledge would finally end?

Well,bad attitude and all, I may haveactually whittled away at the old carbon footprint much more than I thought just by being a longtime herbivore. According to a study by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization,raising animals for foodresults in more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined. Yikes. But here the good news: even a modest reduction in meat consumption takes a big bite out of fossil canada goose factory sale energy use.

On Saturday, I accompanied The Perfect Man to a last chance plant sale at Mobile Botanical Gardens. All the unsold plants left over from their annual autumn sale were offered at bargain prices. Fun! We brought home two big Bengal Tiger cannas, a new Louisiana iris for the water garden, a pot full of pineapple sage and a tiny container of the whimsical succulent my grandmother calls and chicks. Our loot is pictured below, but excuse the camera strap dangling in the upper right corner. It was early, and I needed some coffee.

canada goose trillium parka uk With apologies to Titian. canada goose trillium parka uk

canada goose shop prague Last night, I dreamed about apples juicy canadian goose jacket Granny Smiths; shiny Macintoshes; Golden Delicious with the mellow taste of autumn beneath their skins. I dreamed of glistening chunks Canada Goose Jackets of uk canada goose outlet apple piled ona plate, just waiting to be speared with my fork. They looked delicious. And then then woke up. It was Day 6 of the 2008, and if there are apples grown within my 200 mile range northward from the Gulf coastline, I haven found them. Nor bananas. Nor rice. What I HAVE found in generous abundance are sweet potatoes. I cheap canada goose uk got out of bed and had a plump, baked sweet potato for breakfast. canada goose shop prague

canada goose outlet 80 off As a longtime vegetarian with a big organic garden, Canada Goose Parka I didn realize how dramatically my diet would change with the onset of the October challenge month. Before last week,themajor part of my daily food intake consisted of freshfruits and vegetables, grains and soy. Ioccasionally ate bread, and my moderate dairy consumption came mostly in the form of homemade yogurt and cheese. I drank lots of juices. canada goose outlet 80 off

canada goose outlet toronto factory Now, under the 200 mile rule, most of those fruits and vegetablesare off limits. It planting time in our subtropical gardening zone, so allour winter greens and cole crops are mere seedlings this month. Kale, bless its fast growing heart, will be ready to start eating next week. But the rest four types of lettuces, three types of cabbage, the broccoli, cauliflower, collards, field peas and butternut squash weeks and weeks away from harvest. So,I eatingLOTS of whole grain bread andLOTS of our homemade dairy, which has been an unpleasant surprise to my fruit and veggie based digestive tract. canada goose outlet toronto factory

Suddenly, shopping for vegetables has taken on a treasure hunt aspect. My Saturday trek to the weekly grower market was disappointing (plenty of candles, flowers, handmade soaps and honey, few edibles) until we spotted a table selling eggpant. Yay! And a pint jar of blueberry preserves from a neighboring county. Yesssss! I found some canada goose coats on sale leathery looking Alabama green beans in a neighborhood market this weekend, and hallelujah! some fresh squash from a grower in Lucedale, Mississippi (50 miles from home). I discovered on Saturday night thattiny red potatoes, roasted in the oven, taste even better when they seasoned with thankfulness that the soil they were pulled from lies only a little way down US Highway 98. canada goose black friday sale Like pieces in a culinary jigsaw puzzle, we fittogether a half dozen zucchini here and a handful of green tomatoes there, as we find them. I learning that practically every item in theaverage grocery store roughly 50,000 different items has been hauled here from somewhere far away. I learning to be flexible. I learning a deep appreciation for simple meals.

But man, oh, man. An apple sure would taste good.

canada goose outlet black friday My significant other, The Perfect Man, designs and builds homes. His houses are not large, but he uses light andform to create a comfortable sense of spaciousness. A cupboard tucked here, a window seat there, canada goose outlet a cozy set of bookshelves the result is a house thatquietly comforts and nourishes the people who livewithin its walls. When it comes to square footage, substance beats size every time. canada goose outlet black friday

That how I feel about my kitchen pantry today. My groceries are all about substance: nofrozenveggie burgers, noboxed snack crackers, just a few fresh local ingredients. At the close ofthe second day of the 2008, there isn much in there. But canada goose coats there enough.

Breakfast was threelocally grownsatsuma oranges and a cup of coffee. Since then, they have becomea favorite of backyard grovesmen (The Perfect Man has several young trees) and small farmers. Tiny, leather skinnedand sweet as honey, they are scrumptious replacements for my usual morning glass of commercial orange juice.

I made the short trip to a family farm market across the bay in Daphne, scoring a few more provisions forthe pantry shelf: Mississippi sweet potatoes; coarse grits and corn meal from a Louisiana town 20 miles inside my 200 mile limit; local peanuts still in their big, knobby shells. And wonder of wonders, on a rack near the cash register was one lone remaining loaf of walnut wheat bread just waiting for me to invite it Canada Goose Outlet home for lunch. (It wasmade by Jane Holland Smith, The Bread Lady, whoworks herbakery magicin a special kitchen she built next to her house. She always my first stop during our downtown farmer market season.)

Alas, the locally grown zucchini I bought never made it to the pantry at all. Atticus assumed that the green oblong was a strange new chew toy. Judging from the expression on his face, it was very tasty.

I had to think it over for a couple of weeks, though, before logging in at the site to register. After all, it a big commitment: an entire month of eating ONLY food with ingredients produced within 200 miles of my front door. With three exceptions spices, coffee and wheat flour everything on my plate and in my glass during the month of October will come from local producers.

I know itwon be easy; convenience foods andour favorite restaurantsare instantly disqualified. We won be seeing any rice for a while, or bananas, or tea, or my gosh But there are some positives, too: good reason to visit the artisan cheesemakers farm in the next county, and to network with gardeners who might like to swap veggie varieties, and to learn some new make it yourself skills. Last year, having neglected to order any of the tempting and exotic garlic varieties we admired in seed catalogs, we simply bought a bagful at the grocery store and broke up the cloves to plant. They turned out fine we have a nice long row of them drying on the back porch of the art studio but we aspire to plant an entire garlic palette this fall. Anyone have a favorite garlic to suggest? I love to add it to our wish list.