What did we get ourselves into? Week 1 Locavore Challenge

Could you eat locally for one day?  One week?  One month?  One year?  My family and I have taken the NOFA-NY Locavore Challenge.  Our goal is one month. We already eat somewhat local because of the vast variety of farms in the valley.  But we want to take this one step further by trying to find not only vegetables and fruits but meats, honey, cheese, maple syrup, etc. The guidelines are to eat within a 250 mile radius and sustainably.  A 250 radius means most of New England and parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  I want to keep it a little more local so we are staying within a 100 mile radius.

We were very excited and could not wait to start the Locavore Challenge!  We were all ready to go then Irene struck.  We were without power for 3 days. Because there was a shortage of dry ice (and in my opinion, poor planning by the local and state emergency management boards), my area didn't get a drop off until Tuesday, right around the same time we got our power back. So we lost all of our perishable food.  Loosing the food though was a blessing in disguise. As we make the switch over to all things natural and organic, one of the guidelines for the switch was that we eat everything we already have.  No throwing out food, as it is very wasteful.  So I felt like in this instance I was not being wasteful, the food went bad on its own. It was a perfect time to start anew!

But we fizzled right from the start.....The first four days we ate out. We ate local but I am quite certain the food itself was not local. There is now an agreement that we will not be eating out anymore for quite a while. This challenge may have gotten off to a bad start and I am not going to let that stop us from doing this! 

This weekend we set out to get some groceries in the house.  Lots of things are in season right now and the farmers markets/stands are full of local goodies!  Fall squash is starting to come into season here and I got three acorn squashes that I plan on making some into soup to store for the winter and maybe baking one with butter and brown sugar.  Yum!  I got some double duty beets, you can eat the tops as well as the beet.  Beet tops are OH SO YUM! They taste just like spinach!  I bought double the veggies needed and froze some of the veggies for meals later in the week/month.

On a side note, I just wish that the farmers market in Ellenville would have a few more artisan vendors like Kingston does. Kingston is a half hour or so ride, Ellenville is about a ten minute ride. The Ellenville market has a beef farm from Rhinebeck come down about once or twice a month (if that) and no vendors that make artisan cheeses or anything like that.  There is one farm and a bakery who are there every Sunday but other than that it's kind of hit or miss. This past Sunday was the farm, the bakery, a local restaurant, a winery, some place that makes avocado smoothies and the local information booth.  It just would be nice to have more variety since we have so many wonderful farms around us!

We also have been looking into where to get pastured beef, chicken and pork. Right now we buy our beef from a farm stand in Stone Ridge. I found a few farms I can buy pastured beef from directly so it is coming down to comparing quality and price. I have a market where I get whole chickens from in Gardiner and the farm that supplies the market is also in Gardiner.  I have not been able to find a decent place to get pork.  If anyone, who lives in the Hudson Valley, knows of a reputable farm, let me know!

Photo courtesy of Moo!

Have you taken the challenge?  How have you done so far?  Have you succeeded or failed?  

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