Monday, March 2, 2015

Local Food

Almost eight years ago, I started my family on a path that would lead to some very interesting changes in our lives. So many changes.

Food became a huge focus in our lives, and not only did we stop eating fast food (my daughter mentioned the other day that she couldn't remember the last time we'd had a fast food hamburger), but we started sourcing the bulk of our diet from local sources - including growing as much of our own food as we could on our quarter acre.

Since that time, we've appeared in the newspaper as a locavore family celebrating Thanksgiving with only Maine-grown foods. We've been featured in two magazine articles (for our "suburban" homestead), and I've written one book and co-written a second with Deus Ex Machina. It's been an incredible eight years.

When we first started eating local, it was a struggle. We participated in the "eat local challenge" and the goal was to eat one meal per week that was all locally sourced food. We were allowed to define what "local" was for ourselves and to define those items that would be exempted. I think I exempted spices/seasonings and fats, although I soon discovered local butter.

But it was hard. Coming up with one dinner per week, each week, that was only local food?

It might as well have been all foraged foods.

Oh, wait. We did that later.

As the saying goes, we've come a long way.

Tonight, for dinner, without even trying, we had local pork roast, applesauce from local apples, and roasted potatoes. It's interesting how easy it became once we consciously made the change.

What changes have you made that were almost insurmountable but are now just part of your daily life?


  1. Learning to cook with real food was a big one for me. I got into gardening and growing vegetables, but the rhythms of cooking with gluts of zucchini and tomato are so different from picking up a set range of veg from the supermarket each week. And the mind set that says, yes you can cook imperfect fruit and vegetables, and the habit and skills of preserving the harvest to eat later. It is all a work in progress..

    1. Learning to cook was a big one for me, too. I grew up eating a lot of stuff from boxes and cans, and then, when I started gardening and raising animals, I had to learn how to cook and preserve what we raised. It was a huge learning curve, but so worth it.

      Teaching my daughters how to cook has been pretty awesome, too. My oldest teen baked a six layer "rainbow" cake for her sister's birthday. Each layer was a color of the rainbow. The interesting part was that we had run out of some of the ingredients she needed - in particular, eggs, because our chickens weren't laying, and baking powder. She found substitutes and used things like molasses and raspberry vinegar. It was an amazing cake! I love how unperturbed she is in the kitchen.