One Green Thing: Eating Local

One Green Thing Strocel.comToday I’m tackling my One Green Thing for July. This month it’s all about eating local. But first, I’ll talk about my adventures in hang-drying laundry last month.

At the beginning of June I committed to hang-drying six loads over the course of the month. I made it – just barely. We had a really hot snap at the end of the month, which helped considerably. I will admit I found parts of it challenging. My husband and I have gotten into the routine of doing all of our laundry on Sunday. With limited space on my drying racks, I found I was only to hang a couple of loads to dry at a time. If I started first thing in the morning on a hot day, I can dry maybe three loads of laundry before sunset. In cooler, wetter weather, it might take a couple of days for clothes to dry. If I really want to line dry my clothes, I’d need to change my laundry patterns, and wash clothes throughout the week.

local eating local food one green thing enviro-mama cauliflower

This cauliflower is growing in my garden right now!

This month, I’m going local in the kitchen. I’m harvesting the first new potatoes from my garden, and my raspberries are currently at peak ripeness. My local farmers’ market is resplendent with all kinds of local produce. To celebrate all this bounty, I’d like to make a point of eating more local food during the month of July. To that end, I’m committing to 10 local meals this month. I already had one last night, with potatoes from my garden and steak and salad greens from the farmers’ market.

I did the same thing last July, and once again I’m giving myself some local eating latitude. I’m not counting condiments, spices and the like as part of the meal. Last night, for instance, I had non-local salad dressing, and I cooked my potatoes in imported olive oil. I’m not sweating those parts. I’m also not defining ‘local’ with a strict 100 mile (or similar) limit. I’m saying any food that I grow myself or buy at a farmstand or the farmers’ market counts, with the exception of prepared foods made primarily of non-local ingredients. Baked goods made from flour of unspecified origins wouldn’t count as local, but the beef that a rancher drove five hours to the market would.

While I do try to eat local, the truth is there are many imported foods my family loves. Bananas and mangoes just don’t grow in the Pacific Northwest, and some foods like broccoli don’t grow here year-round. At this time of year, however, eating local is at its easiest, and fresh produce is at its tastiest. I’m taking advantage of that and doing my best to prepare meals that come from my own back yard. I’ll let you know how I make out.

Do you eat local? What are your favourite sources of local food? Also, if you’d like to get in on the act and take on One Green Thing of your own, I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to grab the button from this post if you’re blogging about it, and spread the enviro-love.

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  1. I do try to eat local as much as possible. I have my own little garden and we have a Farmers’ Market that offers a good variety of local goods. I am celiac and we have some bakers here on Prince Edward Island that bake gluten free goods. Of course, we have lots of local seafood, as well. I sometimes forage for wild foods . . . Lamb’s quarters, crabapples, rosehips, blueberries, etc. Winter can be challenging for produce unless you preserve it yourself or stick to the classic root vegetables but I am making a determined effort to buy only local as much as possible even when it is more expensive or limiting.

    I would highly recommend Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” on this subject. Reading that book really stepped up my game.

  2. For some time now I have strived to sources local food (which in rural alberta in the winter is challenging). Things are easier now. I know where to look and where to spend my money. We grow alot of our own veggies (although this year we started late) and living in a rural setting we have gotten to our farmer neighbours and this has helped alot.

    There is somethng that makes knowing the food is local that makes it taste sweeter.

  3. We have been buying a CSA farm share for years, so almost all the produce we eat from June to October is local and organic. We love it! It gets us to eat more veggies than we otherwise might and to try some things we might not choose to buy. (Still don’t like beets, though! Discussion at a recent family reunion leads me to think there may be an inherited difficulty digesting beets.)

    I have been line-drying laundry for years, and my typical routine is to put a load in the washing machine, take down and fold the dry load on the line, put it away, and then come back and hang up the wet load. I do just one load every other day, usually, unless I have a lot of laundry piled up like after a vacation. For me, it feels less like I’m spending tons of time doing laundry when it’s spread out like this.
    ‘Becca’s last post … CONTEST: Name This Recipe!My Profile

    • Sadly, my beloved CSA closed because the farmers moved to a place where they could afford to buy land (they were leasing). I’ve been considering joining another, but for this year I’m experimenting with just the farmers’ market and gardening, and seeing how that goes.

      And thanks for the laundry suggestion!

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