Eat Local

People who know us well know that the trusty husband and I are very much about sustainability.? This is particularly evident in our food choices.? This is one area of our budget that I am fairly unwilling to compromise.? Lucky for me I’ve found ways to stretch our food dollar so we can continue to eat as sustainably as possible.? Granted there are a few things in our pantry that wouldn’t qualify under the “healthy or local” eating category, but for the most part I make everything from scratch and we purchase a limited number of processed foods.? In fact, while typing this I had a craving for ice cream and pulled out the handy dandy ice cream maker and started a batch of mint-chip.

We are lucky that, in our area, we have a service that provides fresh, locally grown, organic produce.? The company is called Terra Organics.? We signed up with them about a year ago and when I did I signed up for the small mixed box to be delivered every other week.? I had the option for the all Northwest box, but decided against it.? I opened up the first box and pulled out beautiful peppers, mangoes and a lovely assortment of produce.? As summer approached we filled in the gaps with items from our garden instead of making our usual trip to the vegetable market (I don’t buy produce at the regular grocery, that is for staples only).? When the Fall came I decided to switch to the Pacific Northwest box.? I have to say this was the best decision.

We live in a climate that, if given the energy and space, I could grow all of our own produce year round.? It wouldn’t be overly diverse and we would have to change our eating habits slightly, but it is doable.? Since I lack motivation in January and our garden space is currently limited we elected for the “vegetable box” method.

Every other week a box is delivered to our doorstep.? Our challenge is to eat everything in our box before the next one comes.? Often times a few items carry over from week to week because they will keep longer than if it were something I purchased at a store.? For example, I have a leek in my fridge from January 21st and it is still perfectly good.? I plan to use it in something this week.

This week we are getting wonderful items like rutabagas, apples, pears, red potatoes, sunchokes (which are not exactly my favorite), Brussels sprouts and a few other items.? For fun I looked at the list of the previous type of box we got (the small mixed box).? There were cherry tomatoes, lemons and a few other items from Mexico listed.? I had to laugh.? The thought of eating cherry tomatoes in February is just funny to me.? The majority of our produce comes from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and the furthest is very northern California.? Granted Terra Organics purchases their produce from the Western United States, but southern California and Mexico are a little too far for my taste.

I like how we are choosing to eat locally and sustainably.? There are more steps I want to take.? They will take time.? The point is, we are able to maximize our food dollar and still keep our priorities.? Are you taking any steps to eat locally or sustainably?? If not, what’s holding you back?

3 Comment

  1. we would love to join a CSA but honestly we don’t like soo much of what would be in the box so we I try to shop the farmers market when they have good stuff. Otherwise I really really try to buy local stuff at whole foods.

    Meat, I always try to get the local stuff when they have it at WF and would love to buy a share in beef and plan to once I can get a chest freezer!

  2. kim hartman says: Reply

    We do try and eat food that is locally grown. We grow all our own herbs year aound (tough in Michigan, but we manage). Local Meat is not available to us but we do eat a ton of Venison that my husband hunts. It’s clean protein and very tasty.

    Farmer’s market all the way in the summer months.

    Looking into growing more vegtables this year, but it’s tough where we are.

    Great thread, thanks Lisa.

  3. Michele says: Reply

    We grew a very large garden last summer and fall and actually stored quite a bit of it in the freezer and basement. So it’s February now and we’re almost through eating all the bulb onions and potatoes, but we have a ton of zucchini and tomatoes in the freezer and several winter squash still in the basement. We also have enough garlic and shallots left to make through another couple months.

    In the garden, our perennial onions are growing like crazy right now, so we’re enjoying lots of fresh green onions. The kale and collards that wintered over are also putting on lots of new growth.

    I thought I’d get sick of greens and squash, but we’re still eating them at least once a week. Greens are probably the most sustainable home grown veggie one could grow!

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