Even if you knew me personally, you probably still would not know that I did not grow up a city girl. But city girl I have become. I have to admit, I did not know the meaning of "locavore" and had to look it up.(Someone who is passionate about eating local!) I am more of one that loves to see all the different things in the grocery stores from every place and country you can think of. I was spoiled in Houston, TX. I could practically find anything I wanted! The diversity of people and their food is huge there. That is why this 4th Annual Dark Days challenge really will be quite the challenge for us! The challenge is to eat one meal a week during the dark days of winter completely local! And it starts this coming week.
You would think this would not be so hard for me, coming from a family that is almost completely self sufficient. My grandparents, who live in northern Michigan part of the year, and south Florida the other part, almost entirely eat only what they raise, kill, catch or grow. I often think about this and admire it, especially that they still do it in their 80's. I think some of it is out of necessity but much of it is out of their own joy of doing it themselves. My grandmother grows a garden, cans her vegetables, raises chickens for meat and eggs. My grandfather hunts and fishes and helps my gramma with the heavy labor. Yes, it is old fashioned. But it works for them. It is quite different than the way most of us live. They plan to have their freezers full before the end of summer to get them through winter. They depend on the fish they catch and the deer they kill.
And, believe it or not, when I was young, I did much of those things, including raise chickens, ducks and a few other animals here and there. We had a pig we raised solely for the meat we would put in our freezer. My dad still raises cows for their beef. And we occasionally had a garden as well.
When I learned about this challenge, the end of the growing season was already here. I was able to can or freeze a few things, but definitely not enough to get us through this challenge. So I will definitely be doing a little leg work and research to find what I need to make a meal once a week that is Sustainable, Organic, Local, and Ethical. Those are the guidelines.
I have never been passionate about eating local. I don't buy organic, it's too expensive. But I do have a garden that I try to grow completely organic, and hope that it continues to grow in variety each year in order to provide for our family good, local, organic food! I do feel better giving them food that I know is completely chemical free!
So, let the challenge begin. This week, I will be checking out a local farm to see what they have to offer and if it is enough to make an entire meal! Check back soon to see what I come up with! It ought to be interesting. Once a week from December 1st, 2010 to April 15th, 2011!