Way back in Week 3, I talked about choosing local when we did our local meat challenge. This week, we are trying to make all foods (or at least more of them) local. We have been working on finding more local foods. So far we have been enjoying the following:
Carriage House Farm, no grocery store is closer. Volunteering in their garden has gotten us quite a variety of super yummy food including pak choy, lettuce, mizuna, swiss chard, radishes, peas, beans, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, basil, dill, cucumbers and some others I’m sure I’m forgetting. They also produce honey that I can buy at the local hardware store, but have to go to the Farmer’s market or Whole Foods for their corn meal and whole wheat flour (which I do). Planning to try the black beans soon. They use organic sustainable farming methods.
Gravel Knolls Farm, just 10 minutes from Hubby’s work. Belonging to this CSA, we have gotten a lot of yummy veggies including garlic, onions, lettuce, swiss chard, zucchini, yellow and other squashes, lima beans, carrots, corn, potatoes, peppers, cabbage, okra, a variety of herbs and more. They also have free range chicken and eggs, which we regularly purchase. I have a few chickens in the freezer now for use in future months. They use organic, sustainable farming methods.
Webers Farm, 10 minutes from home. Hands down, the very best sweet corn I have ever had. We have purchased from here in the past and are happy to see the red barn open again this year. At last week’s visit they had onions, cucumbers, potatoes, peppers and corn. They are a low spray farm.
Grassland Graze, 15-20 minutes from Hubby’s work. Awesome grass-fed beef. I just bought 50 lbs for 7% discount. Should last us several months.
Meadow Maid organic raw milk cheeses, about 175 miles from home — found at the Farmer’s Market at Hubby’s work. We have also tried Blue Jacket grilling cheese, about 100 miles from home. Both are very good.
Snowville Creamery, about 180 miles from home. HTST, non-homogenized milk. Our new everyday milk.
Mrs. Miller’s Noodles, about 200 miles away in Ohio Amish country. Recently found these at the local farmer’s market at Hubby’s work. We tried the whole grain spelt noodles topped with sauteed onion, garlic, zucchini, globe squash, tomatoes and herbs. Apparently, I didn’t make enough because everyone wanted more. 🙂
What do we eat that isn’t local?
Several fruits including citrus, bananas, berries, kiwi, pineapple, coconut, olives. We can get melons around here and some berries, no problem. But the Ohio River Valley doesn’t have the climate to grow tropical fruits.
Canned beans or tomatoes. Of course making beans from dried is cheaper and fresh is better, but sometimes there just isn’t time.
SunButter. For us, there is no other alternative for peanut butter besides just not having it.
We don’t eat pork often, but I would like to find a local source. Gravel Knoll has it some years, but they weren’t able to this year.
Some cheeses and yogurt. Some things you just can’t get local (like parmigiano-reggiano). I would like someday to try making my own cheese and yogurt. A project for less busy days.
Other grain products incl rice, bread, crackers, flours, oats, other pastas. Given enough time, I believe I could make my own bread and crackers. I’ve been using an organic whole grain pancake mix too. I could probably make my own though (with no sugar). But making everything from scratch and still live life? That would be quite a chore. I don’t think I could do that.
Other condiments such as ketchup and mayonnaise. Say that last one quietly please. I have been staying away when it isn’t allowed for a particular week’s challenge and have tried other options to create that creaminess, such as avocado and hard boiled egg yolk. I’ve heard ground cashews could work too. There really isn’t much that can replace mayo, though. It will likely stay in our diets as an occasional thing.
I’ve recently found a local maple syrup producer. Clough Valley is just on the other side of town, about 30 miles from home. Looking forward to trying their syrup.
Restaurants. Sadly, we don’t eat out for entertainment. It’s mostly for convenience. Chipotle tries to use local foods when they can and I understand City Barbeque near us uses local chicken. But we don’t have the time to go to a restaurant that takes reservations. If you do and would like to find a place that serves local foods, check out Eat Local Cincy.
Those above are just a few local sources that we have tried, but I’m sure there are others. If you know of any, please tell me about it.
Findley Market — a friend has said he will give me a tour of the best local organic producers at this HUGE farmers’ market. Looking forward to it!