Friday, August 15, 2008

Eat Local Challenge, October 2008

I've taken the Eat Local Challenge for October 2008. I'm really looking forward to it! I used to assume local and organically grown/raised food was more expensive that chain store prices, but as I dug deeper and deeper, I found that becoming a part of a CSA is actually incredibly cost effective. (More about CSA's at the bottom of this post.)

I was also impressed by one person's experience as she took meticulous records and calculated the cost of her average day's worth of food consumption. It's a real eye opener!

I can't tell you the main reason why I took this challenge, as there are so many reasons and so many aspects of it that I'm looking forward to.

First, it's supporting the local economy. But that wasn't even a consideration to me at first. Let's face it. I am pretty self-centered. I'm not one to say "ask not what my local economy can do for me, ask what I can do for my local economy." (Or switch "local economy" with just about anything else!) It Sounds good. It Fells good, but realistically? Good or bad, no, it's not the mindset I've developed over the years. But now? Now it's definitely a consideration. Especially after my experience with the "farm stand" acros the stree from work. (Sold Carolina peaches, as if they were grown in NH. Ptuey! I go to a local farm stand, I want local grown food!)

I'm looking forward to meeting my neighbors!
I can't wait to experience food fresh from the farm.
I'm eager to rise to the challenge of finding all of my food from local sources.
I love the idea of canning my own (or my own CSA'd) pickles and tomatoes and peppers and jellies and *sigh* so much more!
As much as I have to admit what I consider my weakness in not being able to fish or hunt (or raise peculiar and oddly-loveable chickens) because I simply cannot kill them, I am also simply not going to become a vegitarian.
But I can visit the farms, help out, learn about raising the cattle and chickens and other livestock, and leave the rest to my probably-even-worse imagination.
Actually, we had a chicken coop growing up in Alaska and I'll never forget my Mom explaining why we didn't eat chicken much. (It was pretty hard on Dad having to kill them and pluck the feathers out, etc.) I was pretty young and probably was told to go play at a friend's house when this was going on, so I literally don't have any memories of it.
Another reason is that I've been living vicariously through Bee and Susan's experiences this summer and am really eager to join in!

For thos of you who, like myself, don't know what a CSA is, it is "Community Supported Agriculture" where area residents purchase a share of the farm and in exchange, they receive a portion of the weekly harvests!
Sounds expensive, right? That's what I thought. But look around, check out the CSA's near you, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised (or shocked) at some of the deals you can find!
Here is my consolidated list of references and sources for locally grown/raised food. Many of the links are to National Directories, so even if you don't live in NH, it's worth taking a look at.

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