Join the eat local challenge

In September, sourcing food from a 250-mile radius


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos



  • Photo by Raheli Harper Local lunch: Raheli Harper of Campbell Hall and her two young boys and somewhat skeptical husband will be eating local in September. This is from her garden.



By Becca Tucker

On Sept. 1, the experiment will begin. I’ve got T-minus 85 hours from the moment I write this, but who’s counting?

My family of four will be eating local for the bountiful month of September — not once in a while, but every meal of every day. Join us for the month, a week or even a day.

Sign the pledge at eatlocalwithdirt.com.

In taking this journey, you’ll be supporting your local economy and farmers, eating serious quantities of fresh food, broadening your cooking skills, and gaining a new appreciation for nature’s rhythms and the breadth and bounty available to us right here at home. It may just be life-changing.

Here’s how it works:

You commit to eating food grown, raised or caught within 250 miles of home. This doesn’t mean the bread was baked locally, but that the flour was grown locally. (Google Maps is handy for calculating distances.)

You do your best to convince the people with whom you cohabitate that this is a good idea.

You get five exceptions: coffee, bananas, almonds, avocados, olive oil, whatever. We plan to start the grown-ups’ list off with coffee (and embarrassingly, Heinz ketchup for the kids), and add to it as it becomes clear what we can’t do without.

Spices are unlimited. Nonperishable powders like baking soda and baking powder go in that bucket, too.

As for sugar, that’s your call, but honey and maple syrup do the trick in our house.

Love to eat out? You still can. Sponsors of the challenge, Fannie’s and Conscious Fork in Warwick will have a 100 percent local menu on the menu all month.

Four farmers markets, two orchardsIn preparation for the month ahead, I spent the last week doing my best imitation of a squirrel getting ready for hibernation. I hit four farmers’ markets and two orchards in six days, gathering not only the usual late summer cornucopia - corn and melons, apples and peaches – but also Pioppini mushrooms, mozzarella, chicken sausage and haddock.

I secured a jug of local sunflower seed oil for cooking, and a 25-pound bag of local flour for baking.

The shopping part was more fun than the processing. A substantial amount of my weekend unfolded in the kitchen: slicing peaches for canning, slicing apples for dehydrating into dried apple rings which the children don’t particularly care for, turns out.

But my batch of zucchini muffins, with a baseball-bat zucchini from our garden and eggs from our hens, maple syrup from the Adirondacks, flour from near Ithaca and sunflower oil from Middlebury, Vermont, went like hotcakes.

And I’ve got more in the freezer.

'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle'Having got wind of the challenge, Sustainable Warwick moved its book club selection to “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” by Barbara Kingsolver to September.

The memoir documents the year Kingsolver and her family ate entirely local, reinventing their own food culture.

The meeting is at the Florida Public Library on Tues. Sept. 19, conveniently, the day of the Florida Farmers’ Market.

See you there, with apple rings to share.

Becca Tucker is the editor of Dirt magazine.


Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments

Pool Rules



MUST READ NEWS

Child safety seat checks
In Passiac County, child safety seats can be checked out at the New Jersey State Police station, located in Totowa, 250 Minnisink Road from 9 a.m.
Image National Child Passenger Safety Week observed
By Tiffany Heineman
According to the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, three out of four child safety seats are improperly used or installed in...
Image Parents of high school freshmen meet staff
By Patricia Keller
The West Milford High School held a meeting for parents of incoming ninth-grade students in the...
Image Rutherford man charged in cell tower battery thefts
A 31-year-old Rutherford man is facing burglary and other charges after West Milford police accused him of taking back-up...

VIDEOS



Sign up to get our newsletter emailed to you every week!

  • Enter your email address in the box below.
  • Select the newsletters you would like to subscribe to.
  • Click the 'SUBSCRIBE' button.



MOST READ

Local News
More meetings promised on MUA sale
  • Sep 7, 2017
Local News
K9s, handlers train for water rescues
  • Sep 12, 2017
Special Sections
Ride safe
  • Sep 6, 2017
Local News
Special needs event set
  • Sep 11, 2017
Local News
Hypertension symptoms are a myth
  • Sep 7, 2017

MOST COMMENTED



West Milford, NJ