I've mentioned the farmer's market a few times so far. This week, we rode our bikes there Saturday morning and I bought tomatoes and onions. Next week I will need to get some more eggs. We also ventured to Joe's Butcher Shop, a local meat market in the trendy part of town that has local meat, dairy, cheese, and pasta. We bought some brats and sausages, and plan on going back for more food in the future.
Why all this talk about local food? I've been reading up on it some, and it's a good idea. The food is fresher- it doesn't have to travel as far, so the harvest-to-dinner-table time is less. Because it's not traveling as far, less energy is being used to transport it, which is good for the environment. Buying locally also supports the local economy, and often the local farmers are also the smaller family farms. There's lots of other good reasons- what have you heard/experienced with local food?
Oh, and I'll be talking about it all summer, and trying to make at least one "local meal" a week, thanks to the challenge put forth by Liz at Pocket Farm. The One Local Summer Challenge is in its second year, and the bloggers participating will post once a week about their local meal, to encourage each other and give each other ideas. I need all the ideas I can get. I haven't figured out yet where to get local grains like flour, bread, and pasta, for example. I'm also not used to basing a meal choice for the week on what's in season- though I know this is better for us. I've got a lot to learn, and I'm willing to try. I also need to learn how to do this local-food shopping within our grocery budget. Any tips anyone has for how to go about this- while in a suburban apartment where I'm unable to stockpile large amounts of anything, or grow much of my own - would be greatly appreciated.
Oh, and thanks to El at Fast Grow the Weeds for being the Midwest round-up person. I'll find lots of good ideas from those bloggers in similar areas.
The challenge doesn't start for a week, but I gave local cooking a try this weekend, making salsa from the tomatoes and onions from the farmer's market and cilantro from my balcony garden. I did use a couple chilies and a lime from the grocery store, so I don't totally have this local-food thing down. If I can't even make this snack from local ingredients, will I be able to make an entire meal? We shall wait and see... Keep on the lookout for my attempt next week.