Eat Local Challenge 2006

April 30, 2006

The Eat Local ChallengeI am honored and excited to have joined the Eat Local Challenge, a blog that will bring together information from a diverse group of U.S. consumers dedicated to supporting those who produce food that doesn’t travel thousands of miles before it ends up on your plate. My first post for this new site is entitled Full Circle, Almost. So far, twenty-six other Locavores have signed on to become authors for the Eat Local Challenge blog, and it looks like hundreds have pledged to eat local for the month of May! Others have chosen to take the challenge in another month.

The posts about my own eat local challenge will be archived here, so that anyone who is interested can follow my progress. The overall challenge is to eat food produced within 100 miles of your home, but each person sets his or her own personal goals and exemptions. I’ll keep you updated with the information I find about sustainably and humanely raised food produced within 100 miles of Greensboro. If any of you decide to join the challenge, please leave a comment!

It will be great fun and very enlightening to see how others find foods within their 100-mile foodsheds during a time of year when many places are just beginning to get fresh foods to the markets. Some traditionally lush harvests in California will be delayed due to unusually heavy rains. Here in the South, we’ve had drought. The Northeast is just now thawing out!

We are lucky to be able to find so many local foods in our markets here in the Piedmont Triad. Now we need to support our farmers and encourage the next generation of young farmers to continue the tradition by making good choices with our food dollars.

Now, here are my personal Eat Local Challenge goals and exemptions:

Goal: To eat food produced within 100 miles as much as possible, then extend the range to food raised, produced, or caught in North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia.

Exemptions: salt, pepper, spices, tamari, flour*, pasta*, rice, olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider and balsamic vinegars, tahini, sugar, other baking necessities, Parmesano-Reggiano, coffee, tea.

Challenge: I’m used to eating out for lunch in the neighborhood, and I don’t think that anyone serves local food. My addiction to Pepsi One, which I’ll try to kick in May. My new craving for olives. I’ll miss salmon and bacon. Local regulations will not allow pork producers to cure meat without nitrates.

Help needed in finding: Grains of all kinds, pasta. If I can find local sources for flour, pasta, and Carolina grown rice, I’ll take them off the exemption list in an update.

Tips offered: The Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market sells locally grown chicken, beef, pork, dried beans, mushrooms, milk, butter, goat cheese, and eggs, in addition to seasonal fruits and vegetables. Chicken will be available from Back Woods Family Farm again in May. The corn for the grits and cornmeal from the Old Mill at Guilford is grown in Yanceyville. Donna sells their products at the Curb Market. The Piedmont Triad Farmers Market also sells sustainably raised lamb, and ostrich. Deep Roots Market carries some local products, including some fruits and vegetables, beef and dairy products.

NOTES:

I’ll buy my fair-trade organic coffee from Tate Street Coffee House, which is a short walk away, and sorry, but I have to have sugar in my coffee.

I’ll keep a pitcher of iced tea in the refrigerator to try to kick my diet soda habit. I can’t go without caffeine – my migraines are enough of a problem in the spring. The problem here will be my husband drinking it all. He loves sweet tea. I’ll flavor it with mint from my garden.

I’ll buy my bread from Simple Kneads, a wonderful organic bakery in downtown Greensboro, or from nearby Spring Garden Bakery, or pita from Dough Re Mi at the Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market. Or bake it.

noodle cutterI am mulling over making my own pasta for the first time. After all, I have to justify buying this noodle-cutter at the Liberty Antiques Festival yesterday! Note that I bought a “new” baking pan that begs for lasagne as well. I think I found a source for semolina flour from Virginia. I’ll post more if I decide to do it – it looks like the fates have decreed this. Now let’s see if I have the time and energy.

I plan to eat a lot of salad, which is not really one of my favorite foods. The way I have decided to make this fun and challenging is that I will make my own salad dressings and marinades. I’ve been addicted to Annie’s dressings for years, but there’s no reason I couldn’t make my own from scratch. I’ve added a lot of the base ingredients for salad dressings and marinades to the exemption list, to which I plan to add herbs from my garden and other ingredients that I find at the farmers’ market.

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Deep Roots Taste Fair and Open House at Goat Lady Dairy this weekend!

April 25, 2006

There are two great food events both days this weekend!

April 29, 2006
11th Annual Taste Fair
Deep Roots Market Cooperative
11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Join Deep Roots Market Cooperative for this FREE community celebration featuring delicious samples of freshly prepared organic foods and wellness samples. Celebrate Deep Roots Market’s 30 year commitment to the Triad community. This is a great time to learn more about the co-op, fair trade and organic products, as well as local favorites. Bring the whole family and plan to spend the afternoon outside listening to live music and trying new treats while savoring old favorites! The event will be held at Deep Roots Market, 3728 Spring Garden St. Greensboro. Raindate is Sunday April 30th. Call 292-9216 for more info! Web site: http://www.deeprootsmarket.com (Slow Food will have a booth. Please contact Laurie at lponeill@slowfoodpiedmont.org if you would like to volunteer to staff the table for an hour or so.)

April 30, 2006
Open House
Goat Lady Dairy, Randolph County
1-5 p.m. FREE

Bring the whole family to experience the farm for yourselves. There are animals to touch, eggs to gather, herbs to smell and gardens to tour. You can also stroll in the woods or meadows, relax by the pond or even picnic. The farm’s family and prize winning cheese makers will be there to help you learn about their life on the farm and give you a taste of farmstead cheese. Of course, you can also purchase some cheese to take home. 3515 Jess Hackett Road in Climax. Phone (336)824-2163, http://www.GoatLadyDairy.com.


“The Real Dirt on Farmer John” Premiere in N.C.!

April 16, 2006

Slow Food Film Series presents
a guided tour of “Uneasy Nature”
& the North Carolina premiere
of “The Real Dirt on Farmer John”
April 20, 6:00-9:00 pm
Weatherspoon Art Museum, UNCG

The Real Dirt on Farmer John,” a documentary of farmer and artist John Peterson of Illinois, depicts the trials, yearnings and jubilations of a man and his farming family. His story encompasses love of the land, family fidelity, a fall from grace and a glorious vindication. The film has won 18 film festival awards.

“Uneasy Nature” brings together six internationally recognized artists who incorporate the evolving perception—and use, manipulation, and distortion—of nature in contemporary culture. A museum curator will lead us through a short tour.

Join us for a savory reception at 6 pm, the tour of “Uneasy Nature” at 6:30, and the screening of the film at 7:00 pm.

For more information and directions go to http://weatherspoon.uncg.edu/events.
For more information on Slow Food and future events, go to www.slowfoodpiedmont.org.