Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dark Days Challenge - 2010-2011 Introduction

I'm not sure why I think I can keep up with this, since blogging has taken a "back-back" seat (that's an official term for the seat in a station wagon that's behind the back seat - usually also facing the back of the car, fyi) in my life.

But sustainable, organic, locally-sourced, ethical food (SOLE food) is still an important part of my diet, so I'm hoping I can piece together enough complete meals to live up to the challenge.  It did lead me to think more about where ALL my food comes from last year - and it wouldn't hurt to try that again.  For all the fine details, visit this posting... it's hosted by Laura at the (not so) Urban Hennery.  There's something crazy - like 100 people participating, so it should be fun.

This is the post where I define what my terms are for the challenge.   The standard we're asked to abide by in terms of what is local is a 150 mile radius.  Thankfully, this works well for me since it includes key growing areas in Pennsylvania, most noteably my wonderful Amish Farmer's co-op.  So I know that anything I order from them fits within the SOLE guidelines.

Also helpful is the local grocer where I buy most of my produce and some meat and dairy.  Every week I think she's gotten something new this past year - and most products fall within 150 miles.  It is there that I pick up my Winter Buyers Co-op - a share of 4 veggies each week from Dec-Feb.  THAT will make things pretty simple for produce.

Last year I found a local flour source as well as several grains.  It took me practically the whole challenge to do so, but now I feel pretty set.

I will try to use primarily local herbs - but this is where I feel okay cheating.  So spices will be used and I will note when they are not local.

Basically - I will try my best to make fully-SOLE meals, but there will be times where I will simply note what is not SOLE in order to get dinner on the table.  A 90% SOLE meal is much better than take-out pizza!

So I will most likely post for each "recap period," which will be twice a month (again - check out the details of the challenge here).

I'd also like to reserve the right to simply list all the SOLE dishes that I've prepared over the half-month period rather than describing two particular meals. :)

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