Monday, May 5, 2014

Eating Locally, In Season - The beginning

Well this is turning out to be a real challenge. We started in March.. only to discover there is nothing fresh to eat in Nebraska in March. If it isn't canned, dried, or frozen - forget it. So, until the growing season starts, what do we do? We don't have much of our own from prior years, so we have to buy Something.

Priorities have been set: Local and organic (not necessarily certified) first, non-local organic / fair trade second. Emphasis on the first. Exotics are out - too much distance to travel. When you really think about how far a banana traveled to get here... it isn't so delicious anymore.

For March & April, we are trying to purchase what we might have grown, if we had started last year. Root vegetables & squashes that would keep over winter in cool storage. This includes butternut and acorn squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, canned or frozen produce. And meat. We did find a local farmer in March who raises their own cattle on grass (with a little corn in the winter). We bought 1/2 cow, plenty for an entire year. Oh glory, this is good meat. And the vegetables are varieties we love. Such hardship.

Pretty soon the radishes & lettuce I planted should be ready... fresh veggies on deck! Egg production should be starting & the local farmer markets are starting... local eggs, meat, milk, and cheese on deck! And our raised beds are built, ready to be planted (pictures soon).

There will be some creative thinking necessary as we learn the ropes. I had a recipe that called for orange juice. Um?

Substitution, thy name is Pie cherries. I had some left from my in-law's tree, frozen in their juice. Tangy & a little acidic, they worked the same as the orange juice. It worked out great.

There will probably be some things we buy that aren't local... like salt. In those cases, we can buy ethical.

Here we go...