However, part of appreciating these summer days is putting up some of my favorite fruits and vegetables for later on the in the year, and planting in preparation for fall. Every year I have a sort of mental list of Homestead-y things I'd like to accomplish- things to grow, things to can, things to freeze, things to dry and store through winter. I'm proud to say that this year, I have actually done some significant fall planting, and I've also done a pretty fair job at "putting up" or canning/preserving/storing & locally sourcing a good deal of the things that were on said mental list!
I will say that I've give myself some exceptions- this list applies most to food that is eaten in my home. While eating out and about, I do try to have a strong focus on local food, supporting local businesses, and avoiding questionable meat (essentially, it's questionable unless I know where it's sourced from). BUT it's hard to find places to eat that meet all of my strict qualifications! So while I am an intentional eater at restaurants, I am my best locavore self at home, where I can better control what comes into my home, where it comes from, and what I spend our $$$ on.
As I have moved towards eating more and more locally, there is a natural shift towards eating things in the season they grow in. For example, when I say that I eat only local potatoes all year long, it is because I plant potatoes in the spring, I harvest them in the summer, and store them to eat throughout summer, fall, and into winter. Then I stop eating potatoes until I can find them locally again in the spring, or grow them myself once again!
With all that stuff in mind, here's an attempt at a typed version of my 2012 Local Eating Goals.
Happy Home 2012 Local Eating Goals
Veggies to store/source locally for the entire year-
(successfully achieved this part of the list last year!)
Other food products to source locally for the entire year-
Herbs to dry & store/grow indoors for the entire year-
Locally grown veggies & fruits to Can-
6 pints Pickles
5 pints Tomato Sauce
15 half-pints Pears
3 pints Cranberry Sauce
15 half-pints Applesauce
Locally grown veggies & fruits to Freeze-
2 quarts Strawberries
Locally grown fruits to Dehydrate-
2 bags dried cranberries
If you'd like to set some local eating goals for yourself, I have a few tips:
- Set some perimeters for yourself- be realistic about what you think you can do
- Have strategies in mind- Where will you shop/how will you grow things to meet your goals?
- Think it out- If you want to can 60 pints of tomatoes, when will that actually happen and do you truly have the time & resources to do that?
- Pat yourself on the back, even if you don't accomplish everything you set out to! You're still making progress, and you'll have a better idea of how you can improve in future years.
Are there things that you think are more important to source locally than others?