Well, I knew October was going to be crazy. And it was. I spent dozens of hours in front of the computer putting together power point presentations for a class. I had large scale bedding change outs all month at work right up through the 31st.
At home, my husband helped me care for my relatively newly acquired worm bin. He also helped me in the garden, planting garlic, kale, collards, arugula, swiss chard, lettuce, mustard greens, radishes and beets. We pulled up tomatoes, canned like crazy for a night or two, celebrated his birthday as well as his brothers (and rather missed a few others!). There was the all important Celtic Festival, and visiting relatives, and that first weekend of freezing temperatures when we discovered we had no heat and couldn't use the fire place. And on the last night of the challenge there was Halloween.
If your still with me, my point is this... I am very disappointed that I was not able to dedicate the time I would have liked to my Eat Local Challenge. I always made it to the market, except when class interfered. I made multiple local food discoveries, and I changed several eating habits that were definitely not in keeping with a "locavore philosophy."
So here is a quick list of my "failings"....
1. Dinner at Mekong for birthday dinner
2. One meal based on Joe's market chicken sausages
3. Fish and chips at the Celtic festival... and some Jameson's whiskey of course
4. Dinner after the festival at my parents house
5. Dinner at parents when no heat
6. General list of items I used through out that could have been replaced with local, but weren't
a. Feta (Both Faith Farm and Ellwood Thompsons sell different local Fetas.. But each time I was put off by the price and then my husband actually found a whole unopened package in the back of our fridge...
b. twice, mozzarella
c. once, Ricotta
d. 2 carrots- I have bought some local carrots, and will again, but to be honest I don't much care for the flavor of the local ones I've bought, and we by those ridiculously over sized organic carrots as treats for my dog. They are so fat it is one of the few things that occupies him for any time and I do feel that in the big scheme of things these are actually much cheaper, and better for everything (including my dog), than any dog snacks or treats we would buy.
e. 2 bulbs of fennel - Victory Farms was the place I found that actually was growing Fennel and they only had enough to sell to their members....so finally I rather stomped my feet and bought some at Ukrops.
f. Wheat.... the failure I felt was not so much replacing grain from Montana with grain from V.A., but more that I perhaps used locally baked breads as a stand in for too many items I deleted. One example that seems like a real improvement... I replaced my morning kashi bar with a slice of nine grain bread (Prairie Grain Bread Co.) with Kerry Gold butter (non-local, but made from the milk of pastured cows) and local peach, apple, or raspberry preserves.
g. Butter- As of this moment the only alternative is the Amish butter sold by Faith Farms that actually comes from Pennsylvania (and people love it). I am sure there must be some others out there, but I haven't seen them.
h. Finally... I still haven' t found a local peanut butter. So just had none all month.
Okay, all this, but really when I look at this list I don't think it's so bad. I am a little proud of myself, and more I am rather excited about all of the great local foods that are available today that were not available even at this time last year. I only imagine next year will be even easier. I'll do another few post on my discoveries.. there were some great ones! And, I have only been inspired further to keep at it, and keep finding new ways to eat local and balance all the rest that I love about my sometimes very busy life.