Carrboro, North Carolina
Born and raised in central Maine, my youth was spent mowing the lawn, kicking a soccer ball against the garage doors, and trying to sneak sugar cereal out of the kitchen cupboards after I was put to bed. More about Tim
South Royalton, Vermont
I am a baby boomer who grew up in a time when the trend in food was convenience and speed. It wasn't the fast-food era, but a post-World War II time when ... More about Warren
We live in Holliston, Massachusetts. When we bought our house in Holliston about 27 years ago, Holliston was a rural/residential town of about 13,000 people. More about Barbara
Wallace, West Virginia
My name is Autumn. I'm 24 years old, and I live in rural north-central West Virginia. I was born and raised in West Virginia, and in 2005 I graduated from ... More about Autumn
My personal interests revolve around the environment, both knowing more about it and getting outside and enjoying my surroundings. This led me down an educational path to ... More about April
Posted at 12:17 PM on December 22, 2008 by April Luginbuhl (7 Comments)
Locavore isn't always easy. I'm glad I had a chance to be part of this project. Without it I would have used the move and baby as an excuse to just live in the grocery store. Being held accountable helped so much, and I would have missed all the great food NE Ohio has to offer.
That said, starting up a locavore way of life isn't easy if you don't know where to start. I'm certainly not successful at having an 80% local diet when it isn't summer. I was surprised at how low my local eating percentages can be in the winter. But, I also have ways to improve those percentages. For any of you still reading but not really doing, or for those feeling like you can't do 80%, so why bother- I have a 2009 challenge for you. Identify when eating local is hardest for you and why, then work to start over coming it. If it will help, post a comment now of what you want to work towards. Maybe others will have some ideas for you.
For me it is preserving the bounty of summer. I'm starting small, but by this time next year, something from the summer will be preserved and stored in my basement. I also hope to have something to harvest from a veggie garden next year. The plans are already in the works. Take the next few wintry months to make a plan, and then find a way to make that plan happen.
I have made some wonderful community connections through local eating this year. This year, some of my food dollars helped my neighbor food producers, and in this poor economy that is very important to me. May your own locavore adventure lead you to some great community building.
Thank you for reading and Happy New Year,
My goal is to improve the root cellaring. I just found some oh-too-squishy-squashes. sad. There has to be a way to get this done in MN and I am going to find the people who know about this kind of thing.
Thanks for the reminder to take up the challenge.
Posted by sareen | December 22, 2008 3:47 PM
I have enjoyed reading all the blogs this year. I too am a mostly summer locavore. I have difficulties with the whole canning/preserving/freezing thing. Firstly, I have no space to keep all this stuff. Secondly I know what I am good at, and canning is definitely not it. Also, just as I don't have the time to grow my food, neither do I have much time for preserving food. I am all in favor of letting professionals do their thing. I would happily buy local canned produce for example. This would benefit the local farmers just as much as me buying the stuff fresh and then trying to can it myself. However, most of the local food outlets are closed down in winter. I bought as much as I had space for at the last farmers' market of the season, but now it's all gone. What is a time-pressed, space-pressed locavore to do in winter?
Posted by sonya | December 29, 2008 11:49 AM
I am sorry I found this blog late in the year.
Just an FYI since it is the end of the year. If you need canning jars, go check at Big Lots. They are generally there by late spring. That is where I get most of mine that don't come from garage sales. I like the quart size wide mouth jars since there are 6 of us. I also purchased my pressure canner there--it only holds 4 quart jars but that is ok to start. It is a bit intimidating to use a pressure cooker for the first time--my mother never used one so all I had to go on were the horror stories of foaming beans on the ceiling :) I am thinking I might be ready to upgrade to a larger size.
A water bath canner is easily found at a local hardware (Ace or TrueValue) store. They usually have better prices on Lodge cast iron too if you are interested. No need for a fancy cooking store for these items unless you got a gift certificate!
We have not visited yet, but Lehman's Hardware (http://www.lehmans.com/) in Kidron, OH would be worth a trip. I will be looking at their canners.
In addition to the Ball Blue Book for preserving foods, I like the Mennonite Community Cookbook. They have a great green tomato pickle that most of us like--one won't touch a green tomato. Older editions of the Ball Blue book have a garden planner in the back--how much to plant of what if you need X servings per week for Y people. Great, handy guide for purchasing as well if you bulk buy for apple/tomatoe sauce, peaches, etc. Your library might have one and just copy the pages.
Have a Happy New Year
-Barb on the East Side
Posted by Barb | December 29, 2008 2:36 PM
I hope we keep in touch. If I get anymore pictures of Michael's baby, I'll send them on!
Paulette in Seattle
Posted by P. Thompson | December 29, 2008 3:30 PM
Sareen, if you find a good root cellar solution, let me know! That's what I want too.
Sonya, your idea of letting the pros do their thing gives me an idea. I wonder if we could ask our farmers if they would sell or trade some of their canned produce? There are probably some health code things to think about, but maybe even something informal could be set up. Or maybe you know someone who could put up food for you in exchange for something else? Its something I think I'll look into in my own life.
Barb, thanks for the Big Lots idea and the ideas from Kiddron. I love the Mennonite cookbooks, being of Mennonite descent myself, I have a special place in my heart for their suggestions on food prep.
Paulette, I'm going to try and remember to send you pictures of my boy as well. Thanks for thinking of me, and I hope we can keep in touch!
Posted by April | December 30, 2008 4:15 PM
Root cellaring is my goal for next year too. I have a bunch of nice designs from old books, but they all assume that it gets cold, freezes and stays that way until it thaws. Here we have 30 to 40 degree temperature swings from day to night temperatures all winter long.
This year I solved the "warm" residential storage, for squash, pumpkins and sweet potatoes. These call for temps 50 - 60. I took the entry way closet which has an exterior wall that never gets sun, racked it, and it now holds squash, pumpkins and a thermometer. I have potatoes in there, too, but they are sprouting. I ate my last squash from 20007 in June. Of course visitors looking for a place to hang their coats just find pumpkins. Now I need "cold" storage, from 35 to 40 degrees, for beets, cabbage, apples, potatoes, etc. Given our temperature swings, I think underground or earth bermed straw bale construction will be the answer. I have been using the garage, but a sudden temperature drop to single digits had me moving it inside because the garage was going to freeze that night, and day temperatures are often 50 and above in there.
I have enjoyed all your posts, and hope to hear more in the future.
Posted by Kathy | December 31, 2008 2:38 PM
I should have mentioned two other books my husband found and gave to me last Christmas. First, An Ohio Agriguide c.2007 ed. George E W Cormack and the second, Farms and Foods of Ohio: From Garden Gate to Dinner Plate c.2007 by Marilou K Suszko.
Another fave is The Contrary Farmer by Gene Logsdon. He is also an Ohioan.
Happy eating in 2009!
Posted by Barb | January 2, 2009 12:15 PM