OK - I'm starting to realize why it's called the One Local Summer Challenge. I came close to backing out of this round. I didn't think I could pull off an all-local meal during such a hectic week. But spurred on by Stacey's post, I figured I could at least pop into a new produce market in town and a nearby farm, right?
To my delight I found Ontario swiss chard, eggplant and asparagus at the produce market. Trying to exercise some influence on my food supply, I told the store owner that I was only interested in buying local produce. To my surprise, he said he was working on setting up arrangements with local farmers and planned to be stocking lots of local produce over the summer season. Hooray! This store is right in town and very convenient.
Next stop, this farm I spotted driving home:
Another surprise - it belonged to a kind older couple who tend an incredible garden and sell their produce all summer long. Score! Emboldened by my earlier success, I asked the farmer if he knew of a nearby source for local eggs. He sure did. He pointed me to the cooler a few feet away - full of freshly laid eggs for $2/dozen.
Waving goodbye and making my way back up their gravel driveway, I caught myself smiling. This is what it means to eat local. It means following your instincts. Keeping your eyes open. Supporting the hard work of your own neighbours. Chatting with the people who grow your food.
I've yet to find a source of local chicken - my biggest challenge. No luck with local flour either. Without flour I can't include any carbs in my meals! There is a family-owned mill a few hundred kilometres away who will ship - I couldn't decide if ordering individual shipments was the right thing to do. Any advice?
For my entry this week, I ended up frying the eggplant using a local egg and breadcrumbs(the breadcrumbs are non-local, but not for lack of trying!). Served on a bed of sauteed swiss chard, beet greens & garlic, with steamed carrots & asparagus on the side. Unfortunately I had no energy left to make a tomato sauce from local tomatoes!
Thanks for the inspiration, fellow challengers!