Slow Food recently proposed an Eat Local Challenge. For three weeks, eat and buy only food grown locally, seasonally and sustainably.
I am fortunate to be in Victoria BC, near many good local food sources, and the challenge came down in the heart of the autumn harvest season, so I didn’t need to change much, although it kept me safe from a few impulse buys at the supermarket. It helped me to use up the last of my food box items as well, and to think more locally in my menu planning.
It was good to see how easy it could be. I started thinking of ingredients I might need over the three weeks. There are many small scale egg producers in the outskirts of town, so I buy from roadside stands where possible. I buy Avalon organic milk, produced on the Lower Mainland of BC, since there is no organic dairy on Vancouver Island. There are many good cheesemakers, though, such as Salt Spring Island Cheese Company, Little Qualicum Cheeseworks and Natural Pastures. I get my flour from a local organic bulk buy program; some comes from Wildfire Bakery which grinds its flour in-house; other from Vancouver Island Grain & Milling. And I know I can get locally milled grain from True Grain Bakery in Cowichan Bay. Organic sourdough breads from from Fol Epi, Fry’s Bakery and Royal Bay Bakery. I have prawns, salmon and octopus in my freezer from my Michelle Rose Community Supported Seafood share; meat products from a local beef producer as well as the wonderful but soon-to-retire farmers at Terra Nossa Farm, who are regulars at the year round Moss Street Market. And I’ve been getting unsprayed pears and apples from Dan’s Market.
Here are some of the things I ate. An omelette from local eggs and a precious last piece of Tomme D’or from late lamented Moonstruck Cheese; organic sourdough toast from Royal Bay. Some home-made lacto-fermented zucchini relish, featuring my own zucchini, Haliburton Farm vegetables and an apple from Dan’s Market. And oak leaves from the tree across the street 🙂 A local beef & onion sausage cassoulet with Haliburton Farm potatoes, garlic and onions, my zucchini, oven-dried tomatoes and home made tomato sauce, and a handful of organic chickpeas.
And.. home made chili with local beef, my own tomatoes and Haliburton Farm’s onion, garlic and squash. Some fantastically good lavender and honey ice cream from the wonderful Parachute Ice Cream, with some grapes from a neighbour. Shakshuka with local eggs on a home made tomato sauce (the Ottolenghi Jerusalem recipe) featuring my own tomatoes, local peppers and home made harissa sauce.