The month-long Eat Local Challenge is over and I, for one, intend to continue eating locally as much as possible. What surprised me about the month long challenge ? How easy it was for me to stick to the rules - I was already eating mostly locally produced foods and the few things which came from far away , for example citrus fruits, bananas, or avocados, were easy to do without.
Food which was out of season, such as lettuce, was easily replaced with seasonal vegetables and was not missed. It will be interesting to see if this applies to fall and winter eating as well; right now we are replacing lettuce with arugula, which has volunteered in the garden and has come up in a thick stand, producing more than we can eat. I must admit I was sad when I harvested the last cucumbers, it's going to be a long time until next July when we will taste cucumbers again !The most difficult thing about the challenge was finding locally produced flour and oil, we never did manage to find either one.
And just in case anyone was wondering whether our effort at eating locally produced food made any difference : my neighbor, who sells my eggs at her farmstand at a weekly farmer's market told me that her sales have increased so much this summer that she is going to expand her business and sell at another farmer's market. Last year she was so discouraged by lack of sales, that she almost decided to quit, but this year she can hardly keep up with the demand. Her customers are lined up three deep before she even opens and " everyone is talking about the Kingsolver book."
So pat yourselves on the back, all you Local Eaters, you are making a real difference to the local farmers , thereby keeping a little bit of the country from turning into a housing development . Hurray for us and keep up the good work !