Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Eat Local Challenge Challenge Part III
Yes, we have no beets

Yes, we are still at it. Just yesterday, my wife, the Condiment Queen, diligently perused an apple to see if it was local before (not) buying. I apologize, however, for the lack of posting. And for those with ADD/AHAD, here's the short version, yes it is getting hard/we cheat by eating out.

Farmer Vicki delivered the last of her scheduled Fall CSA boxes in December. She then delivered a supplemental bag in January. She finally ran out of beets by these deliveries. Instead she delivered a mix of keeper stuff and greenhouse stuff (and of course her treats like home canned concord grape jelly). I should note that a greenhouse tomato, from a local greenhouse, is still a greenhouse tomato. Lettuce though tasted fine. By December, one cannot count on making do with the weekly delivery. I'm not saying it's all fluff at this point, but what comes can only supplement existing stocks. Ours goes down. We have several weeks until Farmer Vicki starts her spring CSA, and it will be a challenge.

What's lasting: parsnips, rutabagas, turnips. The parsnips are especially old, having come from the Oak Park Farmer's Market, but they show no deterioration. What's mostly good: red potatoes. Most weeks in the fall CSA, we got a big bag of red potatoes. We have stored much more than we have used. Most of these potatoes are fine, but a few are growing eyes. What we should have used quicker: beets. We got a lot of beets in the fall; several however, went to mold before we used them. What else looks good and bad: squashes. If nothing else, we got squashes, and we got squashes all over our storage room. Some squash, especially the spaghetti squash, did not last long. And do not forget apples. Our apples, especially the apples purchased in Wisconsin in November and placed in the coldest part of the basement (next to the wall), have lasted just fine. The problem, within the next week, they will be gone, eaten. Going forward: a challenge.

We have freezer stock, mostly frozen berries. We make smoothies. We *allow* citrus and bananas. We have both now in the house. We cheat. Farmer Vicki has provided us some excellent lettuces in her fall deliveries, but we have also bought greens from Costco and Trader Joe's. We buy prepared salads from local markets. Just yesterday we picked up a beet salad from a Polish market. I doubt they used a keeper/local beet in the salad. We eat out a lot. We are not perfect. It is a challenge.

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