Saturday, January 26, 2008

It's cooold outside. -22 with the windchill...if you happen to be somewhere windy... I live in a pretty sheltered little hollow so it's not too bad down here. -14 maybe. I was going to go out on the snowshoes and I'll admit I chickened out at the windchill factor and went for a nice walk about the neighbourhood instead. Tomorrow is supposed to be another cold one but I think I'll risk the frostbite and go out into the woods for a trek. The trees will provide a lot of shelter and if I get to the top and think the ridge is too exposed and cold for trekking, I'll just head back down into the trees.

On my stroll I stopped in at the local grocery store to pick up a couple of things for tomorrow's dinner over at the big sister's. I just finished reading the 100-mile diet and as I stood in the middle of the store I will admit that I was stumped. None of the fruit would be ok to eat, the root veggies... well, PEI is more than 100 miles and so is New Brunswick... I bought parsnips that were packaged in Bishop Falls, but I have no idea where they are from (chances are they are from the Maritimes if not Newfoundland itself though). The raisin bread definitely broke all the rules...as did the Tostidos Hint of Lime chips... and the goat cheese mozzarella? Most definitely.

It's interesting to think about what you can eat from within your 100 miles though. You could easily have enough fruits and veggies just by shopping at Lester Farms. And if you canned and preserved enough for the winter...you'd be set. Root vegetables are a dime a dozen in this province and with a root cellar or other cold storage area it wouldn't be a problem to keep them for the winter. I'm allergic to dairy and eggs anyway so that's not an issue. Bread might be an issue. I know that oats and barley can grow here, but does anyone grow it and actually make flour a person can buy? As for protein, that wouldn't be a problem. I know where to get lamb, and I'm hoping there are local chicken farms (chickens are tough - they could live here!), and I'm sure you can buy moose from someone! The real test is the WANT quotient. I wanted to buy those bananas. And the kiwi fruits. And the peppers which were definitely not grown in a greenhouse on this island. I have found a solution for the issue of lettuce. Last winter I discovered The Lettuce Farm. They are a local hydroponics lettuce grow-op basically. You can buy their greens at Dominion and Belbin's for sure and I love it. It's not always available though which is too bad. I assume they supply their commercial buyers first - the local restaurants and catering companies - and the markets second. During the summer I also found another small greens farm selling their bags at Dominion...I completely forget the name but it was somewhere in Newfoundland. As for tomatoes, I plan on eventually getting a couple of indoor cherry tomato plants and seeing how that works out. I know people that grow their own indoors in Vancouver so I don't see why it wouldn't work here!

Then there would be the condiment issue. Yikes. There are two local spice/herb farms that I know of - The Spice Barn and Mt Scio Farm (as far as I can tell they only produce savoury, but I like savoury so that's ok!). Plus it's not hard to grow a lot of that at home if you wanted. Sugar - you'd have to use honey and there are several local honey producers. Wine...uh... nope, no good wine here. Beer...well if they aren't growing their own hops (which they aren't) then they are off limits. There are enough juniper berries to choke a herd of horses in this province so I could start a gin distillery! I can't even think of what else I use... salsa, but you could grow what you needed for that here and just can it.

I would need to quit my job in order to have the time to eat 100% locally I think. Or quit school.

I guess I need to get into the whole canning/preserving area of food preparation if I want to eat more locally year round. I just actually found rhubarb in my freezer that I froze from fresh during the summer when our organic veggie co-op overloaded us with the stuff. Too bad I didn't do the same with the strawberries! I can smell another pie coming on...


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2 comments:

Paula said...

I went through similar contemplation after reading the 100 Mile Diet. I don't think I could completely do it (coffee!) but I found a good winter farmer's market here that has provided some good stuff. Good luck on the quest!

laura said...

Oh, it was big news on my street last year when Belbins got the nice lettuce LOL! And it was really good, too!