Friday, April 3, 2009

The beginning

Today we start on this local food project. I know we'll never get to 100%, but I'm going to give it my best shot. I figured it would be relatively easy - we have an Amish Market open year-round and tons of Farmers Markets during the season. There's even one open twice a month in the Winter.

I started my day at the Amish Market in Annapolis. I was there about a year ago, and I remembered being surprised that some of the products weren't Amish. I found the same issue today. I skipped the meat counter, it was busy and I wasn't brave enough to start asking questions. I stopped at the pretzel vendor and was surprised to see the hardworking Amish girls using Pam before rolling the dough. Clearly, this wasn't going to be as easy as I thought.

I ended up with the following:
  • Golden Honey and Sugar Free Strawberry Jam, Olde Dutch Jams in Intercourse, PA. 132 miles away.
  • Apple Butter Spread, Kauffman's in Bird-in-hand, PA. 129 miles away.
  • Half Gallon 2% milk, Kreider Farms in Manheim, PA. 128 miles away.
  • Dozen Large Brown Eggs, Unknown origin.
  • White American Cheese slices, Unknown origin.
  • Smoked Cheddar, Millport Dairy in Leola, PA. (This one came with a sign exclaiming its Amish Made status.) 128 miles away.

Seeing as how we actually need to eat more than the above, I ventured over to Whole Foods.

In the non-local realm:
I already knew we'd be breaking the local buying for bananas (a staple in our house). I managed to find some organic bananas from Columbia. I also grabbed a bag of Mandarins from California, and two cans of Muir Glen organic diced tomatoes.

The most disappointing items were Organic Rainbow Chard and Green Lettuce from Lakeside Organic Gardens. Labeled as "local", these actually come from California. I guess Whole Foods and I have different definitions.

I managed to score some relatively local items though:
  • Dozen Large Brown Organic, Free Range eggs, Piney River, VA - 192 miles.
  • Cheddar with Old Bay, Hawk's Hill Creamery in Pylesville, MD - 80 miles.
  • Live Basil Plant, Shenandoah Gardens, Harrisonburg, VA - 167 miles.
  • Farm Raised Rainbow Trout from North Carolina (I haven't figured out what the goals for local fish are yet.)
Later in the day, I ran over to Homestead Nursery. They actually had some preserves from a local farm - including tomato sauce, but I didn't grab it. I might end up going back for it, if I get desperate. I'm hoping to get the garden moving quickly, because we definitely can't exist on what I'm finding now! Our first CSA share won't be until May 15th

Luckily, we're pretty well stocked up on meat and some frozen veggies, so this should get us through . Hopefully I can find more at opening day of the Annapolis Farmer's Market (Riva Rd) tomorrow.

Dinner tonight will be salad (green lettuce from above), and home-made pizza. I'm going to try to whip up a tomato sauce with the canned tomatoes and fresh basil, and use the Amish smoked cheddar, along with some fresh, but not local parmesan.

A definite start, but not as good as I'd hoped.

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