Big-scale organic farming has always intrigued me. I am almost certain I was a farmer in a past life.
About a year ago I came across this wonderful "farmer turned foodie" named Andrea Bemis. She runs a farm out in Oregon called Tumbleweed Farm, writes a farm-to-table blog and is an author of a seasonal cookbook, Dishing Up The Dirt. Recently, she decided to start a #LocalThirty challenge in her area, eating local food for 30 days within a 200 mile radius and only 10 cheats allowed. She now has a documentary film about this challenge that I highly recommend checking out.
Now this challenge is supposed to be as laid back as a slow summer day, and will look different for every family or individual. It can be one meal per day or every meal. The point is to make it your own. It is meant to be light-hearted, fun and the whole focus is to think more about supporting local.
I was so moved by what this movement could mean for local communities that I decided to do my own challenge here in the Hudson Valley, NY.
Most of us do not realize how blessed we are to be in such a vibrant area full of farms (big and small) and all that is grown, raised, harvested and sold right in our hometown. While I pretty much eat local and organic, I really wanted to step up to the challenge and look at all the foods I buy and ingredients I use in cooking. Could I be supporting a local farm and family instead of a big corporation? And that is the key here - family. A lot of these local businesses are not making a millionaire more rich. By supporting local, these small business owners are able to put food on their own tables, a roof over their heads, afford education for children and support their family's general needs. It is their livelihood.
After I became a mom for the first time, supporting local means so much more to me now. I would rather spend my dollars knowing it is going to either help a farmer, a family and/or the sustainability of our earth. I care much more where my dollars end up now that I have a family of my own.
So wherever this 200 mile radius falls for you in the Hudson Valley, or anywhere you are reading this, I challenge you to start with all of us on September 1st! Please feel free to share your experiences with me and local sources. I will be posting all my research of local farms and resources for you in my next post!
Read more details about Andrea Bemis' Local Thirty Challenge Here.