There has been much talk of "Eating Local" over the past few weeks within the food blogging world, leading up to this months Eat Local Challenge. I think this is a wonderful idea in concept, but to try and execute a month's worth of meals coming from within 100 miles of this area would be an impossibility. After all, in this temperate mountain valley, spring fruits and vegetables are just barely starting to make an appearance, and there is a multitude of ingredients that I could never find locally.
And so, since the challenge encourages people to make it work the best they can, I set out this weekend to the first Farmer's Market of the season, and I came away with a pretty good bounty: local organic skirt steak and a chicken; gorgeous fresh eggs, with little bits of feather still on them; a loaf of bread, chocolate chocolate chip cookie for Chris, and some homemade granola; fresh butter; and a pile of really lovely Swiss chard. I then moved on to our local co-op, conveniently located about a mile from our neighborhood, and picked up some cheese, pasta, avocados, and snacky stuff. Even though the bulk of what I picked up at the co-op was not local, it was all organic and helped support the institution, so I figured that was the next best thing.
I'm pleased with how well this first attempt at local eating went. I was able to make a supremely delicious meal Saturday evening using ingredients that were 100% local or organic (I'll write about that meal next). Some things were decidedly more expensive (the chicken was double what I would pay at the grocery store, and you can see the price on that butter), but some were surprisingly cheap (the skirt steak was $5/lb, and the eggs were $2.50/dozen). All of it was definitely of wonderful quality, and I loved meeting the people who worked so hard to bring these things to market.