In an effort to eat locally, I am taking on a summer challenge to avoid the grocery store. Here in the Hudson Valley, we have bountiful food resources so I think it is time I put my money where my mouth is. A few key things will make this do-able but I think it is important to do your best…you don’t have to give it all up at once, but if you are going to try this stunt it is a good season to start. Grocery stores are great, and we really do have some good ones in Westchester. However, we rely so heavily on being able to get whatever we want when we want it and that is unsustainable. These are the steps I am taking to avoid grocery shopping all summer:
I am already part of a veggie CSA
through Roxbury Farm ( http://www.roxburyfarm.com ) and we just had our first share pick up this Wednesday. The boxes were overflowing with lush lettuces, sweet baby turnips, and fresh herbs. We also have a fruit share through Roxbury that starts in July.
My family also takes part in a cow share, through which we purchase our meat in bulk. We bought 50lbs of grass fed beef this year and we have gone through about half of that so that will be more than enough to last us through the summer months. This year, we tried a ‘pig share’ for the first time and we still have some frozen pork to go through.
Hopefully, our chickens will start laying eggs in july but until then, we will buy our eggs from local farmer’s markets:
We belong to a dairy coop that supplies us with raw milk, eggs, beef bones, soup chickens, etc so hopefully we won’t need the grocery store for those items. If you don’t belong to a dairy coop, a lot of farmer’s markets carry Hudson Valley Fresh milk in glass jars.
A few notes on practicality:
I am aiming to do this for my own family and I will try my hardest to keep it up in my own home. I do entertain a lot so if I am having a party for 30+ people, I will probably need to hit up a store. I also cook for other people in their homes, so I will be using store bought ingredients for them (whatever they have available.)
I will do a pre-season grocery store shop to stock up on the essentials that cannot be found locally:
Coffee (there are some local coffee purveyors that I will use when I find them)
Wine (the wine shop doesn’t count as a grocery store does it???)
I think that covers most of the important food groups. Anyone interested in trying this?? Email me!
xo, SW and Sweet P