A month ago, I announced I’d be partaking in the NOFA-NY Locavore Challenge, an imperative from the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York to inspire awareness and action in eating locally and organically. Here’s how I did:
I made my own yogurt from local, organic milk. Not only did I do it once—I now make a weekly batch of yogurt from a half-gallon of Stewart’s reduced-fat milk. It has quickly become a staple of my diet.
I got serious about canning. Earlier in the summer, I canned a few small batches of salsa and blueberries. Last month, as part of the challenge, I took a canning class through Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County, and got serious about squirreling away local, in-season fruits and veggies for winter.
As part of that effort, I visited Hand Melon Farm’s you-pick vegetable fields. I left with a bushel of squash, eggplant, tomatoes and peppers, plus a few pounds of raspberries, for $19.
I made my own bread with local organic grain.
This was the most transformative part of the challenge for me. Who knew you could even *purchase* local organic grain? I thought this would be difficult to find, but in fact, it was as simple as wandering down the baking aisle of Healthy Living.
So on Sept. 30, the last day of the challenge, I whipped up some dough with my new purple Kitchen Aid stand mixer (thanks to the Kitchen Aid outlet offering refurbished mixers online; thanks to Marie Schrader for bringing purple back).
We ate the results with some Saratoga Olive Oil as part of dinner last night. It disappeared too quickly to photograph the evidence.
So not only was the challenge fun and interesting, it really did open my eyes to the amazing array of local foods available here. And, like any good challenge, it made me excited to seek other, similar challenges in the future.