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Daily Archives: November 27, 2011

My Dark Days Challenge Rules

Dark Days Challenge begins today.

Details are here.

I hope to cook my first dark days meal tonight, so I wanted my rules set out before starting.

I am using a 50 mile radius for how far I may have to travel to source the food items, and 100 miles for origination of the food items. I will probably use the 150 mile radius for wine, since I know we will go winery hopping at least once this winter to Charlottesville VA which is about 125 miles as the crow flies from our location. If someone brought me a gift from their travels and it was made locally to them, I will use it.

Meat, seafood, dairy, veggies, and bread/pasta will all come from the 100 mile radius with the exception of oysters and fish, which can come from anywhere on the Chesapeake Bay. I can get them at local farmer’s markets all winter, but don’t know how far the fishermen and oyster men must sail to catch them, or gather the oysters.

My philosophy as a locavore is more pointed in the direction of supporting local small businesses and farmers, even if they use some non-organic or non-locally sourced items to make their foods.

Such as: fruit in some of the cheeses like cranberries; spices and herbs in the meats and cheeses and breads. The Breadery, where much of my bread comes from, mills their own grains but sources it from outside the area. Not much grain growing in Maryland.

Not all of the local vendors have gone through the arduous process of becoming certified organic, but they apply IPM, or in the case of meat vendors, they are as natural as we can get. No antibiotics, hormones, and mostly grass fed, or free range.

Dinner tonight is going to be a sweet potato galette using The Slow Cook’s recipe, and turkey breast from my Thanksgiving turkey with the last of the blueberry chutney brought back from a summer in Maine by a friend who volunteers with me.

I also hope to eat most meals at home using a majority of local items, even on the days I am not doing the 100% sourced meal to meet the challenge.

Here’s hoping I can be successful in becoming more of a year round locavore, and not just a casual summertime one, which I was in the past.