Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dark Days are coming. Will you take up the challenge?

The days are getting colder and shorter, the last farmers markets that remain open will close for the season just before thanksgiving. Winter, the dark days make it harder to eat locally and seasonally but it definitely isn't impossible. Canning food, freezing food, winter markets, and some planning make it possible to eat locally even throughout the winter. It isn't easy but it's definitely possible!
Laura over at (not so) Urban Hennery has set up the 4th Annual Dark Days Challenge, which I'm an excited participant for the first time. The Dark Days Challenge encourages folks to continue eating locally through the coldest and darkest days of the seasons. From December 1st 2010 - April 15th 2011 participants in the challenge will be cooking four meals each month (1 per week) focused on SOLE (sustainable, organic, local, ethical) ingredients and documenting our experiences.

More details and info can be found at the 4th Annual Dark Days Challenge post at (not so) Urban Hennery but I will share some of my own info here.

What is local?
There is a great point of contention regarding what is considered local food. For the purpose of the challenge I will consider anything within 150 mile radius of my current address as local. The below map shows my 150 miles radius.
courtesy of free map tools.
As you can see a 150 mile radius from my the condo Gail & I reside it includes all of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, most of Connecticut, parts of eastern New York state, the southern half of Vermont, most of New Hampshire, and parts of southern Maine. The boundary extends in the southeast to Stamford, CT & Brentwood Long Island, NY, looking west Poughkeepsie, Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga Springs, and Lake George, NY all fall within 150 miles. This radius takes me well beyond Rutland and Montpellier, VT nearly to St. Johnsbury, VT. To the north my local food circle reaches Berlin, NH and almost to August, ME.
Using the above map helps illustrate just how much locally produced foods can be found within 150 miles of my home.
As I teach myself to make homemade bread this winter, many of my experiments will fall within this radius because King Arthur Flour of Norwich, VT is only 113 miles away! With a little bit of effort, planning and preparation I am confident that I will rise to the challenge and successfully cook and eat one meal per week focusing on SOLE (sustainable, organic, local, ethical) ingredients.

Are you interested in participating in the Dark Days Challenge?
If so, head over to (not so) Urban Hennery to get the full run down and to sign up, but make sure to do so prior to midnight November 21st, 2010 and don't forget to tell your friends!

If you don't feel like joining in on the fun, then stay tuned to see how myself and other Dark Days Challengers fare!


meemsnyc said...

This sounds like an awesome challenge! Look forward to reading how you do.

Madame C said...

What a great challenge you have taken on. You will inspire so many people (and me)!
Take care,