I can hardly believe we’ve already been at this challenge for four whole weeks! For some reason, this feels like a big accomplishment to me 🙂 You know, it’s a whole month! And yes, there are still many, many weeks to go before we hit our goal of 100 days of eating local, but damn this feels good!
Maybe I’m so excited because it feels like we’re finally getting in the groove. We’re figuring out what works and what doesn’t work. We’re eating a few stand-bys every week (like beans and chile), but we’re also branching out a bit (lasagna with local sausage and cheese, as well as our own tomato sauce from last years garden, plus non-local, rice/gluten free lasagna noodles).
Maybe I’m so excited because the Local Bite Mini-Challenge of the week was to go out and treat ourselves to a locally sourced beverage, snack or full on meal. Now, I didn’t plan it this way, I promise, but I ate out a lot this week. Well, a lot more than I have since the challenge began. I have to say, it was nice to eat out and know that the food I was eating was sourced locally, supporting our local economy and actually pretty healthy for me! Imagine that?!
So, here’s a little breakdown of where we ate and why it was all so damn good 🙂
Joe’s Dining is, literally, a block from our house which made it an easy option when my cousin got in touch last weekend to let me know he was in town and wanted to meet for dinner. The owner is a big Joel Salatin fan and prides himself in getting as many local ingredients each week as he can find. I had a Buffalo Burger and it was wonderful. There was also a Margarita involved, and while I am certain the Tequila didn’t come from New Mexico, it was equally wonderful.
The Real Butcher Shop (TRBS) is a brand new spot (they just opened 10 weeks ago after years of planning) that is doing wonderful things for local foods and farmers! Additionally, they do source some of their products from around the country in an effort to support farmers and ranchers directly, without the Middle Man. Since they’re still new, they only have a few items on their lunch menu. So far I’ve tried the lamb burger and the open faced turkey sausage sandwich, both equally fantastic. The kicker is that their Baker, Andre, uses lots of Heritage Grains in his creations, most of which are gluten-free. So fantastic!
To clarify, I ate lunch at TRBS because I am helping the owner with a couple of projects and am currently trading much of my work for shop credit. We met to talk about plans and I happily filled my belly.
Another lunch meeting with a colleague brought us to The Tree House, which until now, I’d never eaten at. It’s an itty bitty spot with a surprisingly big menu and absolutely wonderful food! The side salad was full of local greens and had an amazing strawberry dressing on top! I also had a burrito with rice, beans, veggies and red chile, which was completely wonderful!
Honestly, I feel very fortunate to live in a city where there are so many options for eating locally sourced goodies…Some I am familiar with, some that are brand new to me. And, I do want to say, money aside, it feels so much better to make a conscious choice to eat at a restaurant that is also making conscious choices about where they are sourcing their ingredients from! Voting with our dollars is really a powerful thing and it feels very, very good!
In addition to doing better about creating our own meals at home and eating out a few times this week, we also got about 2/3 of our garden planted out! Now, this of course doesn’t translate to immediate harvests, but it does translate to so.much.hope and promise for future home grown meals! The fruit trees are full of baby fruits (with the exception of our Apricot, which has maybe ten little babies on it), the rhubarb is almost ready for it’s first harvest and our first sweet corn sprouts have popped. Of course, I can’t forget the eggs! The gobs and gobs of eggs we harvest from our 15 laying hens every day are such a blessing every morning for breakfast and often for other random, quick, protein filled meals!
So, all in all, I’m feeling very good about this challenge and all of the lessons coming our way (some expected, some surprising, but that’s for another day and another post)! I don’t doubt that there will be some bumps in the road to go along with all of the twists and turns we’ve already seen, but right now, I couldn’t be happier about all of it (bumps included).
Now it’s your turn! How is the challenge going for you? Thoughts? Learnings? Straight up challenges? Did you participate in this weeks Mini Challenge? Please share your experiences in the comments below or in our Local Bite Facebook Page so we can learn from each other