Sunday, June 1, 2008

One Local Summer: Week 1

Eating local all summer? We're going to try. I've joined One Local Summer this year, after following along with others (mainly Jasmine at Knitting 40 Shades of Green, who lives near me, and Pocket Farmer Liz, who lives in a place where I'd love to live) for a couple of summers. In this challenge, we'll prepare one totally local meal each week.

This first week caught me a little off guard, as our CSA hasn't started up yet this year (next week!), so we headed over to the Arlington Farmer's Market yesterday to rustle up some local grub. The results were delicious, but a little mixed on the strictly local front. Let's just say I've found some holes in my pantry that are going to take a little more digging to fill. All distances below are from my door. Without further ado, we ate:

  • Sauteed chard from Wheatland Vegetable Farms (just up the road from my natal home!) in Wheatland, VA (37.95 miles)

  • A pesto-ish sauce made of garlic scapes from Wheatland Vegetable Farms (37.95 miles) and basil and parsley from the backyard (0 miles)

  • Baby lamb loin chops from EcoFriendly Foods, Inc. (Emerald Family Farms) in Moneta, VA (206 miles)

And for dessert:

Everything was really really yummy, so yummy that I can't pick a favorite element of the meal. But I think I may need to find another source for meat. The 206 miles to Moneta and EcoFriendly Foods is too far for the challenge-- I'm going to try to keep to the 100 mile radius rule if I can. I'll have to see if my cousin Sara has any beef left for by-the-cut orders, and I'll have to go to the Loudoun farmers' markets when I'm out that way to see what they have. That, or eat vegetarian for these meals, as we normally do anyway. This sure was a nice celebration meal to kick off the summer, though.

Local items that I need to pick up:

  • Cheese. I should have bought some at the farmers' market; there was much available. It would have made that pesto tastier.
  • Flour. Duh. (This is my family's business. Those of you who know me in real life are probably laughing pretty hard at me over this one...)

Items that I need to find a local source for:

  • Milk, cream and butter. Anyone have any leads on these? There may have been some at the Arlington market, but if so, I missed it. Earlier this year we found a local buying club for raw milk. I'm sure it's fine and delicious, but I'm not sure I'm ready to go that far yet. I'll stick with pasteurization for the time being.
  • Sugar. I don't know enough about this one, either.

I think that with those ingredients I'll be able to make some pretty spectacular things this summer. I'm looking forward to it!

3 comments:

Nicole said...

Wow, I can't believe how green that pesto is! I just harvested my garlic scapes, so maybe I'll try to make the pesto - it's so pretty!

Tiffany said...

Hi there! I am in the DC area too (Alexandria, VA). Have you ever checked out the Del Ray market on Saturdays? They have a great meat vendor: Smith Meadows Farm (www.smithmeadows.com). It looks like they may be at Arlington Courthouse market on Saturdays as well (from their websites listing of markets).
If you ever venture downtown, the DuPont farmers market on Sundays has Blue Ridge Dairy (great cheese and butter) as well as Keswick Creamery (milk, yogurt, other dairy products).

Louise said...

Nicole: Not only was the pesto very green, it was very yummy!

Tiffany: Thanks for the tips on meat and dairy-- they should be very helpful! I'll have to make an effort to get to Del Ray and/or Dupont.