Category Archives: Local Food Year

Next on My Table…

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 8.48.06 AMLast year when I drove my daughter to Zoo Camp, she seemed distraught, her eyebrows lowered and I asked how she was feeling. Bittersweet, she said as she looked wistfully out the window of the skyscrapers flashing by.

I smiled back, nodding my understanding to her in the rearview mirror, while tasting what the word meant:
Excited.
Nervous.
Happy.
Uncertain.

My then 6-year old had selected a word that encapsulates all that I have felt recently as I have made big changes in my business.

Before my daughter was even a wee embryo, I dreamed and schemed up a plan to change the way the world experiences food by teaching others how to eat with the seasons by creating a new seasonal meal plan every week.

I found an incredible developer who was excited about my plan. I learned the basics of taking food photos. I fell more deeply into writing: free form, recipes, meal plan intros, copywriting.

My daughter was born. We moved to Arizona. We settled into an inspired community of local food lovers. We moved back to Colorado. I gave birth to my son.

Every week, despite the roller coaster of my life with little ones, without fail, I wrote a meal plan. To you. To whomever was reading.

In many ways, I probably sat back a bit too much without real intention, hoping to just be ‘discovered’, dreaming of someone simply taking over the marketing so my gamble of business would actually sustain my family rather than strain it. There were glimmers of that possibility: a write up on oprah.com, a quote on bonappetit.com.

Honestly, some weeks, I didn’t want to write the meal plan, while some weeks it was the perfect refuge from sticky fingers and a house stubbornly refusing to clean itself.  (Seriously, when will it learn how to do that!?)

Getting out from under the question: Am I stay-at-home with a business or a business woman who stays home was tricky, elusive. I am neither, I am both.

Nearly two years ago, my daughter had a seizure that in retrospect shook me awake and everything shifted, especially my own lens of life. Through endless therapy: journaling, reading, dancing, sweating, talking, listening, waiting, meditating, crying, reckoning, my perspective switch made me realize that motherhood and a struggling business, had not fully swallowed me up. Somehow, my creative self was still in there, longing for the next leaves to pop out so I may embrace even more goodness.

With this changed awareness and feeling a bit more alive to my original desires to change the way we all experience food, I realized I need to be my own agent of that change.

It is not simple enough to hand the world a meal plan every week and say:
your turn now GO:
Shop.
Cook.
You’ve got this.
I gave you the meal plan… so, you can do it yourself!

Personally, I craved living deeply with the seasons, closely connected to the earth and as locally as possible. We all come to the table with different needs, and I realized I needed to tap deeper into my own in order to have a clue how to share what I know with others. Because whatever was happening with Lilly’s Table wasn’t fully working. A new meal plan every week wasn’t enough.

Talking to my husband and then our children about my craving, they signed up without delay to our year of eating locally, as close to our Colorado food system as possible.

Taking on this challenge, continued to tug on my heart that Lilly’s Table and my relationship to it, needed to change as well. A few months ago, I made a decision and it has been unraveling ever since.

When I spoke to my savvy web Developer Grant Blakeman, we discussed the options:

1. Shut it down, delete it from the internet. Poof. Gone. It would no longer exist.
2. Lower the payment point.
3. Open it up and make it free.

My logical side said without a doubt, door number two, lowering the payment point is the way to go. Makes sense, right? We discussed the logistics, but he encouraged me to think it over before making a final decision.

As soon as Grant and I got off our call, my heart shouted loudly to me, nearly ringing in my ears: Open. It. Up.

Taken a back by the difference between my mind and my heart, I decided to go for a run and with the mile high sunshine bright on me, I started to hear louder truths:

It is time for Lilly’s Table to be a gift to the world. Give it away. Please be a part of it and sign up for all of what I have created in the last seven years.

While I put as much as possible into it the last seven years, it’s release will make room for something more. Something better. Something I have no clue about. Yet.

Navigating the journey to open up continues to not disappoint. Weeks later an irresistible opportunity arose. A dream gig for me. I found myself following its lead, which brought with it two fabulous women who share my desires for a beautiful change in our local food world.

We daydreamed together, we worked actively and quickly to follow the roller coaster of a path that would feed our desires through a corporate structure that made us all feel legitimate. Validated. Then in one phone call the plan seemed to implode. Poof.

Momentarily crushed, over a bottle of wine, fresh sourdough and plenty of butter we realized that our collaboration was the best part of this bumpy road we had forged together.

We bandaged up our dreams, sifted through our motivations, and composted it all as we planted seeds of something new.

With the opening of Lilly’s Table recently, by allowing it to receive a bit less of my attention, I want to introduce you to my newest garden.

To start, if you want to support my effort to leave Lilly’s Table available as a free gift to the world, I still have to fund it’s existence. I am eager to explore various new ways to bring in revenue and to start I created another eCookbook: The Spring Meal Plan. Your purchase of this eBook means everything for my creative efforts and pursuits. Lilly’s Table will continue to tug on my wallet and with your support, you allow me to keep this gift of the meal planning service alive.

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Next, I am thrilled to introduce you to my newest partner and kindred spirit, Lee Stiffler-Meyer. Her heart-lead interviews, thoughts on life and inspired eye through her photos can all be found at her online space, Let the Light In Studio. Pull up a cup of tea and get cozy with this appetizer of my dear friend and collaborator’s work.

Lee is daring to daydream with me and together we have been busy bees creating a project called The Reimagined Table. To highlight the photos we love to take, recipes we want to create, stories we hope to tell and the gardens of life that we want to build, you can find us on Instagram. We are forging a journey together and as this path lays before us, like a wild garden, we are uncertain of how exactly it will take shape.
Honestly, that is the most exciting part about it.

In this new collaboration, Lee and I decided our shared obsession with Podcasts needed to be revealed through our own voices. The Reimagined Table Podcast is now available! In weekly episodes we chat about our shared love of creativity, local food, community, culture, society, spirituality, motherhood, gardening, and more. While we will chat together often, we will also share interviews with our favorite visionaries who are changing the way we all live on this planet. We hope to see you gather around this new table of ours.

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There are many places to follow our collaboration. Please sign up now for your favorite way to experience the internet:

Receive a Weekly Email updating you about the podcast including a recipe and archived meal plan from Lilly’s Table
Instagram — This is the space to see all our pretty pics of our creative, local food and community projects. As well as photos of our guests.
The Reimagined Table Facebook Group — Want to talk about all of our favorite topics with us? This is the place to do it.
iTunes — please subscribe on iTunes and include us in your weekly rotation of podcasts!

Finally, thank you for being a part of this adventure, whether you are just starting with me or you have been following me for years. My desires to leave the world a bit brighter and more beautiful than it is today can only happen through community and all of us gathering around to lift up this possibility! I am humble with gratitude that all of this goodness is happening.

With Love,

Lilly

Reap what you sow as long as you let go…

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One of my first gardens, tucked in a sunny spot of a shady backyard in Seattle, had a tomato. Patiently I waited for this first fruit to change colors…. willing myself to not pick it until it was the bloodiest of reds. When the fateful moment arrived, my tomato had been selected by another creature who hid their thievery from me by nibbling on the back hidden side.

Oh, the disappointment.

There have also been the encouraging carrots with fat orange hats above ground that you finally pull only to realize they have grown an incredible… inch. And don’t even get me started about tomatillos! Dripping with bulbous green lanterns as you stand with basket in hand hours before the first frost is to arrive and there is absolutely no significant fruit inside those papery promises.

Sigh.

All that work, digging, mending, sowing, tending only to be diminished when the harvest wasn’t exactly what you anticipated when you first planted that seed many months ago. Well, now there is a metaphor I cannot let slide by. Much of my life has been work, hit the grindstone, work, plant a seed, more work, sweat and tears only to see the fruit is odd, misshapen, missing in action or quite a bit different than that original dream. How are you supposed to be grateful when you are also a tad disappointed? Or maybe the right word is… bewildered?

Because there is also purslane. Technically most gardeners consider it a weed, but don’t tell that to the up and coming hot chefs. Purslane takes over many a garden including my own, but harvested, cleaned up and bundled with golden string it became a hit at a recent farm stand. It is succulent in texture, with almost a lemony undertone. It is a superfood with rising popularity and it is being sold for several dollars more than the one buck I was asking for my wee bundles.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-3-40-36-pmTalking up purslane’s magic while selling them at the farm stand wasn’t hard either. It is a micro green that can be cooked with eggs or it holds up nicely in salads. Stick it in a smoothie and it will thicken your drink into goodness. Or go Mexican with it. Call it verdalagos and create a beautiful traditional dish by the same name.

Despite any disappointments or confusions at harvest time, look closely as your garden (or maybe your life?) probably has other plans for you if you dare to keep present, keep looking and more importantly keep sowing. If you don’t plan any seeds, you will never be in the garden seeking to harvest.

A few years ago, we brought seeds back from Arizona. These sacred desert covenants seemed perfect for our new Rocky Mountain dry climate, and we figured we could simply water them less. All of our attempts to emulate Tucson were foiled by a rather wet and cool season. This fortunately tamed any drought threats to our state so in the end we were more grateful than not, but it was sad to feel our seeds were wasted. We had invested so much love into the beans, chiles and squash we were attempting.  

One of the plants we grew is called Ha:l from the Tohono O’dom tribe of the Sonoran desert. We were thrilled when it reached across our yard, twirling itself up to our porch and then all the way back to our driveway. It was a monstrous mammoth, taking over our garden covered in bright flowers and itty-bitty fruits full of promise. And then, one by one the fruits would make it to about two inches only to rot and die off. We shrugged, trimmed it back and figured Colorado was just too moist for this precious arid beauty.

Fast forward two years and we now have a ‘squash’ plant entangling itself throughout the yellow straight neck and cocozelle zucchini. A few weeks ago the fruit formed, round and glorious, neither zucchini nor pumpkin, but suspiciously reminiscent of those little cuties that were doomed back in 2014.img_6965

I sent our dear Tucson farming buddies a picture of the fruit. He responded there is a good chance it was indeed the Ha:l. He also mentioned that the leaves when mature get white splotches. Bingo! This beauty of a plant in fact has almost white stain glass throughout its leaves. Finally, I sliced up a fruit and tasted what I remembered in Tucson, texture and disposition of zucchini, but with a slight sweetness that is hard to miss. I plan to harvest the smallest fruits for a time, but as the Tohono O’dom do, I plan to leave some fruits for a late harvest once the shell has hardened and it has become pumpkin-like. The two-for-one delight of this plant is what has me beyond grateful to receive this volunteer in our garden.

If you are new to gardening please take heart, we are newbies as well, but we keep coming back to the soil with increasing hope. We had no intentions to grow Ha:l this year and quite frankly after the confusion two years ago and lack of easy access to their seeds, we weren’t planning to try again, but the garden is certainly a place where tiny miracles seem to come and go. As long as you are able to relax into the idea that planting a dream is risky business with the timeline and outcome not yours to dictate. Keep the soil rich, tend, mend, and allow your wildest hopes to slowly take root as something glorious will eventually come to fruition. 

Reflections on June… our first month of Local Food.

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Loving his Rhubarb Yogurt Parfait Snack

The first month of our local food year was beautiful, trying and full of a few surprises as well. We have received so many questions about it so far that I am excited to share what felt great and what we are still working to improve. It should be worth noting that while I love to plan and write lists and figure out all the details in advance, this adventure has had some outlining, but it was more about diving in and seeing what might transpire.

At the start, we quickly realized we needed to gobble up the existing food in our kitchen even if it was lacking local origin. This was a bit of a godsend as the month was busy with two different camps that kept the kids and I driving around the metro area every day for a couple of weeks and because fruit and vegetables are not quite abundant yet. I really thought we would have finished all of this non-local food by now, but we are still nibbling away on a few things.

The month also felt rather ‘built around meat‘. I realize the Standard American Diet practically requires meat at nearly every meal, but our family’s normal diet is a bit more on the semi-vegetarian side. Personally, while our delicious grass-fed beef and a handful of other options have been delightful, I plan to embrace more beans that I have been acquiring recently. Both for the sake of our tummies and our wallets.IMG_6187

In many ways, I have felt strapped to the kitchen. I have a feeling this is no surprise to most of you. I hesitate to lay this out as a complaint, but seriously dining out once a week (or more!?) has been missed by both of us if only for the break from cooking and cleaning. Part of this is because I have felt seriously uncertainty about the food that is coming and going. I must humbly share that I have not been effectively meal planning. I feel a bit ashamed to admit this publicly, since I meal plan as a profession, but, the transition to all local has thrown off my game. July is leaving me a lot of hope that if I make one change, just one significant improvement, it is to focus on meal planning. For reals!

As much as we miss the break offered by dining out, we do NOT miss the food received from restaurants. We have enjoyed some incredibly satisfying, goofy smile producing, do a little food dance in celebration meals. In many ways this was a driving force of this whole year. To be forced into creative new meals and ways of eating. This has been the best part by far.

IMG_6220Some of our favorite meals, include:
Meatball Sliders
Grilled Asparagus + Garlic Scape Potato Salad
Whole Wheat Tortillas stuffed with beans + grilled veggies
Sourdough Waffles (OMG… where have these been our whole lives!?)
Veggie Packed Sloppy Joes (tasty, but so simple to make no wonder lunch ladies love these!)
Lentil + Beet Salad
Rhubarb Coffee Cake

The kids favorites:
Eggs in a Hole
Strawberry Steamers
Donut Muffins stuffed with Creme Fraiche + Grape Jelly
Peanut Butter + Honey Ice Cream
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Pancakes ‘in shapes’
Homemade Pickles (made by our visiting Tucson buddies!)
Cherries (not a meal, but their faces have become permanently stained, so worth noting their love)

We have also explored our food system in cool ways. On the second day of our Local Food Year, we drove to the Western Slope of Colorado. It made us reevaluate what we eat when we travel and I wrote about it here.

IMG_6268The kids and I also went berry picking twice. The first time came in the nick of time before our son’s 3rd birthday. Strawberry is his favorite for pretty much anything and thank goodness his birthday was the day after the first strawberry picking day at the Berry Patch Farm. The cake was delightful, all-local and sweetened only with honey.

We had a couple of meals with friends this first month and what was so delightful was how they were eager to figure out this local food thing with us. Our first meal with friends they brought the most delicious meat from their Uncle’s ranch that we grilled into burgers. Then dear friends were brave enough to have us over for dinner at their house where they served a gorgeous grilled Tri-Tip from Western Daughters, Fruition Cheese, a salad from their garden, tomatoes and we brought the Grilled Asparagus + Garlic Scape Potato Salad.

We also camped for about 24+ hours with our farming friends from Tucson who were visiting. They made homemade Colorado pickles and we collaborated on several meals including a Sausage Dinner made under a tarp in a heavy downpour, a scrumptious local Lentil + Potato Salad, a veggie hash with scrambled eggs for breakfast and a couple of lunches featuring local goodness and veggies to go on top of my Honey Whole Wheat Sourdough.

The garden was coming along quite nicely, we were excited about the possibilities and then we were hit hard by hail. We were not wiped out, but heartsick as we were excited to rely on our own produce. Fortunately, there are farms beyond our small area that were not damaged and we can continue to buy produce as needed. We are also starting to see some leaves that are giving us hope.

This is what we missed the most in our first month:
Xerxes: Convenience. Being able to buy food in a pinch.
Juliette: Sweet Cow (our favorite nearby ice cream shop)
Zed: Kombucha (This is confusing as we actually have been drinking it on occasion. 3-year olds are goofballs!)
Lilly: Eating out occasionally to take a cooking break.

What we most loved in June:
Xerxes: Sourdough Waffles and the delicious steaks + burgers
Juliette: Homemade Ice Creams
Zed: Homemade Ice creams and Yogurt Parfaits (see top photo).
Lilly: Whole Wheat Tortilla Tacos (although, I think I am going to make them sourdough soon) and the Grilled Asparagus + Garlic Scape Potato Salad

Things I am still figuring out and plan to work on in July:
snack plans for the kids
meal planning!
sourdough everything… well, if it is wheat based, but seriously those waffles made me want to sourdough everything up!

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Donut Muffins Filled with Creme Fraiche + Grape Jelly

What questions do you have about our first month of eating local?

Heal after Hail.

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Onions torn apart by our June hailstorm.

Through this local food year, gaining wisdom around food and life is one of our many desires. It feels much of this can only be attained through a full dive-in experience, allowing the good with the bad. We planted our garden in between all of the cool and nearly freezing days of May, only to experience the heatwave that was June.

Our garden responded in kind and it was only in the last week that I thought… yup, I think we might get some deliciousness soon as I spied the first teeny cucumbers and peppers. We even harvested our first three cherry tomatoes, popping them in our mouth and tasting the juice of a promise: summer has arrived.

I am not sure we fancy ourselves ‘farmers’ although several friends grant us this title. That being said, a couple evenings ago we felt one of the many hardships that a farmer endures. The devastation of weather.

Just writing that makes me tear up a bit. Not because our garden has been completely wiped out, but because I know that as intense and abusive as that hailstorm felt with its sideways wind, rain and the golfballs ricocheting against anything they touch, rather, I know how often weather is much worse for a farmer whose livelihood depends on their land.

I do not feel sadness because of my own loss, rather looking at our coleslaw of a garden I think of farmers past and present whose crops have been completely eliminated by the unforeseen. That depth of empathy, swallows me up as I assess the damage that is thankfully not that awful.

The truth is that hail, tornados, wind, fire, hurricanes, heat waves and all the possible or impossible seeming storms, are a part of life for a farmer, but as humans we have our own disasters that strike in large or small ways. When life is torn down, the force to start over gives fuel to the next attempt. And that is the important part, to rise up and try again.

A friend a few houses away commented about how the plants have become mulch for his garden. I was struck by his quick thought to honor this moment and recognize that while us modern gardeners can easily find mulch to buy, nature loves to get in and assist when possible. Actually, even before this storm, composting the devastation has been on my mind a lot as I consider recent dramas both personal and global. Finding ways to mulch our catastrophe can create the nutrients needed for the next harvest, or the next life cycle of growth.

The morning of the storm, when all was well in our gardens, I emailed a friend inquiring as to whether she had any produce to share at my city’s farmers market for our little Neighbor to Market stand. She responded that late evening letting me know she was wiped out by the hail. Then she said “I expect that with some time and lots of love, there will be plenty of offerings.” As I look below the chopped up foliage and leaves, I see that for some plants they had tented the baby growth below. Through that young growth, our garden will rebuild itself. But really…

Time and lots of love.  Isn’t that what everything needs to heal?

Traveling Local Food!

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Brie + Jam Sandwiches as we drove up into the mountains!

On the 2nd day of our local food year, we thought, hey- this isn’t challenging enough, let’s drive 5 hours out of town and see how we manage. I suppose that wasn’t really the motivation, but that sarcastic phrase kept popping up in my head as I packed nearly every morsel we would consume on this trip.

Actually, Xerxes volunteered to help build the largest low-income solar installation in the state of Colorado through GRID Alternatives. That was the true motivation, but to get his family on board to join his adventure, he enticed me with promises of tasting local Colorado wines and hitting the Farmers Market in Montrose.

The original plan was to go camping, but when we attempted to get a site with the other GRID volunteers we had an awkward encounter with the owner who refused to let us camp because we had small children. There is a scary river nearby apparently. Our kids were disappointed until we promised a hotel with a pool instead.

As this promise was made, I suddenly had visions of standing in a hotel parking lot cooking up eggs, bacon + coffee on our Coleman and wondering again… what were we thinking!? 

But, after some more planning we actually had some of the best travel food we have ever enjoyed. I started by making way too many sausage size Honey Whole Wheat Sourdough Rolls which served not only the local brats + sauerkraut we had one evening, but sliced thin they become perfect little breads to top with the local cheese + salami I stocked up on at St. Killians in Denver. There was also a bag of baby lettuce from our greenhouse that we nursed through various types of sandwiches up until the last meal on our drive home.

For breakfasts in the hotel we had slices of bread with butter, hardboiled eggs and yogurt with apricot honey puree a friend gave me from last year’s harvest. For the coffee, Xerxes brought his personal sized press pot from work that we filled with hot water we simmered in the room’s coffee pot. Alas I forgot milk for the coffee, so we decided a slight slip up with hotel creamer wouldn’t hurt. But, it made our otherwise delightful coffee seriously nasty, so I opted for black and was quite content. I always thought that hotel coffee was bad because of the beans, but apparently the creamer punishes the entire cup as well. (BTW- coffee has fallen on the exception list, that I will be writing up in a post soon!)

We had a few non-local items join us as well since per my last post we decided to eat rather than trash them, but for the most part it was a very local travel food supply.

While in Montrose, we hit up a great little indoor market that had some local cheeses (hey- cheddar!) and other goodies. Then on Saturday while Xerxes was volunteering, we went to the Farmers Market which was small but mighty with a limited selection of beautiful spring produce. I bought a bag of snap peas for each of my kiddos and they followed along after me munching away delighted. The kids also selected a small bag of dehydrated local fruit they enjoyed on the drive back, while I took some dry strawberries that are still on standby in my purse. I also snagged up some gorgeous pine nuts, a bundle of radishes, a freshly ground bag of colorful cornmeal and a couple pounds of itty-bitty popcorn kernels that I can’t wait to see all fluffed up.

We also chatted with a local hog farmer and he invited us back to his farm later that afternoon to meet the baby piglets. More on that adventure later!IMG_6103We tried some lovely wines as well and were blessed with a sale on some of our favorites so we have a little stock of Colorado wines to enjoy throughout this season and probably next.

Probably the goofiest part was in the final hours of our drive back through the mountains, as the sun set Xerxes decided coffee would help him stay alert through the winding roads. Understandable, right!? As we pondered the possibilities of pulling out the Coleman, I suggested we just grab some hot water from a gas station and fill the press pot. Not long after this whim of a suggestion, I was stealthily walking out of the convenience mart with a steaming mini press pot of coffee and a bag of ice for our rapidly melting cooler. Even though all I was grabbing was essentially no more than 3 pints of water in various states of matter, all in my own containers, it felt a bit like I was in violation… of what I am not sure.

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It wasn’t the longest trip, but in that final meal, at the fabulous rest stop with Solar Panel Flowers and a playground, as we scrounged together the odds and ends of all the weekend’s food, we both found ourselves feeling pretty blessed that this initial trip was so delicious and fairly uncomplicated.

Do you pack nearly all your food for road trips or do you wing it with a cooler and stops at restaurants?

May our local food adventure continue! If you want to see quick and periodic snap shots of our adventure follow us on Instagram or join our Facebook Group.

Cheers,

Lilly

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Let’s Talk About Food Waste + Going Local

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A few of our non-local foods we are working through…

The weeks leading up to our local food year, we were most focused on checking off all the restaurants where we will not get to eat for the year. In the month of May, I did my best to only buy local food with the exception of a few things we just knew we would miss (such as our fave cheeses!) knowing we would gobble up them up within days. Never the less, when the first day of our big year arrived, we still had a LOT of non-local food leftover.
What to do, what to do!?

In the United States, it is estimated up to 40% of safe, good to eat food is never consumed. 40 million tons of that food goes directly into landfills where instead of decomposing as it would if this food was composted or better yet given to those who could eat it, this tossed food converts into methane and becomes a potent greenhouse gas. Double jeopardy.

Even though all of my family’s food waste goes to our happy hens in our backyard, it still seemed crazy to give them food that was otherwise good enough for my family to eat. The list of random leftovers included:

From the fridge:
a bag of carrots
a half bag of shredded mozzarella
a nub of St. Andre’s brie… (my cheese weakness– oh will I miss you!)
mayo

From the pantry:
flours
random grains
nice sustainably caught tuna + sardines (we’ll replace with Colorado Trout, hopefully)
onions + a little garlic
sweet potatoes
some random nuts + dried fruit, these seem worth keeping as fruit season slowly enters and we figure out what our nut + seed situation might be (more on that in another post!)

We discussed tossing all the unwanted food, starting fresh and not looking back. But, since our efforts are to eat food that is produced with less energy it suddenly seemed tricky, even if this food would end up in our chickens’ bellies and subsequently in our eggs. It still seemed worth finishing our own food.

So, here we go. Over a week into our local food year and we are still eating a fair share of non-local items, but this little crutch has helped as I am busy making bread, salads, treats, breakfasts, packing snacks + lunches, dinners and all of it pretty much from scratch. There will continue to be non-local items that I am eager to discuss as we finalize the exceptions (such as olive oil!) but it has been kind of nice to slowly wean ourselves away rather than dumping out perfectly good food.

We do have some opened bottles of ketchup, yellow mustard and a few other condiments that we plan to give to friends. There are also a few items I plan to drop off at a Food Bank. We are pretty comfortable with this decision to eat the ends of our non-local items, but we welcome alternative suggestions!

We also would love to hear how you deal with food waste in your home and how you feel about the vast quantity of food waste in developed countries. For more information on food waste check out this website: End Food Waste Now for some fascinating fun facts. Also, if you don’t already compost food that you can no longer eat, it is one of the easiest things you can do to help reduce methane. If you are hesitant to compost, let’s chat about the possibilities on our newly formed Facebook Group: LocalFood.Love just click to join and we’ll add you in!

Thanks for being a part of our Local Food Year journey… we appreciate your support,

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Utah Onions are not from Colorado ;-)

Lilly

Almost to our Year of Local Food

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It is the night before our Local Food Year begins and I think it is time to admit, I am getting nervous. Or as my overly positive husband likes to say… You know what nervousness is, right!? Excitement in disguise. Recently, I read somewhere that fear is excitement without the breath, so I am trying to breath into the possibilities of this year without listening to all the naysayers, especially those nasty little voices in my head.

The what were we thinking? question has been coming up especially frequently as we attempt to unload or gobble up food that we won’t be eating for the year, figure out what we will actually eat starting on June 1st and then pack up for a camping trip soon after all the while not super certain about what we are eating for the 8+ meals that I will be cooking on the side of the road, campsite and in a hotel parking lot. This is also compounded by the rather limited produce in Colorado at the start of June– basically, we have lettuce and herbs. I could whine for days, but thankfully we will be tasting some Colorado wines in the near future to help bring a bit of delight to the start of our year.

In finishing up our year of normal food, we have dined out at an embarrassingly high rate. Every time shrugging it off with It’s gonna be a loooong while until we go here again. And no, that stomach ache from yesterday’s restaurant experience is totally gone… at least for the last five minutes. The two+ weeks of this sudo-mardi gras has been quite the binge!  

Meanwhile, I have been letting myself roll around in the fear + uncertainty of this upcoming year, drowning it in the convenience foods I claim I will miss. We shall see what I will actually miss! Sifting through that insanity, I also find myself ready to surrender to the possibilities. There very well be some crazy moments, awkward social encounters, random food decisions and even some unprepared growling bellies, but the intention will still be there.

Through this intention of discovering the source of our food and celebrating our Colorado Food System, I am looking forward to new answers to new questions. I am craving what you discover when you narrow your food system down to that which is grown within a limited proximity and uses only an essential amount of resources to produce. This is something rarely experienced in our modern American culture, but it is something that shaped communities past and continues to shape many societies around the world.

As I get nervous… err… excited about this year, I am trying to focus on what we will GET to eat rather than all of the convenience foods we will miss (so long prepackaged pasta and sliced bread– it’s been fun!) I also spent a small fortune on some local cheese + salami today to help toast us into the new year, but realized that is not financially sustainable at all. Thankfully, we have some other long term strategies in mind, including limiting our cheese consumption and making our own. There is some creme fraiche and yogurt being cultured in the kitchen as I type! Also, the dramatically discounted bulk flour was an upfront investment, but as I make more bread and baked goods, I think we will go through it quickly.

I hope as the anxiety of all the year’s ‘what ifs’ come and go, this journey will be full of more pleasant surprises than not. As it is, we have had so much support from friends who are ‘eager to follow our adventure’, which inspires me to not give up before we have begun… but, seriously folks, I have been tempted!

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