Tuesday, September 1, 2009

So It Begins...

September 1st, the first day of my second annual Local Foods Challenge. I'm up late working on food for tomorrow...went to the Alberta Street Co-op tonight to look for a few more local things--I was hoping to find walnuts and black beans, but no such luck. It's pinto beans and hazelnuts for us until the Saturday Farmer's Market where I hope to find another source of vegetarian protein. (There's always the Tillamook Medium Cheddar Baby Loaf, but I'm trying not to count on cheese for ALL of my protein.)

These are the local grains I've found:

Rye, whole grain and flour
Wheat, whole grain and both white and whole wheat flours
Farro, whole grain (a favorite for soups and grain salads)
Wild rice

Local beans:

Only pinto so far, but I've found cranberry beans, white beans, "sulfur beans", black beans, and a few other varieties in the past so I'm hopeful that I'll track down some other legumes.

Local nuts and seeds:

Pumpkin seeds (shelled)
I hope to find walnuts too. They're all over the street, but I'd like for someone else to get the green shells off for me if possible.

Local dairy products:

This one's easy. I have a milkman from Noris Dairy who brings me milk and yogurt every week, and there are so many good local cheeses at the Farmer's Market and in stores. I'm a fan of Fraga Farms' creamy chevre and goat feta. Plus Tillamook and Bandon are both only about three hours' drive from here, so their cheap 2-pound blocks of cheddar are always a good option. There's also my favorite butter, Rose Valley Organic.

Local vegetables:

In season now we have just about everything, including good staples like potatoes, turnips, beets, cauliflower, and carrots. Winter and summer squash, all kinds of salad and cooking greens, mountains of tomatoes, onions, garlic, you name it, it's available.

Local fruits:

Prune plums are coming in and a couple of other late plum varieties, Bartlett pears are dropping off the trees, a lot of apples are getting ripe, local grapes are just showing up in the markets, some fig varieties are getting ripe now, and Asian pears are also ready to eat. I've also got some dried and frozen peaches and frozen blackberries that I'm excited to eat.

Prepared foods:

I'll be baking bread, biscuits, and so on starting tomorrow. We have some apple-pear sauce that I made tonight. And in honor of National Trail Mix Day, some cherry-hazelnut-pumpkin seed trail mix. Also a little bit of hazelnut butter that would be good on apple slices. And I've got the crock pot going with some very coarsely ground grains which I hope will turn into porridge by morning!

Wish us luck, and if anyone else is up for joining the September Local Food Challenge please comment with tips and your experiences!

Happy Trail Mix!

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