Buy Local, EAT local

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by Sonnyjim, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. Sonnyjim

    Sonnyjim Prepping

    There was another thread on here that was getting into this and I figured I'd start another thread on it, although I'm sure there have been a few on it.

    We always talk about 'buying' local when we can. For me in Canada, buying local is literally local, like in town when I can(ie. veg,fruits,meats, stores). If I can't do that, then provincially is better, and ofcourse then anything else in Canada. However, to me buying local is also supporting the US if I can't buy Canadian. We are all in this together and live in the same continent so what affects you guys affects us.

    Anyways, I thought I would post this link here. Ottawa Valley Food Co-op - Home

    What it is, is all the local farmers and vendors are members of this local group and you can go online and order products from them, where they are then shipped on a predetermined date to a local spot(our solar power place in town) where you can pick them up. Have you ever asked, "do you know what goes into your food?"... well this site tells you exactly what the animals are eating. Many of the farms are close to off the grid and use self sufficient means of running their operation. They tell you what they feed their animals(much of it local and organic) so you know you're not eating a bunch of chemicals in your meat and you know EXACTLY where it comes from. They all have links to their site and many have blogs about their operation so you really get connected to them.

    Well just thought I would throw that out there. For those of us that don't have hobby farms or live off the grid yet and want to support local, this is as local as you can get. I don't know if you guys also have something like this in your towns/cities but it's a great idea. If you guys get a chance, check out the site, it's great and I'm glad I found it(4.50lb local smoked bacon).
  2. SaskBound

    SaskBound Well-Known Member

    Here in central Alberta, we have used the local Farmer's Markets to make connections. We also researched local U-pick and market garden operations. The trick with buying and eating local is having the ability to store large quantities of stuff. For instance, we normally buy one and a half bags (around 90 pounds) of Taber sweetcorn when it comes into season in the late summer. We blanch it, cut it off the cob, and vacuum pack it for freezing in 2-cup packages. This is our year's supply of corn. With raspberries, we pick about 40 pounds at a local U-pick, can about 10 pounds of pints in heavy syrup for desserts, and freeze the rest in one cup packages (vacuum packed) for smoothies. We buy beets and turnips as late as we can in the season, and keep them in the cold room downstairs. All of this takes up a lot of space and requires a significant amount of planning ahead.

    It also means being willing to eat a fairly seasonal diet (meat, root veggies, squash, and grain and beans in the winter; eggs, salads, fruit, berries, and fresh legumes in the summer), which takes some getting used to. It can certainly be done, though.

  3. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

    We certainly try to buy and eat as local as we can.
    I grow a big garden every year and can and freeze and dehydrate as much as we can. Things that I have trouble growing I buy from the local roadside stand and we also process quite a bit of their produce as the price is outstanding(think .50¢ for a bunch of broccoli, and .40¢ a bell pepper of any color they come in!)

    But I do know that in the winter here in MI one of the big box stores(by the way was started in the town I shop in so is kinda local) has tomatoes and those long English hothouse cucumbers and they are about 95% of the time from Canada! So we are helping their economy too! I did a google on the label and it was from right across the river from MI in about the middle of the peninsula there in the south of Ontario.
    But this is what I think when I am eating a tomato or cucumber in the winter from Canada (which is not all the time, just when we have a special dinner or they are on very good sales) --Why can't we grow tomatoes and cucumbers like this where we are? And why doesn't every state have greenhouses to grow these nice products? I know that there are tons of greenhouse complexes here in MI- I used to work for one. Sure there is not that much down time from the flower trade but there are about 3 months that these greenhouses are dormant- I am wondering why we couldn't just minimally heat them and grow out even the cold tolerent greens and other fresh veggies like radishes and carrots etc. That don't need tropical heat to grow?
    I read a book and want to try this in my garden it is called the Four Season Harvest by elliot Coleman--sure it is a bit of work to get it going but what isn't?
  4. PopPop

    PopPop Well-Known Member

    If we did not have the influx of food grown elsewhere, we would starve! This is one of the things that has me worried. This is why I grow as much as I can. Where we live the agricultural base is focused on timber production. For many miles in all directions the small farms that produced meat, dairy and vegatable products, have been turned into pine plantations. I have cringed as good bottomland has been planted in pine trees and have often commented that we sure do need to figure out how to eat them! All of the land around my farm used to be used for cattle, corn or cotton, now it is all pine plantations. This is the case all over the southeast. Not good.
  5. CulexPipiens

    CulexPipiens Still waiting for the zombies.

    In the past we've bought from a local CSA which covered most veggie needs from June - November. This upcoming year we've decided to go it ourselves. We've got enough yard that we're going to try to grow enough to not only make it through fall, but to also put up enough to last us into next year's growing season. That and this past year the CSA made a lot of changes that have disappointed us.

    For breads and grains I'm also looking at trying a patch of wheat and getting a mill to make my own flour. Not sure how well that experiment will turn out but I have time to read up on it before spring.

    Dairy and meats are the only things we can't realistically do ourselves right now but the farmer I buy from I directly know. He is one state over and runs a buying club on a 2 week cycle. We all put in our orders and then the following week he brings the orders and we all meet up to get them. This takes care of most meats. So Dairy is the only item that we expect to have to continue store buying where they bring it in from who knows where.

    But for us, buying local extends out to more than just food too. Obviously buying Made in the US products, but also buying from local stores. Mom and Pop places when possible in an attempt to support the local community.

    We have shopped at our farmer market however when the people there are selling oranges and bananas and we are in the midwest, I don't see how it is a "local farmers market" anymore. While the seller might be local, the product isn't. Yes, I know it is hard to eliminate from your diet anything not organically grown within 50' of my house that died of natural causes... but seriously now... we try to at least make an effort to stay local. If SHTF on a national or global scale you'll have to be local. Knowing what grows or can be found in your area and how to keep and prepare it is a big first step.