Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Three Months, 300 Miles Starts Today

By: Mikaila, Earth Ministry Intern

“Unseasonably anxious”, I noted to myself, “I am unseasonably anxious today, but why?” As a recent graduate summer is not predictably a time of high stress. Yet today marks the beginning of a very big project for us here at Earth Ministry. As Jessie Dye announced a few weeks back we are holding our very own Three Months, 300 Miles food challenge starting….today!!

If you’re like Jessie you’ve probably taken a food challenge of this sort. Thus today’s task may seem like the natural next step. But, as you already know, this challenge makes me…well anxious.

I have appreciated the fruit of regional food systems over the last few years, but never taken on a pantry makeover. Thankfully, I realized that many of you may be in the same position! With Regional Food Challenge Veteran Jessie Dye speaking for the more experienced participants I am ready to take my place as…

The Rookie

So here I am, prepared to talk about all of the obstacles and challenges of eating within 300 miles for three months for the first time.

I'd like to share some guidelines that I’ve set for myself:

- Start off slow: I will be working up to a full regional diet throughout the 3 months period which means I am not going to panic about that dusty can of condensed coconut milk in the back of my cupboard.

- Live the challenge with grace: I hope to see this as an opportunity to become more connected to regional food systems, and not a time to berate myself for the ways I “mess up”.

- Prepare for time, ahead of time: I anticipate the biggest challenge for me will be adjusting my expectation of how long it takes to go shopping. I will need to find local farmers markets and travel there for the first time as well as peruse for local products in stores. At first this will take more time, but I want to remember that it is an investment and will only get easier!

- Be available to YOU: Not sure where to start looking for regional cheese? Check out Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, located in Pike Place Market. Tell us about those difficult-to-find products and other obstacles and we’ll try to help you out!

As we enter July 1st and our first day of the Three Months, 300 Miles food challenge I am assigning myself some homework (forgive me…I seem to miss school already!) Feel free to take it on too, perhaps as a first step!

1) Find a farmers market near me with the 2008 Puget Sound Fresh Farm Guide.

2) Visit Sustainable Ballard’s website and see what great regional products they’ve already found.

3) Buy three regional products and share them with you!

Unseasonably anxious no more, I look forward to sharing this challenge with all of you!

Signing off until my next post,

The Rookie
Mikaila Gawryn
Earth Ministry Intern

No comments: