We are entering our second year of being locavores. If you are new to our site, locavores for the most part, eat food that is grown or produced within 100 miles of their home. I would venture to guess that 75% of what we eat is grown here at Big Oak Ridge. We raise chickens, goats, vegetables and small fruits. We purchase raw milk and honey within 12 miles of our home. We have been purchasing flours and other organic products at Frankferd Farms which is about 60 miles from here.
We had had a few spots over the last year where our grand plan has failed…it is especially difficult to maintain locavoria when you have a large gathering or family party. When the children and grandchildren come and they are used to the “old” family recipes and request meals that we do not grow the ingredients for…well…sometimes we just give in to old traditions. After all, this isn’t a religion 🙂
Many people think we’re a bit crazy and some are interested in knowing more…but it can be extremely overwhelming to know where to start. Today I will give you a few tips on getting started.
1) Begin by assessing your diet and thinking about how you cook (or if you cook.) What do meals typically look like in your home? Is your food fresh, raw and local or does it come in boxes, bags and cans? You may to have to rethink how you shop and what you buy.
2) Buy food and not food-like substances. Buy ingredients and not pre-packaged meals.
3) Buy your meat from local sources not Mega-Mart. Find local sources of grass fed beef and pastured pork and poultry. Eat less meat and buy better quality. Buy local honey, eggs and raw milk. There is a list of available sellers on our Locavorium tab.
4) Grow what you can-Can what you grow. Even if you only have a small plot, grow as much as you can and learn to preserve it. If you cannot grow your own food, or not enough, seek out local vendors and purchase produce in season and preserve for winter months. We live in a perfect area for shopping local farms and orchards. Look for vendors who do not use pesticides or chemicals in their gardens.
5) Do your research on healthy oils and good fats. This is the same principle as meat-buy better quality and eat less.
6) Use the available technology-timed crockpots, electric skillets, timed ovens, and any manner of food processors, mixers and kitchen gadgets. As with any job, having the proper tools makes the task quicker and easier.
7) Get back in the kitchen-take a class if necessary. Learn how to prepare simple nutritious meals without spending hours in the kitchen.
The main thing you will have to realize is…if your family doesn’t eat vegetables and fruit, you will have a difficult time being a locavore because you can’t grow chicken nuggets and pizza rolls! We have become a society that fills our bellies with fake food, carbs and unhealthy fats. We need to get back to the basics of simple, healthy food that comes from the earth.
At Big Oak Ridge, we are committed to helping folks learn the basics and live the lifestyle and we will gladly assist you in any way we can.