Big Oak Ridge 1/25/12

   It’s been another busy week on the Ridge.  The hubby was out of town on business so I was thankful for a break in the snow. I’m not really a fan of running the snow blower…but I think I said that before.

   I also didn’t do much cooking. I had a few leftovers from the weekend and I’m seriously okay with eating eggs. It was kind of enjoyable to not have to think too much about food. When you’re a locavore, you spend a lot of time thinking about food. What is available? How much time will it take? Do I lack anything that I might have to “invent?” So it was lovely to just relax in that area a bit.

  I may have had a cooking break, but that sure didn’t make the week any less busy. Lately I have realized that most of our “free” time has been consumed with doing research.  Our retreat, the little sitting room off our master bedroom, is littered with books, magazines and DVD’s. We checked out Food Inc. on Netflix and ordered Fresh online. We have a cheese making DVD and piles of Countryside and Mother Earth News. I am currently reading The Winter HarvestHandbook by Eliot Coleman and Kent has just made it through Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Every evening we’re poring through seed catalogs, poultry suppliers and looking online for local sellers.  Quite frankly, it gets exhausting.

  One of the goals of Big Oak Ridge is to make local eating and sustainable living easier. We realize that most people can’t or aren’t willing to take the time that is involved in “finding” local food. That’s why we’re creating a website and a Facebook page where people can go to check out the availability of local goods. And we would certainly welcome input from anyone who has access to this type of information. One of the tabs on our website is labeled “The Locavorium”. This is the place where we will be listing local suppliers and goods.

  We live in a great area for being a locavore. We have an abundance of fresh produce from March through September. If you aren’t growing your own food, you can visit many local farm stands, Farmer’s Markets and U-pick fruit and vegetable patches.  We have found several great sources of raw milk, grain-fed beef and local honey. We have our own local orchard for apples and North east is just a pleasant drive for peaches, cherries and grapes.  Our 100 miles reaches to Pittsburgh, beyond Erie and as far west as Akron, Ohio. We have God’s Little Garden in Cranberry and Franklin’s own Corner Cupboard for great organic products and many grains and spices in bulk. Our local coffee roaster has reopened too. Maybe our Chamber of Commerce should advertise:  “A great place to be a locavore.”

  This week we hosted our first seminar-Making Mozzarella Cheese.  We had a small, but enthusiastic group but we had a great time and made some awesome cheese.  We tried out our cheese on homemade flax seed crackers with a wee sip of local wine from Penn Shore Winery in North east.  Heidi, Jackie, Sheryl and Jody-thanks for making my first seminar a huge success!!

Next month is –Beginning Gardening. Watch for details at

Until next week.

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