A group of us (Ann and her husband Ian, Bev, Helen, Penny and Rod) are going to eat local, seasonal food for six weeks from 9 January 2012. We agreed:

* ‘local’ means within a 30-mile radius for veg, fruit and meat
* ‘local’ means within East Anglia for other things (includes Lincolnshire)
* to allow ourselves up to five things that can’t be sourced locally (e.g. coffee, bananas, chocolate)

What will it be like during the winter when the lovely, luscious autumn fruits and vegetables are just a memory? Here we chart our progress and our successes and challenges along the way.

Bev: 6 weeks over and it’s just the beginning!

It feels great to have completed the six weeks eating locally. (I had to add on eight meals to the end, for the meals I ate out during the time.) In the end I did use all five of my “exceptions”: chick peas, red lentils, haricot beans, quinoa and rice cakes. (I ate a lot of rice cakes towards the end, as I really wanted something to spread butter and honey on as the weather got colder…… the first thing I bought after finishing was gluten-free bread!) Continue reading

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Getting started

Today was the beginning of our six week journey into local eating. In preparation, I visited Daily Bread earlier in the week (2 miles). They seemed a bit bemused about local eating but I managed to find flour and oats grown near Huntingdon, rape seed oil from Chatteris and cider vinegar from Suffolk (to replace lemons). No local dairy products though, this could be a problem. As a result, I’ve decided to put milk on my list of three excepted foods, along with rice and tea. Meat, vegetables and fruit are no problem; all are available from farmer’s market in Impington, Cottenham or my garden. I’ve been looking after my neighbour’s chickens so also have some very local eggs.

So, my menu was straight forward today. Porridge cooked with water and fruit from the garden for breakfast. You were right, Carolyn, it’s fine and I don’t need soya milk. Lunch was Cottenham chicken and vegetables followed by stewed apple and blackberries. Tea will be home grown tomatoes on toast (home made bread). I must admit to using a little British butter.

A friend suggested trying local goat keepers for cheese and milk so I aim to explore that this week, along with local butter and yoghurt. I also need to follow up on the yeast for bread making.

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