Hello all my beautiful natural foodies! I want to invite you to join me in a super fun challenge – Eat Local Month. I am am member of a fantastic organization called Lowcountry Local First, a nonprofit supporting all things local. Supporting local farms, businesses, arts, schools, etc. is so important in sustaining a community’s wellbeing and culture. And I am happy to be a part of that in my amazing home of Charleston, South Carolina.
For the month of April – it’s all about eating local food. Eating food doesn’t sound so challenging… The challenge asks you to shift only $10 of your weekly spending towards locally sourced food.
Personally, I spend at least that much already – so I’m taking it a little bit further, and attempting to shift 50% of my spending to local food. Currently, I only eat at local restaurants and local coffee shops (I can’t remember the last time I ate at a chain), so the challenge will be more about the produce that I buy from the grocery store.
Take a look at the impact that Eat Local Month can have! (from 2015)
Farmer’s markets and local produce marts will be my new best friend! I’ve been thinking about signing up for a CSA (community supported agriculture), where you pay monthly or weekly for a big box of locally grown produce – so this will be a good way to ease into that.
One thing that will change when you make the shift to local, is that you change your mindset from “This is what I want for dinner, let me go buy the ingredients” … to … “Wow, this is local and in season and beautiful, how can I use this in my cooking?” It can be a challenge, but ultimately it feels so much better to be more connected with the earth and the local foods that are available to you.
Are you thinking about taking the challenge? I sure hope so!
For the Month of April…
- Shift at least $10 of your weekly grocery budget to local food. Ask for local products at your grocery store.
- Shop one of the many farmers markets in our area and chat with a farmer about what is in season. The Charleston Farmers Market opens next Saturday, April 9. Be sure to find our tent and enjoy free tastings from local chefs using local produce!
- Eat seasonally using our Ripe Chart, showing what’s fresh and in season in the Lowcountry throughout April.
- Sign up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture share) with the help of our Farm Fresh Food Guide. This could satisfy your entire weekly $10 shift!
- Try one new veggie or fruit each week.
- Ask your server what’s local on the menu when dining out.
- Visit one of our many Eat Local Challenge Food & Beverage Supporters! Many are offering specials and discounts to those taking the challenge. [List coming soon!]
- Grow your own food in your yard or a community garden.
- Preserve fruits or veggies (jar, freeze or dry) to enjoy later.
- Follow our Eat Local Challenge bloggers to see how they are taking the Challenge. [List coming soon!]
- Win one of our weekly prizes by participating in the #HowIEatLocal Instagram contest. [Details coming soon!]
- Attend an Eat Local Month event.
Not in Charleston? Google “Eat Local Month” in your city and see what pops up! If there isn’t an organized event – you can participate in your city with the same rules as our event, OR maybe you can team up with some local farms to organize your own 🙂