My first consideration was beer.
If you’re going to eat, drink and feed your dog from local sources — yeah, the beer was my first consideration. Could a girl live on Surly alone? Yes, there are other people brewing beer in this state but I’m picky. I like very, very good beer. And then there’s the question of where the ingredients to make the beer come from. By and large, they aren’t local. Now what do I do?
I get the engineer types on the job. They say, “well, are you doing this by weight or by number of ingredients?” I giggle in return. Well, now, looks like I’m doing it by weight, aren’t I? This is the very first time in human history that water weight works in a woman’s favor.
So, I’m all good. This works particularly well when it came to my 70/20/10 breakdown. My biggest concern was getting my favorite beer – Goose Island’s Pere Jacques. If it was in the 10% or not allowed at all I would suffer. And by suffer I mean I would be irritated and make sure everyone around me knew about it. I’m awesome at solving problems creatively, like, figuring out how one incorporates 100 days of local sustainable foods into their lives, but I totally suck at deprivation. I won’t stand for it. Which would make this whole project unsustainable – and sustainability is the point.
For me, I love that sustainability is something that people are thinking about. See, we all have systems that we travel through in our lives. Some of them work and some of them don’t. The ones that work are generally sustainable. In order to have a system that works, all parts of the system have to have an equal footing as the rest. They have to be fed what they need and to be productive members of the system. Then the system itself needs to be able to keep rolling along each step in it’s system without intervention. This is true with everything from relationships to the environment. (And frankly, should be the goal of any design project, but that’s a blog for another day!)
Let’s take relationships as an example. Lets say two people come together and there’s an instant spark between them that grows with their interplay, creating energy from the finely running system that they naturally have. Of course, for various reasons, mostly human, perfect systems move away from being whole and natural. So then our relationship turns into one where he does everything for her and she is totally indifferent and condesending. That relationship is unsustainable because both people are not being fed and working as a part of the system. It will die, hopefully sooner rather than later so that these poor people can just move on with their lives.
So, let’s say our Mr. Doormat goes and finds a woman who is genuinely appreciative of his efforts to please her and she in turn gives him what he needs, effortlessly. Thus she feeds him and he her and they can fit their system into other systems and can create more good. Yea!
Anything within nature has to work like that or things just fall apart in really big ways.
I don’t want this to fall apart in a really big way. I have to figure out a system here that I can maintain. I have to have the flexibility to eat the way I want and support food systems that I can believe in.
Can I do it? I don’t know. But I’m going to find out.
Before I got it in my head to take on this challenge, I bought 1/2 a pig from a farmer who is in my cooking group. By the time it got to me, I was two days away from starting this challenge and very happy to have the pork.
So, this was my day 2 lunch. Ribs from Mike and Michelle at Highview Pastures with sweet peas from my CSA pan steamed and then drizzled with some olive oil and sprinkled with grey salt. (The rest of the day 2 meals were leftovers and cake.)
The ribs were cooked for about an hour and a half over low heat in a smoker, brushed with some bbq sauce with about 10 minutes left.
They were perfect.
And then they were gone.
But the big questions remain: With our food system so depleted of diversity and given that we’re all so spoiled with getting whatever we want when we want – can one reasonably expect only consume what is locally available?
I hope so, because I like buying products from people I believe in.