The Next Big Thing

Following last Saturday’s post on self sufficiency I have news to share with you all! But first I’m going to give you a little background.

Our intentions when developing our property was that we wanted to produce all of our needed food. While this is a commendable ideal, it likely won’t happen as our lot is just too small. We can definitely come close, but no cigar. We just don’t have the space to produce all the items we use like wheat and animal feed. Oil is another issue. We do have olive trees, but olive oil can’t be used for everything as it’s flavor can sometimes be too strong (example: extra virgin olive oil in mayo is just wrong in my opinion). Then there is also sugar. Sure, we can use honey for a lot of things, but sometimes we just won’t have enough honey to cover our needs, esp. during canning season.

So our big news is this: We’ve got a new project! We are going to start this new project on October 1st. Why October 1st?. It’s as good a time as any and to be honest, and it gives us about a month and a half to prepare.

OK, I guess it’s time to tell you what the project actually is. We are going to do a year without purchasing food from supermarkets, box stores and restaurants. All food we purchase for the year will be from alternative sources (mostly from our garden, but supplemented by farmer’s markets, CSAs, ranchers, dairies, traditional butchers, co-ops, etc)and all of it will be minimally processed. Any extra processing (baking, cooking, grinding, etc) will be done by us.

So why are we doing this crazy project? Well the seed was planted when I read this article in the Utne Reader. The author states that living without industrial, fast food is impossible in today’s society and that say you can are naive at best. We then watched No Impact Man and his willingness to go without for one year really inspired us. Sure people have already done things similar, such as Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon wrote about in their book Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet and Barbara Kingsolver wrote about in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (P.S.). But here we’re trying to do something different. Our main focus is to produce as much of our food as possible from our own suburban yard (Kingsolver fed her family while living on a rural farm). Locally grown food (what Smith and MacKinnon focused on) will supplement it of course, but it won’t be our main food source.

Right now I’m finding that we are still much too dependent on the grocery store even though we wanted to grow all of our own food. So with this experiment we’re hoping to force ourselves out of that dependency. I will be chronicling everything over at our new blog A Year Without Groceries. Come join us on this journey and find out if we can actually do it.

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