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.
11 thoughts on “The Next Big Thing”
This is an awesome project and I am sure you guys will have an amazing experience to share and inspire us all!
Fantastic. I'll be interested to follow along with you. Once you figure out how to make your own gin, let me know. That may come in handy.
I can help out on the gin front. Visit the Still Spirits website. Sure, it's illegal where you are, but that shouldn't really be an issue; it's not like anyone minds!
Fascinating! Will be interested in how you do!
Not sure I agree that it's 'impossible' to live without industrial, fast food, although I suppose that depends on your definition. If coffee is 'fast food' then yes, it is impossible 😛
I don't consider restaurants that source fresh organic food from local farms to be 'fast food', and I enjoy supporting them, as they support local farmers, but I admit that not all their ingredients (oils, flour etc) are usually local.
However, here we are blessed with a tremendous array of locally produced food, and a mild climate, which should make filling in the gaps in your own production relatively easy for most things. Good luck on your new venture! I think at the end of the day, there are things that are impossible to source locally (not necessarily food) but it's important to do as much as we can.
you are awesomely insane!
Wow … no coffee or chocolate? I'm impressed and excited to follow your journey.
CVF, I don't think it's impossible either, but the author of that article seems to think it is. Unfortunately those restaurants that serve local organic food are generally well out of our price range or too far away from us (not much here in Vallejo and Napa is way too expensive).
Janice, I'm going to grow tea and possibly even coffee in our greenhouse!
This sounds like a terrific idea! I'm definitely following the blog.
Can't wait to find out how the tea and coffee go.
I'm so excited for your new project and I am looking forward to following you through out. I keep thinking that since I buy local produce, grow my own, buy my beef and pork local and have my own hens, I'll be able to spend less @ the grocery store, but for whatever reason, I'm not. I need to look more closely at what's going on.
Though, a year without coffee, chocolate and avocados would be hard for me!
Good luck ya'll!
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