Ever since reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle a few years ago, I've been mulling over trying for myself one of the book's core ideas - eating only what you yourself grow and produce (with a few guidelines & exceptions) for a specified period of time. I don't look at this like a stunt, but more of a way to challenge myself to eat better and make the best use of what I have. And what better time to start than summer, when the crops are rolling in and the goats are all well in milk?
In theory, it should be pretty easy. In theory. I have eggs for protein and fat, goat's milk for dairy/protein, a fishing fiend of a husband who brings home salmon, clams and crab, and (hopefully) a garden, teeming with fresh greens, berries, corn, tomatoes, carrots, pumpkins, potatoes and squash. I also live in an area with no less than 4 blueberry farms in a one mile stretch. I'm flush with food. Now, do I have the gumption and the willpower to limit myself to eating that and that alone for a while? This is where I get a little shaky.
Bill and I have tossed this idea around a little and come up with a few hitches and fudges -
1) Coffee would have to be permitted. I already buy organic, fair trade coffee, so I don't have too much guilt about letting this one go. And I can get my beans from a fantastic local roaster, Batdorf & Bronson. Besides, I'm planning on doing this during the summer when my kids will be home with me all day. A day without caffeine could get ugly quick.
2) We're not going to make the kids do this with us. A morning without cereal, a summer day without ice cream, we'd have an insurrection on day one.
3) We might expand our food shed area to include food produced within our city. We're talking grown, born, butchered, etc. in Olympia. No doughnuts or Chinese food from downtown, lovely though that would be.
What else are we not thinking of? We'll be doing a lot of physical labor on the farm this summer, so we've agreed at this point to only have the experiment last for two weeks so that we don't run ourselves down too much on a diet with significantly less carbs than our usual pasta and rice intensive fare. Is two weeks long enough? Does that seem too wussy? Have we made too many exceptions? Help us get this ironed out so that we can put our little farm to the test this summer! We're thinking of beginning in July, as the garden should be kicking by then. What say you to all of this craziness?