I can't believe Liz's One Local Summer has come to an end. This summer has been fantastic as we've searched out new sources for locally produced food. To remind you, I've set my limits on the Carolinas - both of them, and any other place we travel to. What has amazed me is that it has taken little effort to find produce, meat and dairy all within a short distance from home. Having one local meal a week has not been a challenge, choosing which meal to post about has. Summer, of course, is a much easier time to search out local produce, but with a little ingenuity and food preserving skills, I think we'll make it through fall, winter and early spring. Having land and a large garden makes it all easier, but I think anyone can garden on a postage stamp-size piece of land, and do it year long. All it takes is a little persistence.
Tonight's meal came all from the Asheville area. Our own community tailgate market ended last weekend, so we headed to the North Asheville Tailgate Market on the campus of UNCA to find a few special items. Produce-wise, there wasn't much that we weren't growing ourselves, but meat and dairy-wise, we hit a jackpot!
Dinner centered around fresh lamb ribs from Springhouse Meats/Hickory Nut Gap Farm - Mustard and Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb. The mustard was not local, but the herbs were from the garden and the bread crumbs were from a loaf of red wheat bread baked by our neighbor.
To accompany the lamb we had steamed Russian Banana Fingerling potatoes from the garden (a gardening disappointment, but tasty non-the-less) and Roma green beans. We also served kamut rolls made by our neighbor (our plan after the end of our market is to exchange eggs for bread). Nothing except the salt, pepper, olive oil, mustard and the wine came from farther than 17 miles away. Local can be so good!
Now we are faced with the start of the Eat Local Challenge. I've participated each year and this year there are plenty of suggestions to help participants approach the challenge. We generally have local food everyday - almost something at every meal. I'm going to think about the challenge and approach it a little differently -looking for new local sources, writing about restaurants supporting local growers and farmers, and continuing to write about the garden. I'll also share a little bit of what we are doing to preserve our food and how we are continuing to grow as one season winds down and another begins.
I guess it's a little bit like my post yesterday. Just because one season is ending, you don't have to stop the momentum gained over the summer. This time of year harvest is in full swing. I guess this is the month to party!