I just read a very interesting and personally challenging blog article, Our Year without Groceries. I absolutely love the concept of using locally grown instead of buying at a grocery store. Clare, the article’s author, detailed how they went through a year without grocery shopping. I was especially refreshed as I read the effects that it had on her family.
In past generations, people didn’t always have the money to be able to go to the market as often as we do today. Let’s face it, as a society we are spoiled. It is more typical of society to go to the store at least twice a week than to go once a week or even once per month.
Could our family make this challenge work in our family? It would take planning. In the particle, Clare mentions that her son (who came up with the idea) got many of his ideas from the Little House stories by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In the books, the family often went to the store once or twice a year. They didn’t have the convenience of going as often as we do today.
Foods were eaten seasonally. Their meals were not as full of variety as we have available today. They ate according to what was in season or stored in their pantry/root cellar. Cannot this same thing be done today?
I am going to give this some thought. While we don’t have a garden going this year due to other homestead demands, we do have local farms that sell their surplus. There are a few things that I can grow that can be harvested in autumn to store for winter. Some include winter squash varieties. There are also farmer’s markets that we can buy from during the season. We could buy enough at the farmer’s market or from farms to home can for our winter pantry stores.
I already do a lot of baking now that we have our new stove. Buying enough flour for a year’s supply would be a part of that once a year purchase. Another option would be to buy wheat from local farmers’ co-op to grind into flour ourselves. Buying eggs and milk from local farms is easy in our area if you don’t raise your own poultry and dairy animals. Hunting or raising your own meat can be managed as well.
Overall, I can see how it can be done with a good plan and attitude. The two biggest challenges would be getting out of the habit of running to the store so much and not being fussy and picky about the meals being eaten. Learning to eat according to what is available instead of catering to the wants and wishes of picky eaters or those demanding a large variety. I definitely understand the author’s comment of the family appreciating the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables during the growing seasons. Like the families of generations ago, after a staple diet of eating from the pantry stores over the winter, having a fresh salad would be a treat.
Am I considering this for our family? Yes! I need to do my research first to find local resources for what we will need. I have already been doing that for some items. It is simply a matter of expanding the items purchased locally.