Thursday, October 31, 2013

Well, Here's Something I Never Thought I Would Say...

I am tired of waiting for snow.

Yep, you read that right. 

Not that I want there to actually BE a lot of snow on the ground (and all the extra work that snow would both prevent and cause) but because I had planned to start our Alaska Food Experiment when we got our first sticking snow.

This fall has been very, very wet and warmer than usual, and that means our first snowfall still hasn't come. According to the forecast I just checked, it's going to be a week before there's a chance of snow, and they are saying it will be mixed with rain, so it won't stay around.

Thus, I've decided to start the Alaska Food Experiment on November 1, snow or no snow. It's my party and I can start early if I want to, right?

Jim and I will be eating only local Alaska-grown foods until we run out of what we've stored up this summer. My goal is two months. There will be a few small exceptions and I'm going to post the "rules" and exceptions in the next day or two so everybody knows what we're doing.

Alaskans are already familiar with the concept of the Alaska Food Challenge, when a group of people in the Anchorage area ate only local Alaskan foods for a whole year. It will be different for Jim and me. I can't exactly turn my whole yard into a garden and I don't have a greenhouse. I have a tourist-driven job that doesn't leave a lot of time to forage or fish. So, I've decided to call ours The Alaska Food Experiment. Instead of having the goal of eating local for a whole year and challenging myself to make it happen, I'm going to experiment to see if it can be done, for people who work long hours and have no real gardening skills. Can it be done if we don't have a greenhouse? Can it be done if we don't forage? Can it be done if we don't fish? 

Through the farmer's markets, gardening trade groups, a CSA subscription and trading for fresh eggs, the freezers have filled up with veggies and fruit, both wild and cultivated. Jim bought half of a locally-raised pig and half a cow so we have pork and beef, and there is moose as well. Neighbors with a boat shared their halibut. We have our own poultry and eggs, plus some chickens and a turkey we bought from the feed store. And of course there are the goats providing milk, butter, cream and cheese. 

I think two months is a do-able goal. And it all starts November 1!

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