- Dakotafire - http://dakotafire.net -

See how lo(cal) you can go

localfoodchallenge [1]It’s time to check what’s in your garden, and what’s ready at the farmers market—and maybe even give a warm reception to that co-worker who keeps bringing in zucchini.

The Dakota Local Food Challenge starts Saturday, Sept. 12, and runs through Friday,  Sept. 25.

The challenge is a way for people in the Dakotas to get better connected to the land and the people who produce their food by eating food produced locally for two weeks. Participants will log the local food they eat during the challenge, and then mail or email that log to Dakotafire at the end of the two weeks.

The purpose of the challenge is partly educational—what food is easily available locally (zucchini comes to mind)? What is hard to locate? What might you have to go without for two weeks, if you’re going hardcore?

But it’s also meant to be fun. And there is a prize: All those who send in a completed log get an “I WENT LOCAL” T-shirt.

Does every bite of food for 14 days need to come from a local source?

No. We’ve set up two levels of participation:

LOCAL BASIC: Eating all of your fruits and vegetables from local sources for 14 days.

LOCAL HARDCORE: Eating all local food for 14 days, with the exception of seven items that are not. These items are yours to choose.

How do you define “local”?

Determining that is perhaps the hardest part of the challenge! Some people define it as food produced within 100 miles of their home; others give the radius as 250 miles.

Is sweet corn from Minnesota local? Probably not; there’s plenty of sweet corn available locally. Is milk from Minnesota local? Maybe; it’s tough to find a local source for dairy. However, there are other considerations besides just distance—the fewer changes of hands the product has between the farmer and you, the better.

Questions about how to define “local”—and anything else you want to know about the challenge—can be asked by commenting at the Dakotafire Café Conversations page, or emailing golocal@dakotafire.net.

Ready to sign up? Go to www.dakotafire.net/golocal [2].