Eating Local in Ann Arbor - Redux

A few weeks ago at the end of April, we tried the  Eat Local Challenge  to see if my husband and I could eat food produced locally, within the $144 weekly budget of the average American 2-income family. I started out by making a list of what's available locally in Michigan in April and then  arranged those ingredients into dishes and meals that we would make.  On the menu were things like Leek and Potato Soup, Eggs and Sausage, Lamb Stew, Spinach Quiche with Bacon, Roasted Root Veggies, and Rhubarb Pie!

On Saturday I went to the Farmer's Market, Sparrow, and the Co-op to spend my treasure and bring home our local foods. The list of what I was able to buy that came from within 100 miles of our house at the end of a snowy April included: rhubarb (this was an unexpected bonus!), 1 small bag each of tarragon and mint, leeks, potatoes, eggs, milk, cheese, butter, bread, bacon, chicken breasts, onions, pork sausage, lamb, spinach, baby salad greens. And, I drove 50 miles to  Westwind Milling in Argentine, MI just south of Flint to buy flour and cornmeal that had been organically grown on their 160 acre farm.  

I spent a total of $53 that Saturday at the Farmer's Market, the People's Food Co-op and Sparrow Meat Market. And then another $36 at Westwind Milling for another batch of groceries. On Friday we celebrated our local food community by splurging on a Michigan wine and cheese tasting with friends (though some of these were not technically local since the wines were from the Peninsula Cellars near Traverse City).  A delicious Semi-dry Riesling and their Old School Red blew the budget a bit, at $12.99 each from Everyday Wines, but they were worth it!  After spending another $15 on Michigan cheese, we were still $14 away from the total budget of $144. We learned it is possible, even in Michigan in April, to eat a diet of mainly locally produced food with room for even a couple of treats. 

The hardest part of the Eat Local Challenge: finding out what's produced locally near our Ann Arbor home. The easiest part of the Eat Local Challenge: making a tasty meal out of great Michigan foods. 

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