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I had to think it over for a couple of weeks, though, before logging in at the Eat Local Challenge site to register. After all, it’s a big commitment: an entire month of eating ONLY food with ingredients produced within 200 miles of my front door. With three exceptions — spices, coffee and wheat flour — everything on my plate and in my glass during the month of October will come from local producers.

Between now and October 1, I’ll work on tracking down some local sources for eggs and dairy. Vegetarian since childhood, I’m spared the task of finding locally raised meat, whew! The Perfect Man canned relish and tomato sauce from our summer crop, so that will help. Plus, he already makes our mozzarella cheese and yogurt each week. (I’m telling you, I’m one very lucky girl.)

I know it won’t be easy; convenience foods and our favorite restaurants are instantly disqualified. We won’t be seeing any rice for a while, or bananas, or tea, or…oh my gosh…chocolate. But there are some positives, too: good reason to visit the artisan cheesemakers’ farm in the next county, and to network with gardeners who might like to swap veggie varieties, and to learn some new make-it-yourself skills.  Stay tuned for periodic posts in October as the Eat Local Challenge gets under way…

Meanwhile, I’m still slogging along in the home stretch of an illustration job, but The Perfect Man spent the day working on a raised bed soon to be planted with onions and garlic. Last year, having neglected to order any of the tempting and exotic garlic varieties we admired in seed catalogs, we simply bought a bagful at the grocery store and broke up the cloves to plant. They turned out fine — we have a nice long row of them drying on the back porch of the art studio — but we aspire to plant an entire garlic palette this fall. Anyone have a favorite garlic to suggest? I’d love to add it to our wish list!

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