Tuesday, May 29, 2007

100 Foods Within 100 Miles

Tonight I sat down with a pencil and paper and started a list of 100 foods I knew I could get within 100 miles of where I live. After 57 I decided it would be a good blog post.

All of these foods are items I have grown, purchased at the farmers' market, known of people who grow or produce them, or have recently found sources for.

1. Eggs
2. Cheese
3. Tomatoes
4. Cucumbers
5. Avocados (many varieties)
6. Sugar Snap Peas
7. Winter Squash (including pumpkins)
8. Peaches
9. Apples
10. Pears
11. Persimmons
12. Grapes
13. Plums
14. Pluots
15. Apricots
16. Nectarines
17. Oranges (all varieties)
18. Kumquats
19. Pummelos
20. Lemons (Eureka and Meyer)
21. Grapefruit
22. Limes
23. Summer Squash (zucchini, crookneck, etc.)
24. Corn
25. Strawberries
26. Broccoli
27. Garlic
28. Leeks
29. Cabbage
30. Cauliflower
31. Lettuces
32. Spinach
33. Swiss Chard
34. Beets
35. Turnips
36. Radishes
37. Onions (both green and storage)
38. Basil
39. Mint
40. Chamomile
41. Parsley
42. Rosemary
43. Oregano
44. Thyme
45. Sage
46. Honey
47. Dates
48. Sunflower seeds
49. Cilantro/Coriander
50. Wine
51. Celery
52. Carrots
53. Cherries
54. Blackberries
55. Raspberries
56. Asparagus
57. Pomegranates
58. Kale
59. Vinegar
60. Chili Peppers
61. Cow's Milk (pasteurized and not organic)
62. Figs
63. Dandelions
64. Walnuts
65. Rabbit
66. Poultry
67. Asian Pears
68. Green Beans
69. Goat's Milk
70. Macadamia Nuts
71. Potatoes
72. Beef (need to confirm)
73. Watermelon
74. Eggplant
75. Okra
76. Honeydew Melon
77. Cantaloupe
78. Mackerel
79. Bonito Tuna
80. Halibut
81. Herring
82. Bass
83. Perch
84. Sole
85. Sanddabs
86. Catfish
87. Trout
88. Thresher Shark
89. Olives
90. Olive Oil
91. Fennel
92. Poppy Seeds
93. Ginger
94. Bananas
95. Tomatillos
96. Venison
97. Blueberries
98. Lemon Balm
99. Nasturtiums
100. Rhubarb

So I thought I was going to come up short, but I did alright.

Now granted, not all of this is available commercially. You'd have to hunt to get venison (or know someone who does), and to get the fish you'd probably have to do the fishing yourself (we have many fine fishing piers). Some fruit, such as blueberries, are grown here but not commercially. To get the bananas you'd have to plant and tend a tree carefully.

Some categories are very broad; I could have names lettuce varieties by the dozens, as well as many of the greens we associate with salad, such as watercress and arugula. The squashes have a lot of variety. On the other hand, I listed most of the berries separately.

I listed cheese, only because there are a few producers nearby, and cheese-making can be a tricky business and require specialized equipment. On the other hand, I didn't list yogurt, which I presume could be made easily at home. I listed apples, and vinegar (made from apples or other fruits), but not apple butter or dehydrated apples, both of which I can get. I didn't list juices made from any fruits or vegetables.

Not everything listed is available organic (certified or not).

It was a fun exercise, and one that really got me thinking and researching. I knew I could get expensive local poultry, but not that there was a beef producer nearby (I hope that source pans out). I didn't list goat meat, but I am sure it could be obtained. I didn't list all of the fish species available, nor any shellfish.

Could we eat from this list? I don't know. I haven't found storage grain grown anywhere near us; the corn I've seen is all sweet corn. We don't really want to eat a lot of meat. We prefer raw, organic dairy and our source for that is about 250 miles away. But certainly we will be able to shift 100% of our fruit and vegetable consumption to locally grown items.

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