The Hardships of Eating Local

Matt was really worried about having food to eat in the beginning of the Challenge.  At the end of June, the garden is just starting to come on.  Lettuce is abundant, but how many salads can you really eat?  A lot, it turns out.  Especially when you can bring salad to share with all your friends and get fed fresh fish and other yummies in exchange.  It really helps to have friends without gardens who really appreciate your fresh lettuce!

A sea of veggies!

And now, a month later, we are swimming in fresh veggies, and starting to put some away for winter.  Broccoli, kale, and beet greens are blanched and in the freezer.  Gallon bags of strawberries and chopped rhubarb…. in the freezer.  Chamomile is dried and put into jars for tea.  We’ve got zucchini coming on, bok choi, turnips galore, baby beets, cabbages starting to head up, and green tomatoes on the vine.  The only problem is choosing what to eat out of the many awesome choices.

I brought some turnips to a BBQ along with my usual salad, because that is what I had on hand.  Not your usual party offering, but we sliced them up and threw them on the grill and they were a huge hit!  People were fighting over the last turnip.  Well, they didn’t really know what they were fighting over.  Everyone kept calling them parsnips or rutabagas… but they loved them!

Garlic scape

For a kayaking trip I made a pasta salad with garlic-scape pesto and steamed broccoli and chard that was out-of -this world.  OK, so the walnuts and olive oil I used in the pesto weren’t local, but the rest was!  If I could only make a gallon of that pesto to take with me into the winter, I would not ever want for flavor.  But maybe that is the beauty of garlic-scapes….they only come once a year, and there never seems to be enough of them, so you just have to savor and appreciate what you have!

On Saturday we picked up our 20lb block of mozzarella cheese at the South Anchorage Farmers Market, and also grabbed some oyster mushrooms, salami, and sidestripe shrimp.  What delicacies!  Our dinner on Sunday was fresh salmon, shrimp, sauteed beet greens, and roasted beets and potatoes.  Matt commented that many of our dinners this year are going to look very similar.  I think I can handle that!  I’m thoroughly enjoying all this loval food we’ve been eating.  In fact, sometimes I forget that we are doing this challenge at all!



One thought on “The Hardships of Eating Local

  1. Kati Armbruster

    Wishing you & your hubby, and baby all the best….. It’s neat to see this being done on Alaskan soil. I posted on the ADN article as TAIcebreaker (my daughter’s acct, by accident) about the flax-flowers…… Have followed Sharon Astyk (@ for a few years now….. But don’t know many people here in Alaska that’ve grown their own gardens with such purpose. I look forward to seeing how well this challenge goes for y’all. Best of luck!! –Kati in North Pole


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