After picking up a zucchini the size of a whiffle ball bat from my mom's garden, I thought it would be great to trial run zucchini bread. I created it using all local ingredients, save the cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt (none of which I've been able to find locally). In lieu of sugar, I used local honey, which is available locally.
It takes roughly 2 1/3 cups of honey to equal that of 3 1/2 cups of sugar. Or so google told me. I obediently poured out two containers of honey to equal 2 1/3 cup, and it was like watching our money drip away slowly. Local honey is EXPENSIVE. We did some math, and realized that for each batch of zucchini bread, our cost in honey alone is around $8, not to mention the gorgeous flour we bought from Nash's, and of course farmer's market eggs. But is the cost worth it?
Before, I would take it for granted, maybe even throw parts of it away after letting it sit on the counter for a week. Now, I'll freeze one loaf for later, and let me tell you, the taste is so much sweeter.
Our commitment to this experiment remains. We officially begin next week, on the 22nd with the Fall Equinox. It seemed natural to transition with the season and frankly, more challenging to begin in fall when things are less available. It's been fascinating throughout our "prep" period, but the reality of what lies ahead is unnerving.
We are trying to keep true to eating as closely to 100% local as possible, but find that our list of "exceptions" is growing out of necessity. Essentially, anything that *can* be purchased/grown locally will be, but a life without cumin or turmeric is not the life for me.
And so our exception list goes:
* Spices (this is new)
* Balsamic Vinegar
Which means we buy locally:
* Ice cream
Now, our whole purpose has been to determine if it's less expensive or more expensive to eat 100% locally. Throughout the summer of our preparation and planning, it has seemed that it would be cheaper. While writing our grocery list for next week, I started to doubt that. Honey. Flour. War stock of veggies. War stock of fruits. 2 Dozen eggs (at $5 a dozen). It started getting very real, very quickly how expensive our little experiment might actually become.
We will keep track of our weekly grocery expenses, to allow 100% visibility into our little economic foodie adventure. We've already listed many of the things we've bought in preparation.
And at the end of the year we will all know, is it cheaper to live locally than buying at big box grocers?