Here in the Lowcountry, especially in Charleston, we’re blessed with not only a plethora of great restaurants (many of which are award-winning) but also with fabulous local purveyors who produce and sell truly fantastic produce, meat, seafood, and other local products. This month, it’s all about them.
Lowcountry Local First, a local organization dedicated to encouraging local business, has named April “Eat Local Month” and is challenging locals to buy at least 10% of groceries and to eat out 10% of the time in order to support these local restaurants and purveyors. For the first time ever, I’ve signed up for the Eat Local Challenge.
The Eat Local Challenge has a great score card has a few suggestions as far as goals are concerned. Here are a few of mine:
- Shop at the farmers’ markets for 80% of my food groceries.
- Order the “Local Plate” special at one of the participating Dine Local restaurants
- Grow my own food in my container garden
- Support local restaurants and food vendors that buy local food
- Buy from local grocers who are committed to stocking local food (I’m going to take it a step further and buy only local produce from these grocers)
- Preserve fruits or vegetables for the first time
What I hope to get out of my Eat Local Challenge:
- Learn to “cook backwards” by planning each meal around the available fresh vegetables instead of the protein
- Learn to cook/prepare soft shell crab
- Discover the best local bakery (specifically for bread!)
- Learn how easy it is to pickle, preserve, and can
- Find the best local fishmonger
Are you taking Charleston’s Eat Local Month Challenge? What are your goals? Let’s meet up at a farmers’ market!