Hi There! If you’ve been following along, or know me personally, you know one of my favorite life motto’s is “If you’re going to be a bear, be a Grizzly.” In other words, if you’re going to do something, do it right, do it fully and absolutely no half-assing allowed. We are doing a little something different over here for the month of June called the Farmers Market Challenge and it’s going to require that grizzly bear approach and attitude.
What exactly is the Farmer’s Market Challenge? Well let me tell you.
What is the Farmers Market Challenge?
The Farmers Market Challenge is an idea my boyfriend, Mike and I came up with a few months ago while chatting about the summer, gardening, food and eating well. In a nutshell, throughout the month of June we will only be buying and consuming foods from our local farmer’s markets or produce we have grown in our own gardens. We will be sharing our experience and stories along the way here (like the last time we went to the farmers market and almost came home with a puppy.)
We both feel passionate about cooking, using good ingredients, the environment and supporting our local farmers. All the while dabbling in gardening and growing fruits and veggies in our backyards (he is admittedly much better skill wise and set-up wise at this urban gardening thing than I- but I am giving it a shot as well!) We talked about how it would be great to try and only consume foods we grew ourselves or purchased from our local farmer’s market or farm for a period of time and what that might look like.
Would our weekly grocery hauls be cheaper, more expensive, or about the same? Would we eat better? Would we eat less processed foods? Less carbs? Would it be sustainable? Could we make it more sustainable by putting our own spin on it and what would that look like?
After thinking it over and talking about it more and more, we agreed that if we were to do this correctly and in a grizzly bear fashion, it would mean no trips to the grocery store and no eating out. It would mean committing to going to the Farmers Market every week and making all our food at home. It would mean no more buying coffee out (insert crying emoji here) – no more lazy last minute stops at Starbucks on the way to work when “I just can’t even” make my own. It would mean hoping the farmers market is selling bread each week, or having to make our own. It would mean laying off all of the store bought condiments we love so much and making our own. RIP boar’s head chipotle mayo & sriracha. We wanted to really go big or go home and commit fully to this idea of eating locally for the entire month of June and while it means going without certain things we love, it also means more cooking adventures, trying new ingredients and finding new things that we love, like making our own butter. Another perk is we will be spending time perusing the farmers market together (I’m gonna go ahead and call this a weekly Farmers Market Date!) instead of running in and out of the grocery store or stopping at Target or Walmart. It means getting to know the people that actually grow and produce our food. And last but not least it means (maybe) saving money on not buying all those last minute items at the grocery store, dinners out and mid-day coffee shop pick-me-ups!
So here it goes! Lets lay down some ground rules, shall we?
1.) We will only consume foods we have grown in our own gardens or purchased at our local farmers market
2.) We will only consume local beverages (i.e. local beer and wine made here in Maryland and coffee from our local coffee roaster that sells at the farmers market)
3.) Exceptions: salt & pepper, olive oil, spices we already have in our cabinets though we will try our best to only use fresh herbs we have grown or purchased at the farmer’s market, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, flour and sugar
Why are we doing this?
To challenge ourselves: we want to be better about not eating out, eating better, and being more intentional about the food we buy and cook (i.e. not buying more than we need and preventing as much food waste as possible.) This will also challenge us to be better cooks and to try new ingredients we stumble upon at the farmers market.
To eat better: eating seasonally and locally is better for our bodies and these types of food arguably hold more nutrition than the kinds you find sitting on the shelves at the grocery store.
To support our local farmers: instead of spending over $100 dollars a week or more combined at big chain grocery stores, we wanted to spend that money at the farmers market, putting it back in the pocket of local small businesses and farmers who produce better quality food.
To have fun! Taking trips to the market and cooking in a “chopped” style at home is sure to provide some good stories and a good time along the way.
How are we doing this?
We plan to visit either the Frederick Farmer’s Market or the Baltimore City Farmer’s market each weekend with supplemental trips to the UMaryland Farmer’s Market that takes place on Tuesdays across the street from where I work.
What you can expect and how can you follow along?
Right here! As well as on Instagram @suburbanfarm3r & @katewoods_
The plan is to post pics each week of the farmers market haul and subsequent posts on what we do with all of our farmers market goodies.
I’m so excited to eat more simply, more intentionally and to see what changes might occur physically and mentally. Stay tuned!