Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

No Grocery Store, Day 131 – and New Challenge May 12, 2010

Yet another day without the grocery store.  In all honesty, the only thing I miss is my Saturday, after chores are done ritual, of looking at really cool cards, birthday, and blank, all black and white, with a funny caption or intuitive statement by a historical figure.  I need to find out who makes those cards.  I would order a sandwich from the deli, shop, and look at cards until my sandwich was ready.  I miss Fresh Plus.

Today, I combined local with fast food, and took mom to lunch at the new location of Taco Deli, at 42nd and Lamar, close to my house.  I needed food in a hurry, and wanted to spend time with my mom, so this was perfect because I knew I could get Thunderheart bison tacos, and I got 2.

Off to Natural Gardener to get a trailer load of soil, then up to Round Rock to install a garden, for someone just starting out.  My favorite clients are those that are just getting started growing food, or starting up again after a long hiatus.   Everything is new, and with every new seedling, or ripe tomato, or perfectly local garden salad, there will be one more person understanding the importance of where our food  comes from.  Love.

For dinner, I had a grilled pork chop from Richardson Farms,  and Farmer’s Market squash that I wrapped in foil and grilled with fresh garden herbs, tarragon and thyme with a little Texas Olive Ranch olive oil>

So, the next challenge, is to pull off a fairly large party, using all local food.  It is a champagne and jewelry party.  So far, I have a local cheese plate planned, which I will get from Antonelli’s Cheese and the Farmer’s Market.  I’ve ordered a blackberry conserve from Dai Due to put on top of brie or goat cheese.  I have ordered pate from the Kocurek’s and bought rabbit rillettes today from them.  I’ll need bread, which I can get at the Farmer’s Market and crackers, which I can get from Dr. Kracker at Sunset Valley.   Christian from Austin Food Journal (who is married to Jamie from Viola and Jean, honoree at the party) will bake some amazing foccacia.  Does that sound like a decent spread?  I bought peaches at the market tonight to use, but haven’t figured that one out yet.

I got a little harangued last night for buying bread from TFB at the farmer’s market, and for buying pasta from Texas Pasta Company, (at the farmer’s market) whose location is on  Kerby Lane.  Neither place uses local flour.  That’s because there is no locally milled white flour, that I have found and apparently they haven’t either.   I knew this going in.  I have assigned myself a challenge, to not buy anything from a grocery store for one year.  I am over a third of the way through a year and have survived just fine.    I did not issue an “eat only products that are grown within a specified area” challenge.  My rice comes from Lowell Farms, which may be over a hundred miles away, I didn’t calculate mileage, but its from the Coast of Texas and its organic.  I get lots of cheese from Full Quiver in Kemp.  I don’t know exactly where that is, but it is within a decent raduis.    Perhaps I should have titled my project, “Don’t buy from commercial feed lots” but that wasn’t the whole deal.  I’ve increased my garden space substantially since I started this project, have learned a lot, and have gotten to know some amazing farmers.

In conclusion, if you have some hate for me, just bring it on.  I’m just doing what I set out to do, and enjoying the journey.


6 Responses to “No Grocery Store, Day 131 – and New Challenge”

  1. Karen Shepard Says:

    That’s an amazing challenge to avoid grocery stores. I was just talking about how yummy fruit tastes when its grilled. Grilled Peaches with vanilla ice cream is always a big hit. You could also substitute greek yogurt too.

  2. Optimista Says:

    Who the hell would harangue you about buying products that don’t use local flour?!? For crying out loud…please send me their names and addresses so I can smack them upside the head.

    On a much more cheery note, what can I bring on Saturday?

  3. I think I’m all set for Saturday. Between the Kocureks and the Antonelli’s I’m all set for a tasty local party. Christian will be bringing some foccacia using evil foreign white flour.

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