Thursday, January 27, 2011

T-minus 5 days and counting!

You might have noticed that the Raven and I have mentioned projects and experiments when we made our intros. What's that all about?

Well, basically, we want to see how well we can live within various "constraints" - is it really possible to affordably live locally and sustainably? Can an average family really get by in today's world without going outside their local economy and foodshed?

We intend to find out. Starting on February 1st, and lasting until the end of February, the Raven and I are going to eat and live as locally as we can. Additionally, we're going to do it as INEXPENSIVELY as we can.

Here's the plan:

1) For the month of February, the Raven and I will be buying only foods grown and produced in Washington and Oregon. Preference will be given to companies within Oregon. When it's not possible to fulfill a food need from a local source, we've agreed that foods produced outside of this range, but by companies that fall under the area we've selected are acceptable substitutes.

2) Starting February 1st, we're packing away all non-local food items in our cabinets and starting with ONLY foods that fit within our guidelines

3) For the month of February, we're going to shop at locally owned stores and buy locally made goods. This isn't too much of an issue for us, as we've been practicing this one for a while, but it's good to get it down on paper.

4) We will do this all on $10.00 per day for the two of us (Yes, that's $5.00 per day per person). We chose this amount because it's what the Oregon Department of Human Services has determined is an appropriate SNAP benefit for two people. If that's what they think we can live on, by golly we're going to give it a try.

5) We're not into self-abuse, so we've allowed ourselves some exemptions from this list:
a) Tea
b) Coffee
c) Spices (including sugar)
d) Chocolate (a lot is MADE locally, but cacao is not GROWN locally)
e) Citrus

That's the basic gist of it. 28 days, $280 food budget. We plan to hit local co-ops, farmer's markets, and local stores that specialize in natural and local products.

Can we do it? We think so. I personally don't see it as being a huge challenge, but it'll be good to put that theory to the test.

We'll check in at various points along the way, and we look forward to seeing this all unfold.

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