Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Dark Days Challenge

Challenges in November must be the new thing to pull ourselves out of the winter doldrums. Maybe if we're busy, we won't notice that it is cold, rainy, and miserable outside? As if attempting to write an entire book this month isn't taxing enough, I've decided to take on The Dark Days Challenge.

I first read about this in The Everett Herald on Sunday - the challenge is to make one local meal each week between November 15th and March 31st, 2010. Sure, eating local in the summer is easy when the farmer's markets are teeming with fresh fruits and veggies. Even local meat is easier to come by then. But, the winter? Nah... that's too hard. I would need months to prepare for that.

Yesterday, the Eco Geek columnist/blogger wrote about it again in the same newspaper and announced she was taking the challenge. She also mentioned that she didn't have hens out back, a freezer full of her bountiful summer garden, or anything else. And she has a toddler. We all know that makes cooking, eating - everything - more difficult!

Okay, if all these other people can do it, I decided I can too. Having just decided this morning to take the challenge, I have done absolutely no preparation. They are already 4 days into their first week so I had to think fast. Voila... the smoothie. I know some might not consider it an entire meal, but it is what I eat for breakfast so I'm counting it!
I actually do have a ton of frozen fruits that meet the SOLE (sustainable, organic, local, ethical) requirements of the challenge so it was a natural starting point for me. I started with the Organic Valley milk (Duvall, WA) and added local strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and peaches.
Stay tuned to see if I can handle this challenge... My husband is stopping by the buffalo farm on Whidbey Island today so maybe he'll bring home next week's meal! I'm thinking that dusty pasta maker may finally get pulled off the shelf too!
Anyone else want to sign up??? If not, then feel free to encourage me, give me ideas, and go check out the (not so) Urban Hennery blog to see what the other Dark Days people are up to.


  1. I had no idea that Whidbey Island had a buffalo farm. We used to use ground turkey for burgers, tacos, etc. Now, I only by bison. Yes, it's more expensive per pound, but it is healthier and tastes better.

    This is a tough challenge, but the smoothie would count in my book too!

  2. Thanks for agreeing my smoothie counts! I don't have the name of the buffalo place on Whidbey and with the ferry problems, etc. yesterday I don't think Chris had a chance to stop by. Maybe 2 weeks from now... I'll let you know when I figure out exactly where it is (somewhere between Clinton and Coupeville).

  3. Thanks, Erika, for reading and mentioning my stuff for the Herald! I will be following you closely, since we're in the same boat in many ways! Keep us posted on the buffalo and stay in touch!

  4. A smoothie certainly counts for me! Hey, good luck with your nanowrimo book. I did that a couple years back and just finally published my book this past summer.