Last autumn I read the book The 100 Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating. Written by a couple living in an apartment in Vancouver (BC), it felt very relevant to me, a city-dwelling wannabe farmer with weird obsessions with the idea of amassing what I call “pioneer skills” and the pursuit of experiencing The Laaaand in as many ways as possible. They wrote a lot about the difficulty of finding specific ingredients and some emotional stuff, but the parts that were by far the most interesting to me were the stretches of natural history of the surrounding area. An area that is both close and similar to The Laaaaand and sea around Seattle.
“The Laaaaand,” by the way, must be said in a purposefully funny, exaggerated voice every time. How else to reference–mostly to myself–a whole philosophy that I hold with complete sincerity while also being aware that it’s pretty ridiculous, mostly unrelate-able, and ultimately pointless. I like the stories mountains tell, the history in soil, the amazing influence of small streams and rivers. Animal population ebb and flow and how humans effect all of that is all just amazing to me. I like smelling the different smells and eating anything I can right off of a bush or a tree, and tasting the difference between things grown in different climates. I like feeling a nice breeze while eye-ballin’ a big rock that’s been gradually carved away by just such breezes. You could put a hippie-dippy spin on it being about connecting to shit but that’s sadly not it at all. It’s just, you know, life. It’s not inherently a good thing, but it feels important to take pause all the same.
SO! The Laaaaand. That’s what it’s all about.
At any rate, I was pretty jazzed about the idea of trying a local diet. Not for a full year like they did, and most likely not restricted to 100 miles, but still, I was pretty confident that the Puget Sound would have even more plentiful food sources than they had up in the Salish Sea. However, since it was fall, I tabled the idea after warning Ian that I was likely to propose a-somethin’ something in the spring or summertime. And here we are!
This month we’re doing a 200 mile diet, with a few life-easing caveats.
1) Because Ian works a lot of unexpected overtime these days it’s OK for him to eat whatever his work feeds him when he stays late.
2) The idea of not eating avocados while local tomatoes are in season made me too sad, so I get to eat those from California.
3) The Pantry Rule lets us eat anything we already have in the kitchen so it doesn’t go to waste.
4) We can scrap the rules when we go over to friends’ and family’s places and get fed so we don’t have to ungracious.
5) And we don’t have to be entirely hermetic because we have a 1 restaurant green light for Local 360, which doesn’t fit our 200 mile radius but does source everything from the Pacific Northwest.
The main rule is we can’t buy any food that comes from outside a 200 mile radius.
I’m most excited to see what my home tastes like and experience the summer season in a new and complete way. EXTREME TERROIR! Hehe!