I just had to get one more blog in before the end of the year. My apologies to those of you who regularly look for blog posts from me and sometimes don't find them. Sometimes I'm too busy. Other times I simply don't have anything to say. Today, I thought it would be nice to sum up my year in food - it really has been an eventful one! (PS this WAS started before the new year, but I've had some serious problems with Blogger - they have all been sorted out now, at last).
This year, since I live in the country, I thought I'd take local to a whole new level. Throughout the winter last year I carefully plotted and planned my garden, lest it be the disaster it was when I was a child. I purchased books that taught me organic pest control, deep bed methods and how to start plants indoors. Come spring, I had turned the bathroom into a virtual greenhouse. I made a few newbie mistakes, but generally speaking, everything worked out well. I planted too much, got overrun with weeds, underestimated the amount of work involved, and planted everything too close together. But, by harvest season I was still overwhelmed by the amount of food I had grown. What did I do with all that extra food? I canned and canned, made huge batches of soup and froze whatever I could. I must say, there is nothing like enjoying the fruits (and vegetables) of your labour in the dead of winter. I learned a lot and regret nothing. It was worth every second.
Twitter has done some interesting things for me, but most importantly, it has connected me with like-minded souls. There ARE, contrary to what some of my real life friends think, people out there just as interested in food as I am. I'm NOT alone! I have made a lot of new and interesting friends on Twitter and even joined them in Toronto for a potluck dinner (Meatluck 2). It was a fantastic experience!
There has been no shortage of media coverage this year. In August, I was contacted by a reporter from the Globe and Mail. She was profiling 4 people from across Canada (so-called global food drop-outs) and she had chosen me as one of them. You can read Way of the Locavore: Four ways to escape global food here.
Shortly after that, I was asked by OMAFRA if I was interested in being in a short video that promoted eating locally. Of course, I said yes. You can watch the Foodland Ontario video here.
Somewhere around the same time, I received an email from Sarah Elton, author of Locavore: From farmers' fields to rooftop gardens - How Canadians are changing the way we eat. She was writing an article for the Globe and Mail on root cellars and was interested in learning more about the methods my family and I have used to preserve food. You can read The food storage secret our grandparents knew here.
Wellington County Rural Romp
This is the second year that Alex and I have gone on the Wellington County Rural Romp (hosted by Guelph Wellington Local Food ), but this year, along with the regular romping, they were also holding a photo contest. Alex and I don't really need an excuse to get out there with our cameras, so off we went to spend the day on a number of farms with our cameras. I submitted 7 photos and ended up winning the "farm category." You can view the photos here. Here's the one that won be some great stuff.
This year saw one more major change in my life - my acceptance of hunting as a means of acquiring sustainable meat. Now, I must admit that I still haven't hunted myself, but I went bear hunting, duck hunting and goose hunting with my brothers. I also attended the Hunter Safety course in Toronto and studied for my Firearms Safety Certification. I'm very excited - I should be ready to join my brothers this fall.
What's in store for 2011?
Well, I hope to have another amazing garden experience this year. I will be applying all of the lessons I learned from mistakes made this year. For Christmas, my wonderful boyfriend gave me a pressure canner, so there's more to learn. Expect some blogs on pressure canning.
You can expect more information to come out of things I've learned on Twitter. If you're thinking of joining Twitter my handle is @100milemel.
Finally, once I have learned how to use my pressure canner, I plan to host a series of canning and preserving workshops in the Guelph area. For those of you who are moving toward a more local diet, preserving is an absolutely necessary skill - and fun!
Anyway, who knows what 2011 will bring? Stick around and find out...