100 Mile Challenge

Well, I’m grateful today that I remembered how to log into my blog. Sure that sounds like small potatoes to some, but to me, spiral fries seasoned with salt thank you very much.

Speaking of salt, I spent my weekend doing vast loads of laundry while watching episode after episode of the 100 Mile Challenge on some channel I didn’t even know existed on my television. I admired the families in Mission, BC that took on this challenge of eating foods from within 100 miles of where they lived, and found that I’ve been thinking about my food and it’s source ever since (well, also because I’ve been plodding through and over my favourite seed supplier’s catalog lately). I decided to do a bit of checking on my own sources and supplies just to see if I’m fairly close to the 100 mile range. So, because Saskatchewan is a large and varied place, but still a small and intimate space, I decided to see how my food purchases, as far as being produced in Saskatchewan, fared.

For the most part, I think that I’m fairly knowledgeable about where my food comes from; for instance, my beef is raised only 40 kms from where I live (my dad supplies me with that), and I used to get chickens and eggs from him too, though I’ve had to resort to alternatives for those in recent years. I still look for suppliers of eggs from local farmers or buy them from the Farmer’s market. As we often have to resort to commercially sold eggs during winter season, and I found out that Star Eggs is located right in Saskatoon.

I grow my own lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, beans, carrots, beets, peas, squash, and herbs in the summer and freeze/can what I can in fall. For the most part, I buy from the Farmers Market in the spring and summer, or drive out to Lumsden for produce, and I try to invest in local products. I did a bit of research on other products that people doing the 100 Day Challenge had some trouble finding, such as flour (wheat), salt, sugar, etc. and in my search, I’m pleased how well we do out on the prairies. One of the main ingredients people on the show missed was salt. Much of our salt is from Unity and I found out from Amy Jo Ehman’s blog how to tell from your salt box whether you’ve actually purchased Saskatchewan salt and a little history. My flour is Robin Hood, milled in Saskatoon. If it wasn’t I could always get bags of it from my dad. Again, that’s lucky. Other grains as well are easily found from local suppliers, such as oats, and lentils. And even though I’m an olive oil junkie, I do use Canola Oil as well. This too is within distance.

Sugar, not so close. This comes from Taber, AB, and the Rogers Company. Not too far, but not Saskatchewan. Not to fear. There are plenty of alternatives for the sweet tooth–such as maple syrup, and honey, which is available from many great sources. And vinegar, even further in Kelowna, BC. But, I’m sure in season, one can find local cider vinegars made with fruit, and the old fashioned method of making pickles didn’t require vinegar, but salt.

I haven’t had time to search out everything but I’m curious about products that are made here, such as beer. We have micro breweries as well as a major one, but do they use Saskatchewan hops? Wine too, is produced here, but is not as easy to find as wine from other provinces and countries.

There is a lot more stuff I haven’t sourced out, but suffice it to say, with the exception of coffee and tea, and seasonal fruit, I do try to shop locally, and I’m hopeful that I’m healthier for it! Or not.