I am incredibly goal-oriented and deadline-driven. Give me a deadline and while I may be a procrastinator, I will also be wholly motivated to meet it — even if at the last minute. Give me a challenge that needs conquering and I will become obsessed with accomplishing it.
It’s probably these inward tendencies that make me particularly fond of the Eat Local Challenge, a movement that as of October 1st entered its fifth year.
I have been remiss not to mention the challenge sooner, but I was reminded this weekend as our best-of-intentions finally came to fruition more than a month late — eight new, raised garden beds now call our east yard home — that a late start is better than no start at all. Those beds may too late to do me any good over the course of autumn and early winter, but the rich manure and composted soil that fills them will be all the better first thing in the spring. And by that token, no start is too small either.
From the Eat Local Challenge Blog:
Each year, we locavores take part in a month-long challenge that focuses on eating locally. This year, as in the past, the level of your eat local challenge is up to you. You can choose to try and eat locally the entire month, or you can introduce it to your family in a gradual way. Many communities take time this month to celebrate eating locally on town level — a move that I have found to be particularly exciting, as it’s a new phenomenon in the past couple years.
When I started gardening it was in three large pots on my back deck. They held tomatoes and my favorite hot pepper varieties. That was it and wasn’t all too many years ago. It’s amazing how a small step in any direction can spawn great change over the course of time. My 2009 garden was more than 2000 square feet. And even that is a drop in the bucket for many, and for what is to come even for us.
With that in mind I encourage you to take up the challenge in your own way. Start now, but tailor the system to your level of comfort and ability. Had I tackled the garden I have now my first year I’d have failed miserably. Those potted tomatoes on my deck made our biggest goals, our wildest dreams reachable.
Make your own priorities; you may or may not even agree with the Locavore Pledge:
If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.
I myself have tweaked it to better fit my belief structure, my priorities. The important part is not to get hung up on the fine print and red tape, to simply take action — however small — is far more productive.