March 2, 2010
Going Local challenges, excites Hoosiers

Written by Victoria Wesseler,  an Indiana based food writer, recipe creator, and Advanced Master Gardener. Wesseler lives on a mini-farm called Dirtpatch in Lebanon, Indiana, and is the creator of GOING LOCAL.

In six months, on September 5-11, Indiana will celebrate GOING LOCAL WEEK 2010. Now in its third year, GOING LOCAL WEEK is a “challenge” to Indiana citizens to eat at least one Indiana locally grown or produced food at each meal during the seven day event. 

The objectives of GOING LOCAL Week are to:

  • Create an appreciation for the abundance and diversity of the Indiana food shed.
  • Make Indiana citizens more aware of the availability of local foods in their own communities.
  • Provide support and recognition for Indiana local food producers.
  • Increase Indiana residents’ consumption of locally grown/produced foods in a long term effort to encourage them to regularly purchase more locally produced items for their weekly meals so that “eating of Indiana locally grown and produced foods will become the norm, not a novelty at Hoosier dinner tables across the state”.

There is no “central event” for GOING LOCAL WEEK– instead individuals and groups are encouraged to create their own unique activities and celebrations in their communities. In past years, farmers’ markets, local libraries, tourism bureaus, producers, and other groups have held cooking demonstrations and local chef competitions, offered seminars and educational programs, and hosted pitch-in community dinners to help raise the level of awareness of the benefits of eating locally grown and raised foods.

According to the GOING LOCAL Week event supporters, when you buy local food, you are making a conscious choice to better your families’ eating habits, protect the environment, and improve the local rural economy. Want to host your own GOING LOCAL WEEK event or do something special with your friends and family during that week? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Have an in-office potluck lunch where everyone brings in something they’ve made with a local ingredient.
  • Go out to an after-work “happy hour” at a local winery.
  • Visit an orchard or U-Pick and harvest your own produce.
  • Take a farm tour in your area.
  • Host a pitch-in picnic or covered dish party and ask everyone to bring something made with local ingredients. Spend the evening talking about the food’s origins and learning about what’s available in your area.
  • Host your own Indiana local food cooking competition. Invite friends to a pitch-in dinner and ask them to bring a dish made with a specific local food that you have chosen. Guests vote on the most creative and tasty use of the “secret ingredient”.

For more information about GOING LOCAL WEEK and Indiana local food, visit the GOING LOCAL site at http://www.goinglocal-info.com

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