One Small Change: January Round-up and February Plan

My one small change for January was to shop in season and local to the Western US.

I did well, I think. I’ve also managed to store some in-season produce (potatoes and apples and oranges.) I grated and froze carrots before they went bad. I plan to make carrot marmalade out of them!

Why is shopping in season important? What is the point of a small change like this?

My grocery store has cherries and pineapple from Mexico and plums from Chile for sale right now.

Those plums? They have to travel thousands of miles to get to my store. The cherries and pineapple came at least 1000 miles, and that’s conservative. That’s a lot of resources so that I can eat summer fruit in the dead of a mountain winter, isn’t it?

Thinking about the seasons, and what foods grow near me at this time of year has been a great exercise in mindfulness. I only focused on produce. But during this month I really thought about what it takes for food to get to my table.

I thought about the tricky ways that advertisers make me think that not only do I deserve cherries in winter, but that I deserve them. Who wants to be that manipulated?

Buying in season is less expensive, too. I was able to buy potatoes for 10 cents a pound and apples for 45 cents a pound.

Cherries cost $8 a pound in January.

In July they’ll cost less than $2 a pound. I think I’ll buy a case and learn how to can pie filling.

The next step, I believe, is to go beyond produce. I’m going to try to buy all food that’s produced in the Western US.

So what about February? I’ve put a lot of thought into this.

My change for February is to make and use natural cleaners.

I already know how to make my own laundry soap. It’s just a matter of doing it.

Baking soda and vinegar does as much to clean as 4o9. Right? I’ll have to convince Kevin of that.

I’m not sure how to make dish soap. We wash dishes by hand, so it has to be liquid. I’ll be researching that this weekend.

Head over to Hip Mountain Mama’s website and join the One Small Change party.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “One Small Change: January Round-up and February Plan

  1. What a great job you did for January! I like the carrot marmalade idea. You can have that little sweet taste – from your own kitchen.

    Best wishes for February!

  2. Yum carrot marmalade sounds intriguing. This summer I plan to can and freeze a lot of produce from my farmer’s market. First, I have to invest in a chest freezer πŸ™‚

    Good luck with making cleaners. My change for February is making homemade and natural soap, shampoo and lotion. I really like the idea of using products like this that I’ve made myself.

    • So do I. My hubby is a little addicted to Formula 409 though. I love that we’re making ‘small changes’ a month at a time. I can talk him into something for 1 month. Maybe I’ll put the homemade stuff in teh 409 bottle and then do a big reveal at the end of the month! lol (let’s hope he doesn’t read this comment!)

  3. It is so great to hear about your Jan change! I agree it is so natural to eat in season, but we are tricked into thinking it is OK to eat anything we want year round. This is very inspiring to me as I still like to eat those off season fruits. It takes a lot of effort to buy in season and to be mindful of everything you are purchasing and eating (when actually it shouldn’t be so hard to do what is so natural)! Way to go!
    And for Feb…another great change!! Good luck with making your own dish soap! If you find a good recipe..let me know!!
    Suzy

    • I definitely will.

      I just watched Food, Inc. and now I’m feeling queasy and thinking I may need to figure out a way not to eat at all until we get closer than 250 miles from a Farmer’s Market. Blech.

  4. Amy

    Congratulations on your success in January! I have some natural cleaner recipes I can share if you are interested. I received them from a wonderful lady that I purchased some cloth sponges from on etsy. Good luck!

  5. I’ll be interested in hearing about your natural cleaning products. I’m considering it for March’s challenge. I’ve been using a laundry detergent recipe from http://www.tipnut.com for over a year now and it’s great–they have many other types of natural cleaning recipes there as well.

  6. I agree marketing is a funny thing. Somehow most of us have been persuaded to think that we should be able to eat such variety, year round. How is it that a winter of potatoes seems so boring to me, when it was simply reality, not so many generations ago? Maybe that is what makes summer so much “sweeter.” It is so nice to read someone else’s thoughts that are just like my own.
    I am interested to hear your make your own cleaning solutions quest this month. I bought some veg. glycerin the other month to make liquid soap, but, didn’t get around to it, well until inspired by you. πŸ™‚ Thanks.

    • I do think that first summer tomato/avocado/bell pepper will be sweeter for having waited for it. I’ve never been good at anticipation, so this is going to be good for me! I’ve never heard of veg. glycerin, I’ll to look it up. My liquid soap attempt is starting to get a Lucy and Ethyl in the chocolate factory edge to it!

      • You certainly make me smile! I think this is the recipe I never tried for liquid soap. http://tipnut.com/homemade-liquid-soap/ Not dish detergent really, but I grew up using Ivory liquid soap, which I imagine to be similar to this recipe. If I try it first, I’ll let you know, if you try it first, let me know? πŸ™‚
        And don’t tempt me with the tomato/avocado/bell pepper talk. Now I feel guilty about having a salad craving in the middle of our northern Virginia snow storm. Ah, but for that silly ground hog, my salad might come 6 weeks sooner.

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