The daily grind

So the blog’s been a bit dead lately. The logical question would then be “are we?”. No! In truth, we have been thriving on our local diet. The reason, I think that we’ve been forgetting to write, is that we’ve adjusted to our routine. Eating local honestly doesn’t seem that newsworthy after you’ve been doing it for more than half a semester. We’re done with the epic tomato-canning, corn-grinding, lard-rendering, pepper-slicing and everything-dehydrating panic of September. Since the first frost (a couple of weeks ago now) we really haven’t had any big projects. We’ve had no made for reality-tv breakdowns, tantrums or fights. Most of the time we remember to make bread and keep the fridge stocked pretty well. Our digestive systems have at least partially adapted to our absurd fiber intake. So there’s no big news anymore. But really, that’s exactly what we were hoping would happen.

I hesitate to say too much while we still have lots of fresh produce from the CSA, as winter is still not even here yet. But eating local seems thus far to have proven itself feasible, healthful and enjoyable. As the seasons have changed, we’ve begun dipping into our winter stores, and it feels good that we put in all of that work earlier in the semester and over the summer. The amount of time that we are spending in the kitchen has been reduced to a more normal amount and we are feeling less like we are in Little House on the Prairie and more like college students again. We will try to write as more news comes up.



This is just a reminder that some of us are writing in our own blogs. If you click on the name under Participant Blogs that will bring you to their site. This main page will be used for more general postings.




 Milling Cornmeal from Noah’s Farm



Freezing Peaches from the Amherst Farmer’s Market

(Quality Control)

(Quality Control)

Tomato Canning

Lard Rendering- Most disgusting kitchen adventure yet.

Making Butter

Things that we eat

Grains: We are getting delicious wheat berries, buckwheat flour and whole wheat flour from Upingil farm, located, of course, up in Gill Mass. We also have cornmeal  and dried beans from Noah’s garden.


Oils: A tricky thing to find. We are hoping to get some sunflower oil in the coming weeks from John and Betsey Williamson of Vermont. We are also planning to make some oil with sunflowers grown this summer by Tobin here at Hampshire.


Vegetables: Veggies are really important to us. Most of us are shareholders of the Hampshire CSA. The CSA provides beautiful and delicious food from the beginning of the semester to thanksgiving. Right now (the second week of September) we are getting salad greens, kale, eggplant, tomatoes, basil, cilantro, leeks, garlic, chilies, sweet peppers, chard, carrots, beets  and more. Some of the harvest has been preserved for winter use. We love our CSA! The Amherst Farmer’s Market helps fill any gaps we may feel. Farm stands and independent grocery stores such as Maple Farm Foods and Atkins are also good places to find local veggies.



Peaches, pears and apples are in season now. Apples will be available throughout the semester from local orchards. Over the summer, many of us froze fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. So far this semester the Greenhouse Mod residents have frozen fifteen lb. of peaches that we found at the Amherst Farmer’s Market.


Meat: Several of us are vegetarians to some degree, and all of us are on a student budget, so meat is not a huge part of our diet at this point (this may change as the semester goes on). We have some venison from Noah’s farm as well as bacon and lard from Noah’s boss’ pigs.


Dairy: This area has lots of dairy farming. Most of our milk is from nearby Mapeline farms. From it we are making yogurt. We can get butter from the Amherst farmer’s market, and we can also make it ourselves from sweet cream. There are many kinds of farmstead cheeses produced locally, which we can get from the farmer’s market and Atkin’s Market.


Sweeteners: Honey and maple syrup are both widely available. We may also get some sorghum syrup from the Williamsons.


All of this is just an overview. I hope it’s useful!


Cholesterol tests

You can get a cholesterol test from Hampshire Health Services for a cost of $30. All that needs to be done is to fast for 12-14 hours beforehand to get an accurate result. They also asked that we make appointments. Phone number is 413-559-4300.

This is a place to share thoughts about the Hampshire College Local Foods Challenge. Everyone doing the Challenge (and a few people that are not) have their own blog that is connected to this main site. You will find a list of the “Localvores” under the Participants category and a list of “not-exclusivly-local” friends that are part of the project under the Friends category. This main page will be used for announcements and content concerning the Challenge.