The Peoria Locavore in Winter, Part 2: Finishing with the Freezer
When last we visited this subject, I covered the fruits and vegetables we put up in our freezer to help get us through the winter in a locavore sort of style. However, if you looked carefully at the picture you might have noticed much more than just fruits and vegetables. In fact, you might not have seen much fruit or vegetable in that particular picture, but lots of yummy looking fish. So how exactly are salmon and cod locavore-ish, you ask?
Read on, dear reader, and find out.
There’s More to Locavore than Fruits and Vegetables
In fact, while we do put up quite a bit of local fruits and vegetables, here in central Illinois it’s not that difficult to get organically and sustainably raised meats of various flavors (don’t worry, I’ll get to the fish in a little bit).
We get almost all of our meat from Broad Branch Farm because, as I may have mentioned, I do their website as part of a barter. They get a website, we get fabulous, local organically raised vegetables, meat and eggs. The Poeppels raise cows, chickens and pigs and sell them as part of their CSA program and (brief plug) you can sign up for various combinations of their meats; if you’re interested, do it fast, the meat shares sell out quickly. So during the summer we start filling the freezer with various combinations of their meats as they become available.
If you attend the Riverfront Market, you also have options for locally raised meat. We buy ground chicken and turkey from Greengold Acres (eggs also, but they don’t freeze so well) and one expensive but delicious turkey per year from the Wettstein’s (from whom the Poeppels get some of their young animals to raise). There are other options at the Riverfront and I’m sure other farmer’s markets, and some also sell at Naturally Yours and Pottstown Meat & Deli, so you really do have year-round options for locally raised meat.
In fact, we don’t eat meat any more when we go out unless it’s someplace that sources locally and/or sustainably. The more you learn about how scary and disgusting factory-farmed meat is, the less you’ll eat it. And not eating at all is best.
But What About This “Local” Cod & Salmon?
OK, you’re right, they certainly aren’t raised or caught locally. But we do have a very cool option for getting sustainably caught fish and seafood, right here in Peoria. Well, based in Galesburg but they deliver literally to your door here in Peoria. It’s called Sitka Salmon and it’s kind of like a CSA. What they’ve done, and this is the short version so check out their website, is form relationships with small-scale fishermen in and around Sitka Alaska. The people they work with capture fish in season and sustainably so that stocks aren’t depleted, and what’s available can change depending on supplies.
If you don’t know, overfishing is causing huge damage to the earth’s water-based ecosystems, arguably worse and potentially more devastating than what our factory farming is doing, and that’s saying something. So making sure you eat sustainably caught seafood is a pretty big deal, and being able to do that here in the Midwest is pretty awesome.
Sitka Salmon has various shares you can purchase and it’s been an awesome way to build up our winter meat supply and to eat more of the fish that’s supposed to be healthy for us.
So that about wraps up our freezer story, and one of the main ways we’re able to continue our locavore/organic/sustainable eating ways during the long, cold winters here in Peoria, Illinois. I strongly encourage you to start taking advantage of these options; not only are you eating more healthy, you’re supporting small, local farmers and thus contributing to our local economy, keeping your money here instead of sending it out of state.
Up Next: Local Eating Without the Freezer