The Conclusion Was Really Just the Beginning

If you have been following this little sustainable food series about a challenge we devised and undertook, you might be curious about what happened when our target goal date rolled around. And here it is:

Tomorrow is the first day after the challenge … and we will start our day with a cup of coffee. I will sink my teeth into the chocolate I’ve been fantasizing about for weeks. We’ll once again enjoy such delights as oatmeal and nuts and perhaps the occasional avocado or banana. We’re looking forward to once again using spices; even basic black pepper and cinnamon will seem to dramatically inspire our dishes. I just might crack into a bottle of wine bought on a recent trip to Virginia sometime soon.

But, to our surprise, the arrival of of this date does not feel like the saving grace we’d originally anticipated it to be, and we also don’t feel as though our time during the experiment was fraught with deprivation or that it was a miserable test of wills. This, too, has been a pleasant surprise. In fact, we plan to continue feeding ourselves very much in this same way indefinitely; while we will reincorporate some out-of-region offerings, we are committed to acquiring the majority of our food as we have done throughout this challenge. In fact, I already cannot imagine having to rely exclusively on grocery stores again, and I very much hope I never have to.

I have been so grateful for this experience and for everything I have learned.

Indeed, what resulted from the experiment was further commitment to the concept. While we will reincorporate a number of nutritional elements into our lives that were an impossibility during the challenge based on our geography, we have become ever more cognizant of the manner in which those reincorporated elements arrive to us. And indeed, we will continue to locally source as much of our food as we can, even through the winter at a biweekly (indoor) farmers’ market that primarily offers root vegetables lugged in from their storage places in barns and root cellars all over the region. We will continue to research and learn and experiment, and our interest in it has only grown. The challenge’s conclusion really wasn’t a conclusion at all … the conclusion was really just the beginning.

One might wonder why we chose to focus so much on food in our efforts to live more sustainably when there are a myriad of other avenues through which to explore sustainability—and the truth is that food is really only one aspect of it for us. Another area of considerable interest to us—and it certainly is not the only one—is that of small-space living, and luckily, there is growing interest in that very subject the world over, making the information about it all the more accessible.

We’ll save some of that for a future article.