A 100 Mile Thanksgiving

November 12th, 2008

The other night I attended the “Farmland Feast” benefit on behalf of Freshfarm Markets, a DC organization dedicated to strengthening the local food movement in the Chesapeake Bay Region. While that was a small, local celebration of the harvest behind us, soon all Americans will be celebrating the harvest at Thanksgiving time. What better way to take the concept of “local first” than to apply it to the planning of our Thanksgiving menus?

How about a 100 Mile Meal for Thanksgiving?  Today I’m pleased to share a guest post from Jennifer Kaplan, author of the forthcoming book “The Green Opportunity.” Jennifer is a partner in the Greenhance business consulting firm, blogs about green business at her blog, Green Your Business and at Ecopreneurist, and she recently launched the first EcoTuesday event on the East Coast. But hey, she’s got a personal life too! So when it was time to share her special 100 mile Menu for Thanksgiving, she turned to OrganicMania, thinking it a better fit for this post than her usual business blogs. Welcome Jennifer!

My family is coming for Thanksgiving this year and I’m going to try to make it a 100-mile meal. We have 22 family and friends coming from up and down the Easy coast from Brooklyn to Tampa, and while the family is generally sympathetic to green-living, its likely to require some friendly advice to pull this off. So, I’m starting with the following e-mail:

Hi everyone. We are all looking forward to hosting Thanksgiving this year! In the spirit of the season, we wanted to try and do something a little different, a 100-mile Thanksgiving. The 100-mile movement is a local eating experiment whereby you buy food that is locally raised and produced from within a 100-mile radius of where you live. To make this easy and fun for everyone, here is a link to our local farm, Southmountain Creamery, that will delivery to our house on Monday November, 24th. Please note that the order must be placed by Midnight, Thursday, November 20th in order to be delivered on the 24th, so please try and plan ahead. Please look through their offerings because they sell all sorts of local food including meat, artisan cheeses, bread, honey, etc. and let me know if you want me to order anything for you:

Here are some Q&A to help in the process:

1. Why the ‘100-Mile’ Diet? In the word’s on the movement website: It’s an easy way to start thinking local. A 100-mile radius is large enough to reach beyond a big city and small enough to feel truly local. And it rolls off the tongue more easily than the ‘160-Kilometre Diet.’

2. What about coffee, olive oil, ect…? We know that certain foods are impossible to source from within 100-miles of Washington, DC. We’d like everyone to do their best, but will happily make exceptions for coffee, tea, wheat, oils and other essential ingredients which are impossible to find from within the 100-mile radius from your house or ours. The 100-mile diet site has lots of tips for finding local food sources, including the website Local Harvest, where you can find markets, local-food-friendly restaurants, farms, and food delivery programs for every region and tips for finding your local farmer’s market at 13 Lucky Farmers’ Market Tips. If you want to see if milk delivery (which, like Soutmountain Creamery, often delivers other local goods) is available near you, Winder Frams has a national directory by state.

3. We’ll take care of the Turkey and stuffing. Just let us know what you want to bring or what you want ingredients you want us to get for you and we’ll take care of the rest.

4. As mentioned, I would like to offer to order any ingredients you might need for foods that will be assembled, prepared and or cooked here. If you are bringing food from home, it would be great if your food could be sourced from within 100 miles of your home. For example, I’m pretty sure Brooklyn Beer falls well within the 100-mile range for some of you (hint, hint).

Looking forward to a happy Thanksgiving! See you all soon!

What did you think about the tips in Jennifer’s post? It sure works for me! Leave a comment and share!

— Lynn

4 Responses to “A 100 Mile Thanksgiving”

  1. Kevin Kirshner on November 13, 2008 6:11 pm

    Just want to comment that I love the idea of the 100 mile Thanksgiving. another that comes to mind is the 100 year old Thanksgiving — w/o electric refrigeration — talk abt fresh!

    I also wanted to pass on although the intent of Windner Farms is pure — I have to give a big shout out for High Lawn Farms, in Lee, MA (Berkshires) http://www.highlawnfarm.com

    High Lawn Farm has been in continuous operation since before 1900. The Jersey herd, for which High Lawn Farm is nationally recognized, dates to at least 1918, with official production records continuous from 1923. Certain cow families in the present herd trace direct lineage across 15 generations to the original herd of 1918.

    They still do home delivery………Happy Holidays to all!

  2. Jennifer Kaplan on November 20, 2008 11:22 am

    Thanks Kevin. I’ll check out High LAwn Farms next time I’m in the Berkshires.

  3. Jennifer Kaplan on November 20, 2008 11:25 am

    UPDATE: My sister-in-law, Rebecca, is bringing an apple-pear chutney to replace cranberry sauce and Jacques Torres chocolate (www.mrchocolate.com) which is the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted. So far, so good.

  4. Organic and Green Mom Blog | The 100 Mile Thanksgiving, Part II at Organic Mania on November 25, 2008 9:04 pm

    […] Following is the continuation of Jennifer Kaplan’s post about celebrating a “100 Mile” Thanksgiving. You can read the first part here. […]

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