by Sarah Baird
The Eat Local Challenge is a unique opportunity each June for New Orleanians to eat only food grown, caught, or raised within a 200-mile radius for an entire month, while learning more about the farmers and artisans in their own backyard.
If you're not quite ready to take the 30-day plunge, the Eat Local Challenge also offers a number of classes and outings to help aspiring locavores learn more about growing, foraging, and fermenting food first hand.
Foraging is an ancient practice that's seen a recent resurgence in popularity, with sleuthing for mushrooms a particularly delicious pastime. The New Orleans Mycology Society (read: they're mushroom experts) will be leading a wild mushroom hunt in Bogue Chitto State Park on Sunday, June 22 at 10 a.m. to find chanterelle mushrooms and other edible fungi.
Not to be outdone in the antiquated culinary practices department, Bubbling Bayou Community Ferments is hosting a mead-making class on Wednesday, June 25 from 6-8 p.m. at Fair Grinds Coffeehouse for those interested in drinking the honey wine near and dear to the hearts of Vikings and Beowulf.
For those more cocktail inclined, American Sector will host a "garden to glass" workshop from 6-8 p.m. this Wednesday, highlighting the history of victory gardens and how using locally grown ingredients is an ultimate act of civic-mindedness.
The home stretch of the Eat Local Challenge provides a wealth of ways to test the waters and learn more abut your own culinary interests in the process. Click here for the full schedule of upcoming events and classes.