Philadelphians who want to eat local have a great resource to go to online – Farm to Philly. The site is “focused on finding and eating locally grown/produced food in Philadelphia, its surrounding suburbs, and South Jersey.”

For the past couple of years, Farm to Philly has hosted the One Local Summer challenge. Hundreds of people from around the world take up this challenge during the summer to create one meal each week from locally sourced ingredients (exceptions: oil, salt, pepper, and spices).

Registration for One Local Summer is open until May 30, 2009 and it isn’t restricted to those local to Philadelphia. Anyone from around the country or around the world can sign up, and they’ll be given a regional coordinator who will report back to Farm to Philly on what those who have signed up for the challenge are doing. You can register by leaving a comment on their website or by e-mailing them at and leaving your name, location and blog url (if you have one).

This challenge is great for people who are experienced locavores or locavore wannabe’s. Trying to eat locally every day can be a daunting task, but once a week in the summer months when locally grown produce is in season just about everywhere is quite doable.

Last summer, I didn’t do this challenge, but I did create a couple of local meals just to see if I could. One of the best things I ended up making was yummy honey chicken kabobs using chicken and a variety of in-season vegetables – all bought from the local farmers market.

In addition to this type of challenge being good for the environment, it’s good for your creative culinary juices, too. It gets you looking at recipes you’ve never made before and using ingredients that you usually don’t.

If signing up for the One Local Summer challenge interests you, make sure you do it by May 30th. If trying a local meal seems like something you’d like to do but you don’t want to commit to the whole summer, just try it one evening on your own and see what you come up with. 

Image: Farm to Philly 

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

One Local Summer
The Farm to Philly website challenges everyone to cook with local ingredients this summer once a week.