100-Mile Food Challenge

June 21, 2008 – June 20, 2009

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Top Reasons to Eat LOCAL Foods

You'll get exceptional taste and freshness.

Local food is fresher and tastes better than food shipped long distances from other states or countries. Local farmers can offer produce varieties bred for taste and freshness rather than for shipping and long shelf life.

You'll strengthen your local economy and community.

Buying local food keeps your dollars circulating in your community. Getting to know the farmers who grow your food builds relationships based on understanding and trust, the foundation of strong communities.

You'll support endangered family farms.

There's never been a more critical time to support your farming neighbors. With each local food purchase, you ensure that more of your money spent on food goes to the farmer.

You'll safeguard your family's health.

Knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown or raised enables you to choose safe food from farmers who avoid or reduce their use of chemicals, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or genetically modified seed in their operations. Buy food from local farmers you trust.

You'll protect the environment.

Local food doesn't have to travel far. This reduces carbon dioxide emissions and packing materials. Buying local food also helps to make farming more profitable and selling farmland for development less attractive.

This poster was originally displayed at the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair Café

and Grille, June 2007

The Door County 100 Mile Food Challenge Sponsors

Greens 'n' Grains Natural Food Store

As spring turned to summer this year (2009), the Door County 100-mile Food Challenge came to an end for several Door County residents. A year ago these locavores entered into an agreement with themselves and Sustain Door, Inc. that they would increase the incidence and/or duration of sourcing their meals from growers and providers within a 100 mile radius of the borders of Door County. Some participants chose to increase their local eating by one meal a week for the entire year. Some chose to eat exclusively local foods during the months that the farmers markets in Door County were open. The parameters of each individual's Challenge were self-determined.

Door County 100-mile Food Challenge participants were pleased to find many sources of foods in Door County including our several farm markets, many farm stands, fisheries, fruit orchards, honey and maple syrups producers, and local meat producers to name a few. Participants reported that their food tasted better and that they were gratified to know under what conditions and by whom their food was raised.

Now that the year has passed, the Door County 100-mile Food Challenge participants are able to use the information gained during their research of local food sources to continue their intentional eating in a less structured manner. They also have identified some areas of difficulty as regards the availability of local foods and wish to report these to the wider community with the hope that some of the gaps in local food distribution might be closed with local economic development and agricultural initiatives. The gaps and recommendations follow.

Food source gap: Local consumable grains are limited to wheat and corn. Oats, though grown readily in Door County, are not able to be processed here, and thus are unavailable to the consumer. Other grains such as rye, barley, sorghum, and buckwheat are also not readily available.

Recommendations: Support the establishment of one or more grain mills which would include equipment such as a huller, to process a wider variety of grains for human consumption. Encourage growers to cultivate a wider variety of grains.

Food source gap: Cooking oils are unavailable in Door County and the surrounding regions. Fats are limited to those derived from animal sources, such as butter and lard.

Recommendations: Support the establishment of one or more oil pressing plants in Door County. Encourage growers to plant, in addition to soybeans, rapeseed, sunflower, etc. as oil crops.

Food source gap: Local eaters needed to limit the variety of foods that they enjoyed on a conventional diet. Food stuffs that are not grown in this climate at all or that are seasonal, and thus not available year around, are lacking from the locavore's diet. These include citrus fruit, fresh greens, mushrooms, tomatoes, and many other items.

Recommendations: Support greenhouse agriculture such as is done by some farmers locally (e.g. Amy Stich of Cherrydale Farm), and by other farmers in climates similar or more harsh than our own. (See for example, www.ontariogreenhouse.com). Support specialty food production operations (e.g. mushroom growing, dairy goat husbandry).

Food source gap: Although many local eaters enjoy working in their gardens and kitchens, growing, preserving, and preparing food, they are inconvenienced by the need to spend an atypical amount of time at these activities. In order that the wider population is able to eat locally, attention will need to be paid to convenience of acquisition of foods both whole and processed.

Recommendations: Establish certified processing kitchens, possibly staffed by experienced food preservers, which are available for use by local growers for canning and drying of their harvests. (Excellent examples are the Algoma Farm Market Kitchen and the Oneida Nation Cannery.) Support the establishment of and diversification of local food processing operations including accommodations for artisan cheese making, sausage making, bread baking, pasta production, etc.

Food source gap: Locavores in Door County find few opportunities to eat out. Although the awareness of the locavore market is increasing among restaurant owners and major effort is being made by some restaurants (e.g. Harbor Landing in Egg Harbor, The Cookery and The Wild Tomato Wood-Fired Pizza and Grille in Fish Creek, and Perry’s Cherry Diner in Sturgeon Bay), the problem of distribution and acquisition of food stuffs for use in local menu creation continues to impede growth in this area.

Recommendations: Continue and improve the networking efforts already begun between farmers and restaurant/grocery owners to establish reliable farm-to-table trade. Support development of Community Supported Agriculture operations such as Steep Creek Farm and Door to Door Local Harvest. Encourage membership in and use of online networking resources such as www.greenleafmarket.com.


Sustain Door announces the Door County 100-Mile Food Challenge to celebrate the foods grown in abundance within our community. We invite residents of Door County to spend a period of three months to one full year seeking out and consuming only those foods which are grown and processed within a 100-mile radius of the borders of Door County, and to record their experiences in the Challenge Journal.

Locally grown, in-season foods are more nutritious and flavorful than foods grown far away and eaten out of season. Finding and consuming locally grown foods enriches our bodies while enriching our community through the support of its valuable farmland and food producers. Consuming healthy, locally grown foods reduces our reliance on fossil fuels while protecting local food sources needed to sustain ourselves in times of shortage or other emergencies. When farmers can sell their produce locally, fewer chemical inputs are needed for preservation and extension of shelf-life. Consumers know the producers and can assure themselves that safe farming practices are followed

The 100-Mile Food Challenge has an educational purpose as well. By recording and sharing our experiences in finding food sources, we will be helping the University of Wisconsin Agricultural Extension Office identify gaps and unfulfilled consumer needs in our local agriculture.

Participants in the 100-Mile Food Challenge will set their own goals and parameters. Some will choose to eat local foods exclusively for four consecutive seasons. Some will commit to cooking one meal a week which is completely locally sourced. Some participants, for reasons of health, happiness, or practicality, will exempt particular foods from the challenge. Any plan is acceptable as long as it is a significant challenge to the individual and helps to further the goals of increasing both the incidence of local food consumption and public awareness and education about sustainable agriculture and local food distribution.

See our 100-Mile Food Challenge Blog.

7821 State Highway 42

Egg Harbor, WI 54209


Bluefront Cafe

86 W. Maple

Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235

(920) 743-9218

Farm Market Kitchen

520 Parkway Street

Algoma, WI 54201

(920) 487-9750

Wildwood Market at Carlson's Island View Orchard

2208 Wildwood Road

Ellison Bay, WI 54210

(920) 854-5500

C&C Supper Club

4170 Main

Fish Creek, WI 54212

(920) 868-3412

Hyline Orchard

8240 Highway 42

Fish Creek, WI 54212

(920) 868-3067

The Bistro at Liberty Square

7755 State Highway 42

Egg Harbor, WI 54209

(920) 868-4800

Thank you!

White corn from the Oneida Agricultural Community

When you buy local food, you vote with your food dollar. This ensures that family farms in Door County will continue to thrive and that healthy, flavorful, plentiful food will be available for future generations.

Sponsored by Sustain Door, of Door County, Wisconsin, USA sustaindoor@gmail.com