A few years ago I had the idea of making a BLT from scratch. As in, I'd grow the tomatoes and lettuce, make the bread and mayo from simple ingredients, and cure the pork belly. But then I started going deeper into the process, and wondered about raising my own pigs, wheat, chickens, and growing something that would provide the oil necessary for the mayonnaise. I gave up, and mostly forgot about it. Self-reliance is one thing but I don't have the time to recreate 10,000 years of agricultural progress in my backyard.
Others have had the same idea, and have taken it to fields beyond the BLT. Take the Toaster Project, in which a British artist is attempting to make a toaster from scratch--as in, mining and smelting the metals and creating circuitry from raw materials. Even he is stopping short of building a separate generator to provide electricity.
A much simpler version of the BLT project can be found in this, tonight's dinner: a BLT mostly made from ingredients sourced at the Downtown Farmers Market. Hawaiian-style bread from Big Ono Bake Shop in downtown Memphis, bacon from the pasture-raised pigs of Barnes Farms, and luscious Brandywine tomatoes from a vendor whose name I neglected to get. I cheated on the mayo (still no local source of oil) and lettuce (must have been sold out by the time I got there). But I've got to say that it was a damned satisfying sandwich. It's probably the best bacon I've had in my life and I'm a huge fan of heirloom tomatoes. As for the bread, big loaves of King's Hawaiian were an occasional treat on the old family dinner table, and it's great to see someone making this locally.