Well another week has passed by on the 160km (100 mile) diet.
Lessons learnt: Local food is not too hard to source if you look outside of the two major supermarkets (Woolworths & Coles). Have a look in the smaller one like IGA or Foodworks to name two for local fare. I discovered that a fair proportion of meat products stocked by the minor supermarkets are locally raised.
A few phone calls are often all it takes to confirm whether produce is local at a suppler. Let your fingers do the walking first either in the phone book or on-line before burning fossil fuels travelling to discover that suppliers produce in not as local as they say it is. We have saved lots of fuel using this method.
The Tea problem was solved with a bit of experimentation.
Local Spices are almost impossible to source unless you convert to bush tucker spices which we may still do. I still have quite a stockpile of essential spices that we use regularly, but I have considered that seeing that sailing ships used to distribute spices all over the world during the 18th and 19th centuries, I am going to allow them in our diet over the course of the year.
Kim has been fretting a bit about not being able to source certain luxury foods or staples, so I told her to put them on her luxury list. So far she has; dates, tinned tomatoes, baked beans, chocolate, and sugar. We are going to be hard pressed to find local substitutes for those foods, but where possible we will source in this order, organic Australian produce, non-organic Australian produce, then organic fair trade, and finally plain fair trade.A bit of a compromise but the most ethical and fair we can think of.
Keep your main source of food i.e. the veggie patch well tended, and harvest regularly for a continuous crop. Have seedlings ready to go for when crops like lettuce bolt to seed. That way you will not have an interruption in your food supply.
We have found that we have only spent $70 out of our normal $300 food budget for the fortnight simply because we are forcing ourselves to look in the garden for meals first. We also are overwhelmed by the amount of food that is NOT local like dates and walnuts. Things we took for granted are just not on the food agenda any more. I am sure we can find a local supply of walnuts and I think there is a farm near Ballarat that sells them.
Over the course of the week, we secured the following staples sourced from local producers; Flour, Fruit and Potatoes.
Harvesting from the garden; Zucchini, lettuce, onions, garlic, spring onions, herbs (basil, thyme, mint, chamomile), Cherry tomatoes (3), cucumber, eggplants (aubergine), eggs, jalapeño chillies, and peaches. The food garden is surviving well during the heat thanks to the drip irrigation system and a heavy layer of mulch. The rainwater tank is 66% full and rain is expected on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Here are the meals that we ate during the week. The only one I regret was the Tiddly Oggy I ate yesterday for lunch. If I had have known what was in it, I wouldn’t have eaten it. Bloody MSG!
Day 3 – Sunday
Lunch; Rockmelon. 0% local
Dinner; Leek, Potato and Ham soup with Peach Crumble. Leeks from garden, Potato from Mirboo North (within zone), Ham unknown but leftover from Christmas, butter from Gippsland with home baked multi-grain bread from stockpile bread mix. Peaches from my orchard, flour from stockpile, butter from Gippsland. 80% local.
Day 4 – Monday
Breakfast; 2 boiled eggs from the chooks, and two slices of home-made bread toasted. 100% local
Lunch; 2 nectarines and a Vegemite sandwich. 100% local.
Dinner; Chicken Burritos. Free range chicken (local), Onion, garlic from garden. Canned tomatoes from USA (stockpile). Spices (stockpile but imported). Tortilla (locally made but from imported ingredients, stockpile). Spring onion, capsicum, lettuce from garden, hydroponic tomatoes (local). 60% local
Day 5 – Tuesday
Breakfast; Missed it as I had stomach pains and slept until 11am
Lunch; 2 cucumber sandwiches and two nectarines. 100% local
Dinner; Beef Rogan Josh. Beef from local butchers (see previous post), Onion, garlic, capsicum from garden. Canned tomatoes from Italy (stockpile). Rice from NSW. Curry paste from UK (stockpile). 50% local
Supper; Home made French onion dip. Yoghurt from within zone (Bulla, Colac), French onion soup (unknown). 90% local
Day 6 – Wednesday
Breakfast; UHT Milk and Weetbix (stockpile). 1 slice Vegemite toast (home made bread). 2 cups of mint tea from garden. 50% local
Lunch; Home made bread with French onion spread. 4 local apricots. 99% local
Dinner; Leek and Ham Quiche with Garlic Potatoes. local flour, milk and butter for base. Leek, zucchini, garlic from garden, local potatoes, local cheese, eggs from chooks, last bit of ham from Xmess. 95% local.
Day 7 – Thursday
Breakfast; UHT Milk and Weetbix (stockpile). 2 cups of mint and green tea (garden and stockpile). 20% local
Lunch; Leftover Chicken Korma from day 2. 50% local
Dinner; Nachos. Mission corn chips, minced beef (stockpile), carrots, celery, onion from garden, local cheese, avocado (Queensland), spices (stockpile). 75% local
Day 8 – Friday
Breakfast; UHT milk with Weetbix (stockpile). Small serve of home made Greek yoghurt. 50% local
Snack at work; 2 nectarines and a home made date and walnut scone. 80% local
Lunch; Cucumber sandwiches with home made Branston Pickle. 100% local
Dinner; Home made Beef Burger with Garlic Potatoes. Australian Beef (origin unknown), local cheese (Devondale), Lettuce, cucumber from garden, home made Hot Chilli Chutney on roll. Bread roll (origin unknown, stockpile – freezer). Garlic home-grown, Potatoes from Mirboo North (local), Olive oil (stockpile). 70% local.
Day 9 – Saturday
Breakfast; UHT milk with Weetbix (stockpile). 2 apricots. 50% local
Lunch; 1 Tiddly Oggy from Ferguson Plarre. Made in Melbourne of unknown origins. 0% local
Dinner; Sausages, Rice and Salad. Local Beef Snags from Bridgewater, Lettuce, cucumber, red spring onion from garden, cherry tomatoes from Qld (stockpile). Home made Pyrenees with green peppercorn cheese. 1 bottle organic Chardonnay (Natures Harvest) shared between 3. 90% local.
Day 10 – Sunday
Breakfast; UHT milk with Weetbix (stockpile). 2 glasses of tap water. 20% local if you count the tap water.
So from my crude maths, given that there were 21 meals listed, we achieved a local food diet rating of 63.2% for this week. Not too bad considering that we only started 10 days ago. I am quite proud of this achievement. Once the Weetbix is depleted, I will attempt to source a local breakfast cereal like rolled oats for porridge and stick to local milk. That should boost the local percentage rating.
So far, so good. I am finding it exciting and challenging enough to want to do better!