Day 17 – 160km Diet

Lessons learnt this week:

During my lunch break on Friday, decided to check out what Queen Victoria Markets had to offer in the way of local food.  I was particularly looking for local wine and meat.  I found a wine merchant in the food hall who stocked a large range of locally produced wines from within my zone.  I took note for future reference.  I then made my way through the fish and meat hall and stumbled upon an Organic/Biodynamic Butcher who sourced his beef from Gippsland, pork from Cape Otway, lamb from Mansfield, and chicken from Queensland.  All just outside my zone except the chicken.  I could tell that he was very proud of where he sourced his produce.  It was quite expensive, but it looked like real meat, deep red just like I remember from my childhood on the dairy farm when Dad slaughtered a cow.  At least this butcher knew where he got all his produce from and not like some of the other butchers I asked.  They didn’t have a clue.  I didn’t buy any because we still had quite a bit of meat in the freezer that we hadn’t used yet.
 I then proceeded to the organic fruit & veg hall.  I discovered that just because something is organic, it doesn’t mean it is local.  The only stone fruit that they had from local sources were White and Yellow Peaches, so I bought 6 big ones, which tasted fantastic.  The stall holders very obligingly checked the boxes to see where everything was from before I made up my mind.  They must get asked the local question quite a bit.  Maybe this diet is catching on.

Some produce can be right on your doorstep.  I took a trip up the range to Gisborne Saturday afternoon, which is only about 23 km from us, however I never made it.  Just at the top was the Mt Gisborne Orchard who were selling fresh red cherries from this property and white cherries from their Daylesford orchard.  As both were in my zone, I bought half a kilo of each at $11 a kilo.  What a bargain, and so close.  On the way back, I noticed not less than 7km from my house there was a new market garden who was growing salad greens.  They had some big poly tunnels out the back and I couldn’t see what was inside.  It might be worth a look in the off season when my own salad greens run out.

Also on yesterday, on our way to visit my daughter Amy in Ballarat, I kept an eagle eye on the surrounding countryside to see what the farmers were growing.  We passed wheat, cattle, lamb, and potatoes.  We spotted a little stall selling local spuds just our side of Ballarat called the Ballarat Potato Shed, and popped in for a look.  The lady at the counter told me that their spuds were not ready, however the ones I selected were from their other farm in Geelong!  Well within my zone and at $10 for 5kg, not a bad price for some very tasty spuds.  She also told me that their produce would be on sale in February.  Sounds like another excuse to visit Amy, not that I need one of course.  On the way home, we pulled into Bacchus Marsh for some more stone fruit and I got caught out.  The Fruits of Life is a well known vendor along the Avenue of Honour, so we drove past our normal supplier and visited the FOL instead.  Well, nice looking store, but the only produce I found from within my zone were Peaches (not from Bacchus Marsh, but from Kangaroo Flat to the north of Melbourne).  The mushrooms were from South Australia, and the carrots from sources unknown.  Beware of flash looking stalls that are basically mutton dressed as lamb.  I will be back to my old stall in the future, that is for sure.

I am getting a bit worried about where I am going to source some of the staples we use from the stockpile.  It is beginning to run low, and with most of the tinned food being imported, it is time to look for fresh or locally processed alternatives.

Over the course of the week, we secured the following staples sourced from local producers;  Cherries, Peaches, Bison Potatoes, Cherry wine.

Harvesting from the garden;  Zucchini, lettuce, onions, garlic, spring onions, herbs (basil, thyme, mint), Cherry tomatoes, cucumber, eggplants (aubergine), eggs, sunflower seeds, sweet potato leaves, jalapeño chillies, and our first capsicum (bell pepper). We had so many eggs we had to sell some to a friend at $4.50 a doz.  Rainwater tank at 75% after this afternoons rain.  I also cracked open a wheel of home made Stilton that was 4 months old.  Delicious.

Planted in the garden; Red Lollo lettuce, spring onions, rainbow chard, 2 x Camellia sinensis bushes for green tea.

Now for the weekly menu.  The whole family is enjoying the home cooked meals and the variety.

Day 10 – Sunday
Lunch;  Last years preserved cucumbers with home-made bread.  99% local
Dinner; Treat night – Chips from the local Fish & Chip shop.  0% local but doesn’t count in overall percentage.

Day 11 – Monday
Breakfast; Weetbix with milk from within zone.  50% local
Lunch;  Leftover vegetable curry from freezer. 100% local from my garden except spices which are allowed.
Dinner; Grilled NZ Hoki (MSC certified), with local potatoes, garden fresh zucchini and canned peas.  50% local.  We must track down a local fish from sustainable sources.

Day 12 – Tuesday
Breakfast; Weetbix with milk from within zone.  50% local
Lunch; .  Leftover pasta sauce from freezer.  20% local ingredients (garlic, onion, carrots, all from my garden)
Dinner;  Zucchini slice with local potatoes, and canned corn. 90% local 
Supper; Home made French onion dip.  Home made Yoghurt,  French onion soup (unknown).  95% local

Day 13 – Wednesday
Breakfast; Vegemite toast (home made bread). 100% local
Lunch;  2 minute noodles from stockpile. 0% local
Dinner;  Cottage Pie.  beef mince from freezer (origin unknown), home grown onion and garlic, canned tomatoes, basil, thyme and passatta.  40% local.

Day 14 – Thursday
Breakfast; Weetbix with milk from within zone.  50% local. 
Lunch;  Leftover Zucchini slice from day 12. 90% local
Dinner;  Home made beef burgers.  Burgers from freezer (Australian), home made bread rolls, cucumber, lettuce from garden.  Local cheddar cheese.  70% local

Day 15 – Friday
Breakfast;  Weetbix with milk from within zone.  50% local

Lunch;  Leftover Cottage Pie.  30% local
Snack at work; 1 organic local peach. 100% local
Dinner;  2 Beef sausages in bread on the BBQ.  100% local.  1 shared bottle of Windy Peak Sav Blanc from Yarra valley (local zone).

Day 16 – Saturday
Breakfast;   Weetbix with milk from within zone.  50% local
Lunch;  Bread & butter cucumber sandwich.  100% local
Snack; Home made Stilton cheese with crackers.  95% local
Dinner;  Free range local Tandoori chicken skewers (made by yours truly) with home made yoghurt, garlic and tandoori spices, with home made special fried rice (rice, egg, spring onion, frozen peas, fresh bean sprouts). 90% local.  Rice from NSW, all other ingredients local.
Dessert;  Semolina pudding.  Some very old Semolina (milled in Melbourne), local milk and butter, with 2 tablespoons of castor sugar (Queensland) topped with local cherries and a glass or two of Cherry wine.  95% local.

Day 17 – Sunday
Breakfast;  Vegemite toast (home made bread). 2 cups of mint tea.  100% local.
Lunch;  Leftover Special Fried rice from day 16.  50% local
Dinner;  Baked Potatoes with home-made bolognese sauce.  60% local
Dessert;  Semolina pudding.  Some very old Semolina (milled in Melbourne), local milk and butter, with 2 tablespoons of castor sugar (Queensland), topped with local cherries.  95% local (I love semolina pudding!).

Given that there were 27 meals listed, we achieved a local food diet rating of 71.0% for this week.

Getting much better at this, and always on the lookout for local fare to the point of obsession.  One that Kim thinks that I need to calm down on :-)

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  1. says

    It’s amazing what you can find once you start looking! I’ve been on the lookout since new years and found that my two local fruit and vegie markets are now making an advertising point of their locally grown produce and most of our local butchers source their meat from within our region.

    I’m glad you raised the 100 mile idea.There is a lot of hype in the next town over about eating a 100km diet, but after comparing 100km’s v’s 100 miles, I think in my rural area 100 miles is much more realistic and many of the producers that have stalls at our local farmers market (held monthly) are within the 100 miles but wouldn’t be within the 100 kms.

  2. says

    Well done, its hard work isnt it, I too am becoming obsessed.

    Things like chickpeas and other legumes, rice and grains all seem to come from outside NSW and even Australia. Will have to give up the Kelloggs it seems.

    But my little store of locally produced home made preserves is steadily growing.

  3. says

    Awesome work! If you can get local potatoes, any way you can turn them into flour? (Dehydrate then process? Maybe solar oven?)If it works, you can then use it as flour in many things… just time consuming, is all! Good luck…

  4. says

    all the farmers around me grow lentils..chickpea,barley,wheat(not organic thou) we are 2hours northeast of ballarat(30minutes from st arnaud)

    all the canned food you purchases you could grow and bottle yourself…

    a list of places that are local would be good too so we could view at a glance(wonder if there is a website already set up?? know of one??

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