Oh my goodness! What have I done? Eating locally is challenging to say the least.
Kim and I sat down on New Years Day and discussed how we were going to achieve this goal now that it is out there. We decided to do the very best we could, but not become too anal retentive about it. We will become conscious consumers of food and where we can buy local in bulk and make changes to the diet along the way. This also means better management of continuous crop planting in the veggie patch to ensure that we have enough for preserves and to freeze if we want to eat out of season. A continuous supply of salad greens is also a must.
We also did an audit of the cupboard to see how much food we had in the stockpile. Lots of the food we have is definately NOT local. Heck, the canned corned beef comes from Brazil and I bet they cut down a rainforest somewhere to grow the livestock.
We figure that there is about 3 months worth of food in the stockpile, and will be supplementing it with locally purchase food as we reduce the non-local stockpile. When we find local food in bulk, then we will add to the stockpile.
I had quite a few questions about coffee, tea, sugar and wheat in the last post so I will answer what I have figured out so far.
- Coffee; haven’t drank it much over the holidays, so I don’t think I am going to miss it all that much. I will give it up for the challenge.
- Tea; I have a chamomile tea substitute growing in my garden which I will do a separate post about.
- Sugar; I am hunting down a Stevia bush which is a natural sugar that I can use for Tea and other things like cooking (I hope). I have made enquiries regarding seedlings from a local company.
- Wheat (flour); looking for a supply close by, but for now we are using our bread mix and baking flour we have in the stockpile from South Australia. I looked at the 160km circle and the western wheat belt is certainly within it, so we may be in luck. We have a fair bit of flour stockpiled so hoping to find some within the next month.
So, now that it is day 3, we have not been shopping and have utilised a fair bit of local food. My local calculations are based on the amount of local food in the meal. Not a perfect start, but at least I am working on it!
Lunch; Salad from the garden – lettuce, cucumber, basil, parsley, hydroponic tomatoes (within zone), with home made Stilton cheese. 100% local
Dinner; Pasta sauce – Onions, Garlic, Zucchini and Basil from the garden, Tomatoes and Passata from the stockpile. No tomatoes ready in the garden as yet. Ravioli from stockpile. 50% local
Breakfast; Weetbix and UHT milk with a slice of rockmelon. 0% local
Lunch; Turkish bread with home grown salad, local smoked chicken, and cheese. 40% local
Dinner; Onion Bhajias and Chicken Korma. Onions and chillies from garden, Lillydale free range chicken from within radius, Pura cream from within zone (I think). Curry paste from UK. Besan flour from India. Rice from NSW. 50% local
Breakfast; Home made bread, toasted (flour from Sth Aust) spread with butter from Gippsland, and Vegimite made in Melbourne (ingredients unknown), 3 cups of home grown chamomile tea. 80% local
So far not a bad start, but definitely in the ‘could do better’ category. I will update this goal once a week each Sunday to keep myself honest. Looking forward to more local food, and the next update!
Well done, I had thought about doing that too but a 160 km from Sydney does not provide everything we need. I decided it would be more realisitic for us to grow more of our own to compensate for that which comes from non local sources. I am going to add tea and coffee bushes to my new garden.
Can you get rice locally, we eat alot of that? What about milk?
Impressive. How you read Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”? It covers just this.
Meagan @ecoMILF says
Way to go Gavin!! This is a hugely green initiative and a major challenge. Thank you for constantly inspiring me! xo m.
Great start! I was wondering whether you drank tea & coffee, and what you were going to do about that part!
Seconding Rose – Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is a great book for locavores to enjoy. In their challenge, each family member was allowed one ‘treat’ food that was able to be sourced from anywhere in the world. I think coffee was picked by someone, bananas by someone else?
It certainly is a challenging exercise. I did start down that path myself a while ago but got waylayed by other things that felt more achievable at the time. I didn’t go backwards but I certainly haven’t gone forward from that point. I probably should go through my pantry again and give it another try.
Pip at Rest is not idleness says
Looks as if you are doing quite well so far. I enjoyed reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle as well. We try to buy and eat local as much as possible but I don’t think my husband will ever give up his sugar fix.
Mickle in NZ says
Well done. Check out local honey for some of your sugar supplies. I expect there to be some available from within your local radius.
Hope 2010 is a happy and rain-full year for you (you’re welcome to what I’m getting right now)
I’ve borrowed Animal, Vegetable, Miracle from the library based on people’s recommendations here, and so far it is very readable!
Picked up some local honey from the hardware store yesterday and I’m planning to make this honey walnut recipe again: http://www.abc.net.au/local/recipes/2009/07/30/2640769.htm
(the balsamic vinegar sounded a bit strange, but it works really well!)