Eat Local

EATLocal- cityhippyfarmgirl

I’d often thought I would like to do one of those ‘eat local’ challenges. Problem was time was ticking and I was still just thinking about it.

I needed to get up and out there, doing it. I already think our family’s way of eating is fairly mindful, eating with a conscious but I wanted that extra push, that little bit more. If I was a single person I could push it a lot, a hell of a lot more, but I’m not. So in consideration to my three still small children with sometimes picky taste buds I’m going to set the bar just a little higher than what it is. See how we go and then hopefully move on from there. Mr Chocolate’s taste buds are fairly in tune with mine, so as long as I don’t serve platefuls of sauerkraut and buckwheat he’s reasonably easy to please on the dinner front.

So what’ the challenge?

Once a month, a meal created from local food. Pretty simple really.

Also keeping in mind-organic, free range, spray free, from the farmers market, garden grown, as little packaging as possible, and knowing where it has all been sourced from. Β Many of our family meals incorporate a lot of these aspects already, but as one set meal, knowing exactly where everything is coming from, or coming as close as I can anyway, (while still keeping in mind- divided emerging taste buds and importantly a budget.)

We live in a small space in the city, growing extra food is simply not an option for us. BUT there are other foody options and I’m pretty excited to find out what a few more of them might be.

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Local HarvestΒ is a great organisation that runs similar challenges every year. Have a peek for more details on how you can get involved.

Along with what ever I cook up once a week, I’ll also add any great finds or problems I had during the past month- an Eat Local post will be done in the last week of the month.

How about you? Have you done this before? Have you thought about it? Want to give it a crack with me?

Eat Local- cityhippyfarmgirl

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27 thoughts on “Eat Local

  1. I’ve been thinking about this- I’ve tried to source out some of the more local farms and butchers and although this is a bad time of year to find local veg- I will consider working my way up to your challenge.

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  2. That’s a great challenge. There’s farmer’s market that’s a half-hour drive from where I live and it’s open every Friday. I’m going to try and get there most weeks so I can buy fresh, organic and local xx

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    • I think my circle will gradually grow Celia. I will try super duper hard to keep it within 160km (100 miles), after that within NSW, and if it’s outside that REALLY knowing the where-how-who. An edgell can of Australian corn won’t cut it! πŸ™‚ Like I said though I will see how I go, small circle first…which unfortunately won’t be from my garden (unless it’s a meal of rosemary and chillies today.)
      And your challenge of only eating homegrown would be wonderful!

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      • I was thinking the same thing (how local is local). I figure the meat and fresh produce is fairly straight forward, but what about things like flour, grains, salt and so on? It’s something I’ve never looked into – would love to hear about what you uncover. X

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      • Entirely up to the person with how strict you want to take it. I’ll do my very best to keep things as local as possible OR really knowing where things come from.
        This is what I want to find out, where are the trouble spots, where is it really tricky to find things? What’s the closest flour I can source? Lots to find out πŸ™‚

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  3. What a great way to ease into it! By having one meal a month where you know where everything comes from, it will make all of you more aware, and sub-consciously be looking for more.
    I applaud you!

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  4. Pingback: Eating local | The Cactus Garden

  5. I attend a lot of “sustainable food production and consumption” lectures via our local natural resources management group and got talking to a university lecturer who with a group of friends, has been eating the “locavore” way for about 3 months now. They can access pretty much everything that they need aside from wheat. Obviously no chocolate, coffee or tea here in Tassie but as we have decent growing conditions, there is nothing stopping us from growing tea and having a go at coffee growing (needs must and all πŸ˜‰ ). Her group even found someone growing organic dried beans. We have a lot of artisan growers here and most of what Tasmania produces wings it’s way over to the mainland but at the end of the day we are a fecund isle and our small population could live quite comfortably from what we produce.

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    • I’ve often thought from my times visiting Tasmania that a lot of the food I like to eat is easier to source there than it is here in Sydney. I do know for sure the quality in your beautiful state is pretty hard to compare to. Not having coffee would be a bugger but I think if you were only eating as a locavore…life would still be ok. (And perhaps I would start with your spelt grain, apples, amazing cheeses and truffles ;-))

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      • Tino Carnevale has a coffee tree growing in the Bot gardens in Hobart. The climate is changing a lot and there has to be SOME benefits to it! ;). Looks like Hobart will become the new Sydney…plenty of waterfront properties to be had for a song ;). We have cherries to, lots of grapes (particularly pinot), walnuts, hazelnuts and chestnuts, truffles, saffron, oats, lots and LOTS of cheese and the beef here is supposed to be really good (grass fed) but I wouldn’t know :). Yeah, I reckon we could all survive. Come the revolution, feel free to emigrate down. Plenty of spare land here πŸ˜‰

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  6. My husband and I try to eat as locally as possible, but I do buy organic over local. For example, I would rather buy the organic apples from the grocery store than chemically sprayed ones from my local farmer. By using chemicals, he isn’t helping his workers, the planet, or my health.
    I think eating one meal a week using as many local ingredients is a good goal that a lot of families could try. If you are thinking about the small details though, it is tough. You might make your own bread, but where is the flour coming from? Olive oil – hard to find in Pennsylvania! It really requires a total overhaul in your lifestyle to carry it through as much as possible. (I’m not being a naysayer, just sharing food for thought.) Kind of like people thinking that vegetarians can eat a “vegetable soup” that is made with chicken stock – there are a lot of smaller things involved.
    Glad you shared the Local Harvest link.

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    • The more food for thought the better Katie. I know it’s going to be tricky, and certainly not something that I could keep at long term (while my kids are small anyway) but it’s those little bits of the puzzle that I want to find out more. Just really knowing where every mouthful is coming from and at what cost (financial or environmental).

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  7. Fab challenge, keen to join in. I try to eat local as much as possible and as I live in the countryside with space to grow my own veggies (and with excellent farmshops nearby) it’s a lot easier for me than city dwellers. Even then though, when I really think about it, although I’ve just made a soup with home-grown veg, I added lentils (whose origin I have no idea) and cooked it in olive oil. Lunch was spare ribs from our own pigs, and ‘seaweed style’ kale from the field next to us but I have no idea about the rice. You have me focused on trying to cook a few more meals that are totally local!

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  8. I get local meat, eggs, fruit and veg and pungent delicious garlic when available and always honey. But I do have to drive 1 hour in to the next town to get them. No matter the time and effort I put in to getting local, I still end up frequently at the local woolies. Ack! We use to get a box of organic fruit and veg delivered to our region, it was driven 2 and half hours away from Canberra and I still had to drive in to town to pick it up. Back then I didn’t care where in Australia the food came from I was just grateful for food with no pesticides. I’m doing a shop at my local bulk health food store this week and I’ll have a good look around with the local mindset. It would be great if I can find some friends to join in and have that end of week celebratory dinner. I really love that you are doing ethical food posts. I’m glad we have some time to prepare!

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  9. This is fantastic. We try to eat like this most of the time but staples are tough. No local flour/pasta etc. what a brilliant idea!

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  10. Some local councils have community gardens and you can get a plot in there. It would be fun for the kids to grow things to eat as well and you meet others of a similar mindset, save a few dollars and get your own home grown, fresh foods as well. Not sure how many there may be around NSW (I think I saw something that suggested you were in Sydney?) ….. I love growing a few bits in pots too. I have an advantage in that I don’t need to cater for the tastebuds of a family, but managed an entire month without one visit to the Big Two Supermarkets, and only one visit to a locally owned independent supermarket. It was a HUGE challenge, but fun (if time consuming to begin with) and made me feel much more in control of what was in my food and now I only visit Coles/Woolies maybe once or twice a month for a few small things. With a family to contend with …. wow! Go for it. I applaud you, every small change is a good one πŸ™‚

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  11. Pingback: Eat Local Challenge #1 | cityhippyfarmgirl

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