Say what? More tomatoes? Well um yes, that’s what kind of happens when you eat with the seasons, there can be quite a few dishes with the same key ingredients. I don’t mind though, it’s not like it’s six months of cabbage you have to get creative with.
Now for the Eat Local Challenge, I thought I would be a little more prepared this month. Well, I was really. I just hadn’t anticipated riding my bike for an hour and a half to find cheese. It seemed my known and trusted local cheese company was no longer where I thought they were and the French cheese company standing in it’s place certainly wasn’t going to cut the proverbial mustard.
So I kept riding.
I did wonder at what point is the line crossed. How much inconvenience is expected and should be expected in order to support locally produced food?
I ended up with a fetta that’s made in the Wauchope, approximately 6 hours north. I didn’t feel it was a great option as I had wanted to always be able to buy directly from the producer or at least one person removed. However, Hastings Valley Fetta was (at the time) the best I could do. What I could do though, was contact the company and find out a little bit more about them.
I got an immediate response back from my querying letter, and along with encouragement of me doing the Eat Local challenge, I was also happy to read- “All our products are manufactured from our Wauchope facility from the milk sourced from our local farmers. We are proud to support our local farmers and community.”
What’s on the menu?
Beetroot, fetta, tomato salad
Beetroot from my Ooooby box*
Tomato from my courtyard- hurrah!
Fetta from Hastings Valley, Wauchope
Mint from my courtyard
Chilli from my courtyard
Olive Oil- Lisborne Grove, Hunter Valley
Verdict? Delicious. This salad was really tasty and I would happily serve it up to anyone else that sat at my kitchen table.
Butternut, Fennel and Barley
Butternut from my Ooooby box- Pickle Creek Farm, Cattai
Fennel from my Ooooby box*
Kale from MU Organics, Southern Highlands
Barley from Dementer Farm Mill, located around Gunnedah
Fetta from Hastings Valley, Wauchope
Chilli from my courtyard
Verdict? Well…if you love fennel you are on to a good head start. If you don’t, (as I don’t) you have to think a bit more strategically to get the best out of the vegetable in front of you- and that goes for anything else as well. I should have roasted the fennel and butternut beforehand, it would have given the dish a bit more flavour and less, well fennell-y. If you are not using stock, spices or salt to create more complex flavours you do have to think a bit more on how to make the most out of your dinner time tastes.
No kids versions of this months locally sourced meals, (not a chance they would have eaten these.)
* I did know where the fennel and beetroot was sourced from but mislaid the vital piece of paper.
Planning- Eating locally does take a bit of forward thinking. The vegetables are relatively easy, but it’s the proteins and fats that need a little more planning beforehand.
How about you? Interested in taking the challenge?
Just how local is local? Well this depends entirely on you. Only you know how you and your family eat. Raise the bar just a little from what you already do. If making sure the majority of your meal includes solely food produced in your country, than make that your challenge. If you want to make it a little trickier, go for produced in the same state…trickier still within 160km.
My aim is to really know where my food is coming from for at least one meal a month, (where I will be posting here in the last week of the month).
For last months Eat Local Challenge #1 see here.
Tell me you didn’t ride your bike to Wauchope? 🙂 Looks delish, Brydie.
No, I didn’t…but that would certainly be dedication to the cause wouldn’t it!
Effing love that beetroot salad!!!
10 times better than the fennel dish
Do you count your food miles by the distance traveled from producer to you, or distance traveled by you on your bike sourcing them Brydie ? LOL 🙂 Your salad does look yummy, and I always like to roast off the beetroot too for added sweetness
And that’s the sticky line, how far do you go in order to eat local? How much inconvenience should be expected?…Not sure.
(and roasted would have been far better!)
Good on you for following this through despite the missing cheese! And your home grown tomatoes surely deserve an extra tick 😀
Surely they do Kari. That’s all of three metres for food miles 🙂
Delicious and healthy salads; I would devour them. Barley and pumpkin would be very filling too. I might join in but will need help in working out food miles in calculations from hubby. I would drive an hour to our bulk health food shop but that might not be the right idea. I will look at the link again. Demeter is a favourite at our playgroup bread making. What is Ooooby box? An organic veg box I think.
Sorry Zena, I forgot to link that one. Ooooby Sydney recently took over from Foodconnect. An organic or spray free fruit and veg business that delivers and uses farmers within our local area. I loved Foodconnect and Ooooby is just as good. I feel pretty lucky to be able to utilise that.
You get major props for trying so hard – on your bike! The salad sounds great. I am not a big fennel fan either, but sometimes you have to push yourself a little to do the ‘right’ thing. Though my husband keeps talking about making the head of cabbage in the fridge into sauerkraut, and I just shudder at the thought. Not my cup of tea.
Katie, no kraut? My husband was a non believer in sauerkraut, they still aren’t firm friends but he does (voluntarily!) eat a bit now and again now.
Fennel…sigh, yes there has to be a better way than the way I’ve been using it.
Maybe I should try it as an adult. I remember it from my grandma’s house on New Year’s Day (pork and sauerkraut) and I always thought it smelled stinky.
I just joined a CSA for the summer. I am trying to actively eat foods that are more local to me. I just may try this challenge!
Yay for that Alison! I hope it works out really for you
I think that there should be a map or “app” to show us where all of the local producers are. It would be most beneficial for all of them to club together to create one as there are so many people wanting to eat local but not knowing exactly where to go. “Come the revolution” we won’t be having to hunt high and low for local producers because they are all that is going to be left in our districts so I guess that will be a mixed blessing 😉 I am with you on fennel (bleh)
There is a website that tells you where some local things are in your area , it is called http://www.ripenear.me/ . and if anyone is interested in local beef they can look at our new beef blog – http://littleblackcowbeef.blogspot.com.au/
I fully appreciate the value of locally produced beef but as a vegan I think I will pass this time ;). I don’t want to be drummed out of the vegan confraternity yet again! (Last time it was for holding roosters while they were de-headed 😉 )
I think you are my favourite vegan Ms Narf 🙂 For many reasons but holding roosters while they were being ‘reassigned’ and not being a fan of fennel are good reasons today.
I didn’t realise when I was doing it , but I made the eat local criteria this week when I made cheese! I had local milk,,local tomatoes,my own basil,homemade sour dough bread etc. It feels so good when you cut down on food miles and your salad looks so yummy! Great post!
Kim it would be wonderful to get some local milk…oooh the possibilities!
Your food looks awesome. We aren’t fennel fans either. I just found out they aid in putting your digestion back on track so I am seeking powdered fennel to strategically add as an inconspicuous helper.
Man oh man- we are certainly working towards the Eat local challenge- here in Central Florida it is totally possible! Alas, one hitch is that my SPiCEY family LOVES pork. I know it’s terrible- but we do. Most pig farms are half a day+ away, BUT I was thrilled when son went to the garden picked huge red russian kale leaves for us and wrapped our ham, cheese and mustard in them for lunch today.
Awesome post. Always enjoy stopping by to see what you are up to.
Thanks for the inspiration.
The barley looks gorgeous. I don’t use it enough. Fennel I love… in risotto, in coleslaw, and sometimes roasted.
I adore fennel so I am itching to try that fennel salad with the butternut and barley! It sounds delicious. Love the look of your beet salad also… yay for homegrown tomatoes!!! Ah, most of my herbs have died in the last burst of summer heat. I am rather disheartened (as my kale has drooped too) but I will try again over winter. I do want to join this Eat Local Challenge next month. I buy local as much as possible but haven’t really started taking notes as to where everything has been sourced from for each meal. I need to get organised!! xxx
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