Fair Food

Fair Food || cityhippyfarmgirl

‘Fair Food, stories from a movement changing the world’.

I close the book up and sit there, long deep thinking, and a little frown to concentrate harder as needed. There are so many mixed thoughts and emotions to grab hold of, it’s a bit of a lucky dip, grab one and run with it. Conversation starters, that’s for sure.

Over all while reading the book, I feel completely hopeful, and really excited on how wonderfully driven people are and all that they do for our current food system. Then on another page, I’m feeling the complete opposite. Slipping hope and questions of how the hell did we let it get to this??

As I’m reading, I dog ear so many corners and underline so many lines and passages, it ends up looking like a high school text book. Why? Because it’s important this stuff, I want to remember.

Fair Food is a book told through the different experiences of people within the Fair Food movement of Australia. Personal stories from backyard food forests, urban farming, activism, regenerative agriculture and something that I hold firmly to, radical homemaking.

All topics that are relevant, food and the way that we grow it, support it, buy it, eat it…this is something that effects all of us, every single one of us.

If we are lucky enough to have regular food on our tables, well then we should be educating ourselves on the food system that we buy into, understanding even a tiny corner of it makes a difference, and has a wonderful follow on effect.

While I loved all the different stories from people contributing to this book, I think it was Cat Green, the Radical Homemaker that I identified with most.

“Radical homemaking grounds my day to day life…” I loved reading from her point of view because she clarified things for me (well in my head anyway) that were there, I just needed to join the dots.

“It is a framework for social change that seamlessly entwines personal change with broader collective change.” Damn straight it is.

“My ‘work that matters’ comes from being actively involved in life, not sitting on the bleachers paying for someone else to do it.” Yes. A beautiful resounding yes.

So, while I’ve momentarily closed the book to think on it’s content, I know I’ll be opening it again soon. To read aloud, to quote parts that resonate and most importantly to pass it on to others.

Fair Food || cityhippyfarmgirl

Food for thought 

The 3 daily meals Australians eat have travelled over 10,000km before they reach our stomach.

We waste nearly 40% of all food we produce.

The world produces enough food already to feed everyone on the planet.

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Important Links

Fair Food: the book

The Peoples Food Plan: food policy document

Fair Food Week: 2015

Australian Food Sovereignity Alliance

 

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Gold in the sky, Hill End

Hill End || cityhippyfarmgirl

The clocked slowed down, I’m sure of it. Somewhere over the Blue Mountains it gained time, (or lost depending on which way you looked at it.) There’s no other explanation for it. How else could you combine climbing through an old gold mine, historical street wanders, bush walks, long hot coffees, games of cricket, museums, river explorations, meandering meal times and copious amounts of rock scrutiny? This is what happens when you spend a long weekend in Hill End, you gain time, by going back in time.

If you hadn’t heard of Hill End, you probably wouldn’t be the first. It’s a tiny old gold rush town that used to boast 10,000 people living within it’s gold encrusted hills. Not now though, now it has a whittled down community of about 120 permanent people apparently.

Along with gold, Hill End has also been a draw card for many artists. Peter Adams did an incredible photographic series (and stories) of all the long term locals that had lived in the area. (This book is absolutely divine, and I’m kicking myself for not getting it when I was there.)

Russell Drysdale and Donald Friend were also regulars going back a bit further, with the iconic Australian painting- The Cricketers (R. Drysdale) set there.

The tiny township has (and is) being preserved for its historical past as a part of National Parks and Wildlife. What this means is that, you can walk down the street, and really imagine how it all used to be. Signs and photos help bring this old gold town to life again. You can imagine the muddy streets, the noise of the mine work and the smell of the days that once were. Amazing stuff.

Hill End || cityhippyfarmgirl

Another thing that makes this town a bit special is that I have family buried here. For someone who thinks quite a lot, my brain got quite a work out imaging the lives of some of these people while wandering through the old graveyard.

Hill End || cityhippyfarmgirl

Hill End || cityhippyfarmgirl

Orange, reds, brown and blue. There were many trees still with their autumnal colours in the tiny town. A most vivid of blue sky, and stars, so many stars.

You can easily forget just how magnificent the stars truly are when you live in a big city. Sitting out in the pub’s beer garden on one of the cold nights, all rugged up and eating our food, I quietly wondered whether the gold seekers over the years had ever looked up.

I hope so. Looking up at the sky on our last night, it looked like the night was littered with all the gold specks that the miners themselves had been so desperately seeking. It seems it was there in the sky all along.

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Hill End

A wonderful place to visit if you want a tiny snapshot of Australia’s gold rush history. 

Celebrate, it’s Thursday (Iced Vovo Cupcakes may be needed)

cityhippyfarmgirlcityhippyfarmgirlOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was still a bit unclear of what we were celebrating the next day. Requests had been made though, and when the requests are asked in a small, considered voice, hope dancing in her eyes…well it’s hard to say no.

It seems we were going to celebrate the fact that it was Thursday, and that alone was reason enough to make some celebratory cupcakes. Cupcakes of the marshmallowy, Iced Vovo Cupcake kind. What ever you are up to this Thursday, I hope it has a little something to celebrate in it.

Iced Vovo Cupcake recipe here.

cityhippyfarmgirl

The charm of a tiny town called Cobargo

Cobargo || cityhippyfarmgirl

I had grand plans of taking lots of pictures when I visited Cobargo. I didn’t though. It seems I got caught up in the charm of this lovely little south coast NSW town instead.

When I should have been taking beautiful pictures of the rolling green lush hills surrounding the town, I was hanging half out of the car window drinking it all in instead.

cobargo || cityhippyfarmgirl

With locally made ice cream, a health food cafe to rival any big city-sider one, an abundance of yoga classes to choose from, retro clothing shop, and an intriguing Old Butter Factory that surely is begging for someone to reside in and write their adventure filled memoirs.

This is a tiny town that I whole heartedly want to visit again. Cobargo and all your lovely charm, I will be back.

cobargo || cityhippyfarmgirl

Cobargo || cityhippyfarmgirl

Cobargo, NSW, Australia

 What’s a favourite tiny charm filled town of yours?

 

 

 

How does your garden grow?

chillies || cityhippyfarmgirl summer patch- ecolosophy

Our gardens couldn’t be more different. Mine in small pots, neatly aligned along a big city urban fence. A tiny garden that grows intwined with the sound of other city dwellers, the soft murmur of traffic and the occasional summertime song of hidden cicadas.

Her garden? It meanders. Through seemingly endless acres, aligned with a neighbouring rugged, blue coastline. The gentle honking song of Cape Barren Geese flying over head at dusk and dawn, and frogs…lots of frogs.

Now who’s garden am I speaking of? Well that would be Tanya from Ecolosophy (remember the one I wanted to face plant into last year?) I caught up with her recently to hear how her garden was growing and also to find out who won the giveaway.

boys and beans- ecolosophySo it’s been a little while since I face planted in your garden because of the sheer beauty of it all. What’s been growing since we last caught up?

Oh Brydie, we’ve been pretty lucky this year. Ordinarily at this time of year, our patch would have been burnt to a crisp by a few blazing hot days with northerly winds and no rain but so far we’ve had an exceptionally mild summer in Esperance, most days mid twenties, rain every so often, not a single day so far over 40 (please don’t jinx me weather fairy!) The Patch is churning out tomatoes by the bucket load so I’ve been making lots of slow roasted tomato sauce. I’ve been as inventive as possible but the yellow button squash have (FINALLY) come to an end so I can relax on finding new and exciting ways to hide them in the family meals.

My black frilly kale and I are at a standoff of sorts because on one hand, I learned how to make kale chips…and they’re lovely but on the other hand my kale just keeps getting prettier and prettier so I’m loath to remove a single leaf. Most of the greenery in the Patch now is assorted pumpkins, melons and gourds that are the obsession of my other half.

Every summertime there is a quest to grow the worlds largest vegetables (so far the biggest pumpkin has only got to about 50kg which is a few hundred kilos off the world record) but we do grow a nice big New Guinea Bean (here’s a snap of last years beans with my boys) We eat them when they’re small (about zucchini sized) but then we let them grow and grow and grow. 

That bean picture is amazing. I’ll bet the boys were impressed with them. I’m certainly impressed! Now tell me also, who won the giveaway?

Well quite a few of your lovely readers popped in to the Ecolosophy Shop and had a wander through. And one of those lucky shoppers has won themselves a sweet eco giveaway of Ecolosophy goodness. Can I get a drum roll please?….. the winner is…..Diana Sayes.

tomato window sill- ecolosophy

Excellent! Well done Diana*. Tanya your garden is once again enviable and sadly, I’m now hesitantly going to go back to my small collection of pots…hmmm, three tomatoes anyone?

tomatoes || cityhippyfarmgirl

cityhippyfarmgirl-giveaway-ecolosphy

 * Diana- Ecolosophy will be sending out your lovely little package soon.

Loving… The quiet time of summer

sunrise || cityhippyfarmgirl

There’s a warmth to the air at 5.25am. If I close my eyes it almost feels like a soft sheet brushing over my skin. I don’t though, for I’m riding. Riding to catch a sunrise. Riding in the quiet of the pre-dawn. The city around me is quiet, nobody needs my attention at this time. Too early to start the day, I have left my loved ones at home, while I ride to welcome in the sun.

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It’s 12pm and it’s quiet. The chaos creators have paused in their carnage and instead direct it to their lunch plates. After a busy morning doing busyness. They have stopped for a minute or two and hungrily wolf down their food, it’s good to see after so long of sickness and not wanting to eat.

Quiet except for the odd slurp, munch and muffled noises of food appreciation. It won’t last long, their recharge time is blink and you’ll miss it.

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It’s 2pm and it’s quiet. Small girls still need naps to enable them to conquer the afternoon of possible dragons, rumbles, leaping, soccer and tea parties. Air outside so hot, it drapes itself over your shoulders, if you dare to step out that is. Lulling you and everyone in its path into a sleepy slumber. Summer holiday time, and those hot weekend siestas are a welcome respite.

cityhippyfarmgirl.comcandles || cityhippyfarmgirl

It’s 9pm, and it’s quiet. A candle flickers. A summer time bug gets lured a little closer. The small ones sleep, the sleep of the contented. Nightmares have been banished for tonight as there is a small posse of dinosaurs and lego figures standing guard. The night-time sleep of summer holiday children.

Our adult voices are lowered and our thoughts quieted. Sandy shoes at the door, tell a story of late evening beach wanderings. Another hot day, but this one ending with deep chuckles and muffled belly laughs. Loving that.

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[“Often life’s pleasures pass us by simply because we don’t take a moment to focus on them… Make a point of noticing everyday something that uplifts your spirit or tickles your heart… Stop to breathe in the joy of this moment and then tell someone about it. Share your joy and revel in it. When your joy is savoured, and then shared, it is magnified…” ROBIN GRILLE]

out of the city…

watch your step || cityhippyfarmgirl

While last weeks post was definitely in the city, this week it was about stepping out.

Way out.

It was a long weekend,

and always one to jump on an opportunity to skip the usual day to day stuff,

we were out of there for a few days.

After far too many weeks of far too many illnesses,

too much busy and one broken arm.

It was time for

breathing in and breathing out…

felt good.

end of the day

Tell me what you’ve been up to lately.

What’s going on in your world at the moment?

Leek and Potato Soup- ELC #8

Leek and potato soup- eat local challenge || cityhippyfarmgirl

leek and potatoes || cityhippyfarmgirl

I’m not going to fancy this one up. There’s no verjuice, cream of, foam, quinoa or chia in there. It hasn’t been slow roasted, caramelised or reduced. It also waves a sugar, gluten, dairy free flag and that’s because it uses super fresh grown with love farmer fresh produce.

It’s Leek and Potato Soup.

Like I said, no fancy pants here. Leeks, potato, a half head of cauliflower for added good measure and water. Cook that all up until soft, blitz it with a hand held blender and delicately drop a little thyme from the kitchen window sill on the top. Add some of my favourite salt and dinner… is done.

leek and potato soup || cityhippyfarmgirl

Where did it all come from?

Potatoes- Naturally Grown Naturally Better, Crookwell, 240km

Leeks- Rita’s Farm, Kemps Creek, 50km

Cauliflower- Rita’s Farm, Kemps Creek, 50km

Thyme- my windowsill

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Have you checked out Give a Fork yet, run by Sustainable Table? You should, you definitely should. They are running a compaign during the month of October on #wastefree meals.

“Share a #wastefree meal with mates during the month of October and raise awareness and funds to help build a food system that is good for the environment, fair on Aussie farmers, ethical and healthy.”

eat local || cityhippyfarmgirl

 Interested in taking the Eat Local 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).

Eat Local Challenge #7

Eat Local Challenge #6

Eat Local Challenge #5

Eat Local Challenge #4

Eat Local Challenge #3

Eat Local Challenge #2

Eat Local Challenge #1

eat local challenge || cityhippyfarmgirl

Top 10 Collaborative Consumption sites

collaborative consumption || cityhippyfarmgirl

In January I attended a talk on collaborative consumption as part of the Sydney Festival. It had been one of those days that had been long and hard, and more than a few times I thought I might ditch the evening in the city in favour of a cup of tea and an early night. I didn’t though and damn, I’m glad I didn’t.

My brain grew a little that night. One of those moments where you can almost hear the audible pops, as ideas and thoughts run unhindered when you are by yourself and really, really are able to listen. Needless to say I loved it, but what on earth is Collaborative Consumption?

The sharing economy (sometimes also referred to as the share economy, shared economy, mesh, collaborative economy, collaborative consumption) is a socio-economic system built around the sharing of human and physical assets. It includes the shared creation, production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services by different people and organizations. These systems take a variety of forms, often leveraging information technology to empower individuals, corporations, non-profits and government with information that enables distribution, sharing and reuse of excess capacity in goods and services.  [Wikipedia]

In a nutshell it’s a shared economy, and that’s a good thing.

Now there are oodles of different shared economy sites to use these days, it’s just a matter of finding one that suits you and getting started. After that, it’s a kind of landslide effect and the doors keep opening.

collaborative consumption || cityhippyfarmgirl

Here’s an easy ten to get you started.

1/ Airbnb accommodation in 34,000 cities and 192 different countries. Options from one night in a tent in someones backyard to a castle for a month- with everything else in between.

2/ Landshare “Connecting growers to people with land to share.” The concept of Landshare began in the UK and was launched by super-duper popular River Cottage.

3/ Eat with Me “Connect with interesting people by planning or attending event’s to share food and eat together”

4/ The Clothing Exchange Swapping clothing either online or at one of their regular exchange meet ups.

5/ Garage Sale Trail “Bargains are had, treasure is discovered, friends are made, money raised and fun is had by all. The cupboards, garages and sheds of Australians are decluttered, re-used and waste minimisation is put into practice en masse.”

6/ Skillstay “Exchange your skills. Make new friends. Stay for free.”

7/ Hive Studio Desk or office space, coworking spaces are offered with a community atmosphere.

8/ Car Next Door Neighbour to neighbour car sharing

9/ MamaBake– “Group, big batch baking for mothers.” A group (say 4) comes together, cooks one big batch dinner each and then swaps- dinner for the next 4 nights.

10/ Jayride An easy way to hook up a ride with someone going in the direction you need to. Rides could be free, or for just a couple of dollars.

…and the big mama of them all Collaborative Consumption. My top ten is fairly Australian based but if you click on this link it will take you to which ever country you are from, showing sites that will be more local and possibly relevant to you.

What are some of your favourite Collaborative Consumption sites?