Localvore…….final week and a bag of flour
After three weeks of going without grains and seeds and missing bread, pasta, rice, muesli and other staple products I have bought a bag of Eden Valley Biodynamic flour. Its mid winter and I decided to do this challenge (see more) only a couple of weeks before it started so here is my thoughts so far about grains and seeds.
- Nearly all grains are grown on broad acre farms far away from the bulk of the population, so anyone choosing to eat local should find the most ethical grain grower close to them (though this may be a few hundred kilometres away) and buy from them in bulk to reduce transport and packaging.
- Make an effort to grow more edible seeds even if they are only in small quantities such as grain amaranth, sunflower and linseed that can be stored for the winter months.
- Collect edible Acacia seeds in the summer, I think that this is one of our most overlooked local source of seeds. A large number of acacias have edible seeds including the common weed species Acacia Longafolia and some great local species such as acacia cyclops. Being Australian perennials they are far better suited to our environment, not needing extra food or water in the summer.
- Research more varieties of grains that can be grown in our area.
- Learn more about local plant uses from traditional owners, especially seeds (again can only be harvested in summer and autumn)
So with this in mind I am treating myself to a bag of flour for the final week of my challenge…….have I weakened? In one day of having flour and consequently a delicious loaf of home baked bread life has got much, much easier as a slice of bread dipped in olive oil is such quick and easy food. It has made me think about our early settlers and how precious a flour delivery must have been, it has also made me think about how quickly traditional cultures could be destroyed with the addition of this one product….. quick, filling, delicious and versatile it can displace other foods that take longer to harvest and prepare (and this is true even when I have baked the bread, not grabbed a loaf at the shop!). Food for thought!
July is proving to be a great month for thought provoking ideas and discussions, Plastic Free July (which is what gave me the inspiration to take on this challenge) is making people think, in thinking they are talking, talking is leading to actions and however small or grand these actions are they are heading us towards a more resilient community.