Hannah’s Locavore blog (2) including some recipes
I would love to thank everyone for the amazing response to my first blog entry. I was incredibly surprised how interested and eager people are to share our locavore story. The first few months of opening on Thursdays have been filled with learning, experimentation and fun! We are very lucky to have received so much support not only from our Fair Harvest regulars but also from some newbies. The garden has been cranking out some beautiful produce, and once dropped at the kitchen is getting transformed into fresh and worldly dishes. It has been challenging to keep the inspiration coming. With an overflow of zucchini and squash, I think I have nearly reached my limits of creation, but definitely know I could open a restaurant called Zucchini 100 Ways. However what a delicious and wholesome summer vegetable! Often under rated, those sweet baby zuc’s are still a favourite.
I have adjusted a lot more to the locavore kitchen. I’m no longer thinking “if only I could add this and that, the dish would taste so much better”. Now my tastebuds and mind are amazed with the intense and earthy flavour that comes straight from the garden. My appreciation for herbs has grown to new heights. Not only using them fresh but also keeping a dried stash for any slow cooking. The enormous garlic harvest has meant there is no holding back! Garlic roasted, fried, or raw in everything. Harvesting seeds has opened up a whole new world of flavour as well. I have been experimenting with fennel, coriander and mustard seeds to create a locavore ‘chutney’ which matches perfectly with Konnac goats Chèvre and is a perfect condiment with our savoury tarts. And finally, the arrival of the humble tomato. What a burst of joy! The smell of tomato bushes takes me on a whirl wind of child hood memories. Being the smallest child in my family I would squeeze my way through what felt like a jungle of tomatoes, picking and feasting on the little red delights. That first ripe tomato resembles summer, sun and life for me and I love having an abundance in the kitchen. Eggplant is another favourite, I can remember when we successfully grew our first a couple of years ago. I nearly didn’t cook them they were so god damn cute. Well I got over that, but they still do amaze me. They are such a unique, versatile and delicious vege.
One of my favourite moments over the past couple of months was not in the kitchen or garden. It was at the beach. As a result of having to use the salt we had so sparingly, we were determined to collect our own off the rocks. With the sun shining and a couple of gorgeous woofers (thank you Alex and Fleur) we missioned to Gracetown not knowing what to expect or really what we were looking for. The first rock pools we found were tiny and as we were scraping the salt out I started to think people who do this must be mad. This was going to take days. After some exploration we found some huge semi dried pools that we could easily scoop handfuls of salt from. Maybe for some of you this doesn’t sound that exciting, but for me I could have sang out hallelujah! Ahhh we are incredibly grateful for what the planet provides.
What a great locavore experience, which will now become tradition. As we have been getting more and more busy we have started to buy vegetables from other growers, and products from other producers. I love visiting the farmers market. Communicating and building these relationships is not only important for being a localvore but also for our community which binds perfectly with our permaculture ethics. We have opened a new group on Facebook called The Locavore Cafe Produce. It enables us to communicate with any growers about what we need and what they also have excess of. We are offering the exchange through cash, LETS (Local Economy Trade System) or a credit system for lunch. We are sooo excited about this and we encourage all who can to get on board as we love supporting you home growers! This also reminds me how crucial it is to not lose the connection between garden and kitchen. I’ve definitely lost it a bit lately, being too preoccupied with preparation in the kitchen I have hardly visited the garden. Having this realisation (with help from Do) has bought me back to why I am here. Its not to spend days inside cooking! Time to get back in the garden, reconnect and grow.
Now a little insight into the bigger picture of being a locavore. I am still surprised every week when I realise people don’t understand the locavore concept completely. I guess it takes a while for what it means to eat ONLY local produce to sink in. People understand that locally grown is better for our health and community but what about the global and environmental impact? Where does our food come from and how does it get here? How far has that item travelled to reach your plate? Food Miles. A food mile is the distance travelled by ship, train, truck or any other mode of transport to deliver the produce to the point of sale. A report by CERES Community Environment in Melbourne found 25 typical food items like tea, oranges, baked beans etc have travelled 70,803 kilometres by the time they reach our supermarkets. The green house emissions for all food travelling trucks for these items, on any given day, is equivalent to 4,247 cars driving for a WHOLE year. This is testament to why we are so passionate about the localvore movement and why we are providing a lunch that demonstrates how delicious, nutritious and environmentally sound this way of life is. I will admit I still shop at the supermarket, and the atta flour we order is stretching the locavore perimeter, but I will be making a conscious effort to minimise my food miles.
If you would like to get involved on Thursdays, we are looking for volunteers to be kitchen fairies for a day. Please don’t hesitate to contact us. Here are the recipes of some of our most popular dishes, hopefully they will inspire you to come visit. Please excuse the vague measurements, I’m not the best at following recipes let alone writing them!
Roast Garlic, olive and basil tapenade
All of these ingredients can be purchased from the farmers market.
* 1 jar of unpitted olives of your choice
* 1 bulb garlic, roasted whole until soft
* a good handful of fresh basil
* a good swig of olive oil
* juice of one lemon
* a splash of Cape Farm Shop Raspberry vinegar
* salt to taste (be wary of the salt from the olives) Pit your olives and squeeze the garlic flesh from skin.
Put olives, garlic, basil and lemon juice in a food processor and blend lightly. Add remaining ingredients and continue blending. Be careful not to over do it, I prefer a chunky tapenade not a paste.
Traditionally from South America, this recipe is perfect for when your parsley is going out of control!
*4 cups of parsley
*1/2 a cup of oregano
*5 cloves of garlic, chopped
*juice of one lemon
*fresh chilli to taste
*a good swig of olive oil
*Cape Farm Shop Red Wine Vinegar (this is intense, use sparingly)
Blend all ingredients in a food processor. The amounts in this recipe can be varied for personal taste. You should get a burst of freshness from the parsley and lemon, richness from the vinegar and then the after taste of garlic and chilli. We serve it as a dip but it works perfectly as a marinade