Localvore…..2 weeks in

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Our staple brunch, salad of boiled eggs, avocado, greens, olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt.

For the Month of July I am being a Localvore, that is I am eating what is grown here on the farm and trading some produce with other local growers from our town, Margaret River in the South West of Australia. I have also chosen not to use my car for the month and to only cook using our wood stove (collecting firewood from our property).

It is an exercise both in personal health and in finding out what we truly have to eat in our community. I have discovered that we are rich in some things while seriously lacking in others. I am being strict, I am not eating bread that is baked locally for the flour is not local nor am I drinking locally roasted coffee or locally made muesli.

It’s July so our garden is abundant in greens, brassicas, turnips and some beetroots and carrots.Our orchard is full of citrus and we have some frozen pears , we also have stored pumpkin. We have recently pressed our olive oil and harvested our honey,  we have some beef and pork in the freezer from last years kill (enough for one good meat meal a week and soup made from the left overs). My cow has not calved yet so there is no dairy products, although I know if I was really desperate I could trade with a local farmer (non organic) so I’m leaving it for now, our hens are off the lay but mum’s are seriously on so we have had plenty of eggs.

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marron, roast veggies and pureed silverbeet

I have killed a couple of old chooks that were no longer laying and Do found some beautiful big marron in our dam, what a treat!. I have been swapping our produce  for avocados, macadamias and wine, so life is pretty good. I have also been eating our way though our store of dried broad beans and a small amount of linseed we grew a few years ago. Oh and salt! Thankfully I have a small supply of locally collected sea salt I swapped with a friend but is is getting low so a trip to the ocean is needed.

So what am I missing? Grains and seeds are the big one, at first I was simply missing carbohydrates, canna roots being my main source as our potato crop isn’t ready, but I found a great local source of organic potatoes and they have become a staple (my one expenditure is $20 a week on potatoes). Grains are not grown for hundreds of kilometres from here and they are so incredibly useful, without grains eating gets boring, no rice, no pasta, no bread, no baked treats. Coffee is hard, I know it’s an addiction but that beautiful coffee smell I get every morning from my partner’s coffee is hard to handle. Spices, I understand now why the spice trade was so important. Variety, we are so used to eating whatever we fancy, and while the first couple of weeks were fun and different the novelty is wearing off and I want a curry, a nice cheesy pasta, a cappuccino and a sweet treat.

I’m loving riding my bike to the local farmers market once a week to buy spuds and  I’m loving swapping good produce with friends. Most of all I’m loving how it s changing our approach to our garden, we are thinking more about staple foods and the value of good perennial crops. I do feel that we are living in a time where change could come at  us from any direction,  I’m happy making changes that are positive, healthy and hopefully helping to create more realistic long term sustainability.

 

9 Comments
  1. stellarviolets 9 years ago

    Great post Jode. I’d like to try this next year when our kitchen garden has grown abundantly!

  2. Jodie 9 years ago

    I think we could start a bit of a movement here Lucinda, it really does teach us a lot, so many small things we just don’t think about until we have to

  3. michelle gabelich 9 years ago

    Hey Jodie,.Great post and good on you for sticking with it! I’m only tackling the No Plastic July challenge which I’m hoping to keep going with after as well. A challenge indeed..Discovering a lot about my previous way of buying goods and how much insanely unnecessary packaging there is.It has certainly made me plan more, speak up more at stores and discover who I can swap with or buy from with a sympathetic view.Look forward to the swap/share/shuffle.

  4. Jodie 9 years ago

    I know what you mean Michelle, it’s great doing these sorts of things for how they change our way of thinking….well done for doing No Plastic July….it was thinking about about shopping and plastic that made me decide to stay at home and live off the land

  5. Annie 9 years ago

    This is really inspiring! Thanks Jodie.

    • Jodie 9 years ago

      Thanks Annie……great to get feedback!

  6. Drew 9 years ago

    Inspirational stuff. Its interesting that you’re missing grains, as they are one food that is relatively easy to transport long distances, being a bulk good, and non-perishable. I always point out to my permaculture students that 150 years ago, Australia was a key part in a global trade of grains driven by renewable energy (horse-powered agriculture, wood fired steam trains, sailing ships). But I suppose locavoring is about demonstrating what we might miss if (when??!) our global industrial economy falls over. Thanks for contributing a very intimate, personal perspective to that question.

  7. Jodie 9 years ago

    Thanks Drew, yes grains have been on my mind quite a bit and most grain growers are not within a large percentage of localvores range, so supporting ethical grain growers and buying bulk is important. For this exercise I was interested to see what we could live on if we needed to, the next step is to make sure that the things that we cant grow locally are bought in the best way possible. Also getting some great feedback about grains that can/have been grown in the area though I think realistically for us we’d be better off planting more carb rich veg and leaving the grains to those who do it best.

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