Localvore…..2 weeks in
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.
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.