The idea of eating foods sourced locally has become extremely important to me. We grow, preserve, ferment and enjoy the food we produce on our property - it is our primary source of produce. My goal has been to feed my family with fruit and veg lovingly grown here at home, swap excess produce with like-minded others and sell any left-over for enough profit to support the next season's produce.
I want to source any food I don't produce as close to my little village as possible, and what I cannot source here I want to source in my shire. My reason for this? To support the local producers, those who use organic, sustainable, regenerative agricultural practices. Imagine if all the money given to Big Food was instead spent locally - how much better off would your town be?
However, when I look in my cupboard, pantry and fridge, I see too many items that are not local.....almond meal, spices, coconut products or anything that grows in warm, wet weather, legumes and grains, flax, prunes, flours, tahini.......
Recently, I came across a local food challenge - The Local Thirty. Andea Bemis of 'Dishing Up The Dirt' has thrown down the gauntlet....."30 Days. 200 Miles. Local Food from Local Dirt."....and I've decided to take up the challenge.
Here's the breakdown
WHAT: Eat food from 200 mile radius of where you live, for 30 days (September).
WHY: To form a more personal connection to your local food system, yourself and your community.
TREATS: You are allowed 10 items to use during this time that originate outside this radius.
You can read the full blog post at: http://dishingupthedirt.com/lifestyle/farm-diaries/farm-diaries-may-2018/ (and while you're at it check out her beautiful recipes!).
Now, keep in mind Andrea has created this challenge for those living in the Northern Hemisphere where it's the height of the growing season - the beginning of Autumn. Here, in Australia, it's the beginning of Spring and we are still having -3C mornings (although I hope they are finished now) and no rain to speak of for a few months, so there isn't much in the garden.
How do I plan on accomplishing this task in the midst of scarcity?
As I mentioned earlier, my partner and I have made a real effort in not only producing food, but preserving it in various ways to take us through the year.
Over the next few weeks I will share with you just how I plan to complete this undertaking - foods I have in the pantry, in the garden and in the freezer; my 10 'treats'; meal ideas and compromises we are making along the way.
I'll keep a diary of my experiences and achievements during the challenge, as well as lessons I learned along the way.
Follow me on this journey to a deeper connection with local food......Nikki x