March 07, 2016

Local Food, Eating & Living

I seem to go through stages. I go through stages in my studio; sometimes I'm painting a lot, then sometimes I'm obsessively making jewellery.

But aside from the creative side of my life, in normal life at the moment I'm in a bit of a stage where I'm being really mindful of the waste this household produces, where my food is coming from, trying to source local food, thinking about reducing time and effort in the garden, and growing some of our own food. (Doesn't help that it really hasn't properly rained for ages, and the forecast shows no rain for at least a week!) I even borrowed a book from the library on raising pigs for food. I would like to think we could do it, but it seems this idea is a little too traumatic for Miss 5. (I can just imagine her now, crying her eyes out whilst savouring a crispy piece of bacon at the same time...)

But first I'll try and focus on growing some veg. We've got the space but I just need to make it a priority. I like to buy organic, and we all know that can get a little crazy-expensive. But I have been scouring the neighbourhood for roadside food; after all, we do live in a farming area.

This roadside stall was a treat. Not only is the produce not treated with sprays, but it's so visually pleasing as well. So cute! The kids had a great time putting money in the tin and then proceeded to hide the veggies in all odd places in the car as a joke on me. Yes, I had cucumbers in my car bin! Lucky it was empty.
I found apples around the corner from me for SO cheap. And I found a Jackie French book in the local op shop. (I had a self sufficiency book from her but lent it to someone and can't remember who.) I love her way of thinking. As a weirdo thinker myself I love reading from other people who question the system. She doesn't believe in digging up the soil, that weeds are a bad thing, or that we can't eat guinea pigs. (Um, I won't be doing that last one but love her opportunistic view!) So I'm rethinking parts of the garden, especially when it comes to removing weeds. Rather than spraying them, can I plant something in their place to crowd them out? For instance, down the sides of the driveway. Otherwise they are great for mulch, compost for soil food, or you just need to mulch more to smother them.
And this is a friend's roadside stall. Lovely tasty tasty colourful tomatoes that didn't last long at all! You can tell she's an Op Shopper. Probably clearing out all the good finds before I get there ;)
I also found two items in my severely neglected garden beds.
We also went berry picking yesterday at our local organic berry farm and stocked up on berries. We spent a bit, but they are cheap in the long run and I won't have to buy any for a while.

We also get lamb from a friend and eggs from another friend (or when she runs out we drive 15 mins up the road to another organic egg farm and buy their seconds.)

It's extra work, but it's so satisfying knowing that you're supporting local people, and I know that our berries have come from up the road and not all the way from Chile. (Seriously!? I was buying frozen organic berries from Chile!)

And as usual I'm still cooking. My latest food goal is to remove all vegetable oils from our diets. It's difficult, but when you make your own snacks and food from scratch it's easier. 

I have broth on the stove using a lamb bone from my friend. I have made current & oat cookies sweetened with applesauce made from the apples I got from the lady around the corner (there's a place vegetable oil creeps in to the diet- it's in dried fruit). And last night we ate free range local pork sausages (Miss 5 was quite happy to eat a pig she hadn't met!). They were really yummy. And I could recognise all the ingredients. No numbers!

(I also made goats milk yoghurt which is fermenting on my bench right now, and mango- yogurt popsicles last night (using these moulds). Dates, mango and goats yoghurt. They are quite yummy if I do say so myself.)

Do you try to source any local food?

Now I'm back in the studio today- in jewellery making mode, now that all my cooking is done for the morning.

Jules :)

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