Well I threw myself into the challenge! We always put a bit of thought into trying to reduce our food miles anyway and this was the perfect opportunity for me to test how well I could produce a completely local meal.
I had a ball! An added benefit was the adventure that I enjoyed while sourcing my food. Firstly I contacted a vineyard in Trawool. I know the owner but have not been consuming his wine. It is a bit more expensive than I would normally buy (I'm a cheap wine gal ) but...... oh my goodness, it is lovely wine! I used some in the casserole (which I prepared on Friday) and had the discipline to resist tasting the remainder until our Saturday night dinner. It is certainly a wine I would consider purchasing for a special occasion or as a gift.
When I mentioned to John that I would be posting about my purchases, he said he would offer his wine for $20 per bottle. He has 2008 Cab Sav or 2010 Shiraz available. So if you would like to take him up this offer mention this post when you email him. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following that, I purchased our meat at a farmer's market. I wasn't even aware of this wonderful farm in Clonbinane! I did know that someone was raising Belted Galloways (rare breed) because we see them as we drive past on the highway, but didn't realise they were selling their meat through farmer's markets. They sell in Melbourne, Castlemaine, Woodend, Bendigo, Riddells Creek and Lansfield. It turned out that Hubby knew these folk because his brother used to show Belted Galloways a number of years ago. Hubby and I decided to visit their farm and it was great! Pumpkin was keen to see some calves so Allen took us out to the paddock full of Mums and Bubs.
|I don't know if you can see it, but the calf on the left has a milk moustache. Very cute!|
Warialda Beef also make a lot of traditional smallgoods. All in all it was a fascinating visit and I was impressed by their ethics and their meat!
I tell you what! I never enjoy shopping in the big supermarkets AT ALL! I see them as a necessary evil, hate the marketing hype, packaging etc. I will be doing more local shopping from here on in because it was FUN!!!
|Doesn't this look more fun than shopping with a trolley!|
*Oh my goodness! This is an addendum! I forgot to tell you my extra ingredients. I also used some flour to coat the meat, some paprika and some pepper. Sorry, didn't mean to pull the wool over your eyes.*
My olive oil is also from a local source. I buy it at the Black Market.
The night itself was fantastic and the quality and range of food laid out on the tables was incredible. To top off my night, not only was there food fun but David Holmgren and Su Dennett did a presentation for us on re-localisation of food. For those who may not know, David is a co-founder of the permaculture movement and is a man of great passion and vision. There is so much to be learnt from him so have a look at his website. The comment that most hit home for me was that, even in the supermarkets, it would be great to see people buying the foods that are in season, rather than behaving like 'spoilt brats' and having food such as strawberries carted all the way from Queensland to Victoria. I love the 'spoilt brat' analogy! I can imagine some people stamping their feet and demanding what they want, when they want it!
Su is David's partner and has done a lot of work around the re-localisation of food. She would love to see people buying food near their homes rather than allowing the wasteful process of transport.
If we are to be truly sustainable, we must consider where our food comes from. Food is the basis of sustainability. It is the largest area that we waste energy. Yet it is such a basic need. It sustains us, keeps us healthy and is such a pleasurable and sociable thing to enjoy. I loved how just a meal became such a fun journey for me.
I encourage everyone to do a bit of research into the businesses around them. You'll have so much fun doing it! I know we will be doing more of this form of shopping in the future and hey, if you read this post and are a local business, send me an email because I'm very interested in who else is around us.
I would just like to add that I am not connected with either of the above businesses but wanted to give them a plug because they were great!