Nick Ray: 2014 – DAY 1 … the morning’s catch

6th April, 2014 —   

Here we are again. I’m thoroughly exhausted and it’s just the start of the challenge! We spent the weekend up at Buxton at the in-laws property. Our bees are now located up there, no longer on our shed roof. We were ‘rescuing’ honey pre-winter. For each of the four hives, we’ve stolen their third room – so they’re not too happy!

This year we’re keen to grow on the learnings from the previous years’ challenges. We’re focusing on ‘home produce’, and have broadly set our goals on sourcing from within Victoria. We’ve also decided that for food that doesn’t meet this criteria, we’ll find out as many parts of it’s hidden story as is possible. So this year it’s more about a deeper exploration of the food we do eat.

The family was keen to enjoy the perks of a restricted eating week, so Janet made the most enormous chocolate cake last night (before the trial began), as a last hurrah! Talitha pointed out that it was ‘made here, so that’s local!’. (It did have had local raspberries, and very unlocal chocolate).

Breakfast. Was thinking of eggs, but read the label on the eggs in my mother-in-laws fridge. Totally devoid of any meaningful information. Could be from anywhere (in Australia). This has got to be ‘worst-practice labelling’.

So instead opted for a fruit combo. Apples and pears from Poppy’s orchard (a small cluster of about 16 trees we planted about 5 years back at the in-laws), rhubarb and raspberries from the garden here, and neighbors passionfruit. Nicely surrounded by the kids Autumn leaf collection.


The morning saw us traveling the 1.5kms down to the Buxton Trout Farm. A great place to reconnect with the life of our food. Took the kids to do some “easy” fishing. It’s cheating really cause you’re guaranteed a catch, however it did take us a good hour to get the 3 trout we came for. Some good lessons in technique and patience, and Charlie taught us all how to eloquently whack a fish on the head and make sure it was dead. I was hoping he’d get the somber significance of the life given up for our meal. I suspect it was somewhat lost given the excitement. It’s worth noting that the fish pellets – their food – comes from Tasmania supplied through Skretting, the world’s largest producer of feeds for farmed fish. Skretting is a  subsidiary of Dutch feed group Nutreco.

Our amazing lunch also included some Tower mushrooms found on the property and tomatoes and cucumbers grown in the veggie patch.  I made a point of totally cleaning up the trout  –  skin and all – even ate the eye balls to impress the kids!

Afternoon tea saw ‘Nanny-made scones’ with Eltham orange jam. Wheat, milk, butter, salt, sugar – I have no idea where the specific components came from. I’ll paint some general pictures of where these items are sourced from in later posts this week.

A big 107km trip back to Melbourne, for soup from the freezer. Made from carrots and pumpkin from our WOC veggie box.  I’m not entirely sure where the veg has come from, but looking back on my WOC box past notes, the carrots could be from Busch Organics, Hillside in East Gippsland (279kms), and pumpkin from Green Gully Organics in Cockatoo (67 kms).  Or not….


See other year’s Blogs                                     See DAY 2     >>

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Name: Nick Ray
Suburb: Footscray
State: VIC
Team: Westies
Size: Feast-sized

Nick Ray's Challenges

  • Source local meat & cheeses
  • Shop at a local food coop, buy in bulk, take your own containers
  • Shop at a local food coop, buy in bulk, take your own containers
  • Shop at a local food coop, buy in bulk, take your own containers
  • Buy cruelty free eggs (laid by happy chooks!)
  • Go foraging! - eat edible weeds
  • Harvest and eat food from your own garden
  • Cook with seasonal produce
  • Go plastic-free packaging
  • Go plastic-free packaging
  • Go plastic-free packaging
  • Start a worm farm
  • Visit a local commuity garden
  • Join a food coop
  • Join a CSA farm
  • Speak with your school canteen about local sourcing