Shelley Stokes: Local Eating Challenge :)

13th April, 2014 —   

This week eating locally did not see me as successful as I originally would have hoped! My journey is only just beginning, and when I stumbled upon this challenge I thought . . . how timely and great… a challenge to make me start having conversations and looking elsewhere for food.

I felt that to be successful at this challenge, preparation was the key. I must admit – I felt pretty good about the position I was in. My chickens lay the most beautiful eggs – and I will never buy eggs from the store ever again. Not only due to taste – but it’s a ‘personal petition,’ against the labelling on egg cartons. So I was set with delicious eggs from happy hens. In my cupboard I have a big bag of flour from within Australia (where exactly ……??) which I planned on making my bread loaves with. Also, a friend of a friend owns bees and I bothered them for some honey and totally felt like Winnie-the-Poo when they delivered. I’ve never seen such┬áa huge pot of honey! I shall be eating local honey for the rest of the year ­čÖé and it’s simply the most delicious honey. I was also very fortunate that just prior to the local eating week, my father in law visited from the Lockyer Valley, Queenslands ‘food bowl,’ with his own grown butternut pumpkins x 3 and a massive delicious watermelon. My poor family thought I was crazy – I wouldn’t let them touch the produce until local eating week! Whilst I knew that I could source some fruit, and meat locally – I was concerned about vegetables (and as a vegetarian this is important!).

We had some delicious meals across the week. One night my neighbour (who didn’t know about this challenge) – popped a bucket of prawns he’d caught in the local river across the fence – already cooked with love! Also, we bought some tomatoes from a fruit stand just down the road and made a delicious tomato and basil┬ásoup – with basil from our own garden. I also sourced a butcher that had ‘locallish’ meat (he said there is no truely┬álocal beef anymore – however the meat they use is only approx. 100 kms away at a nearby town) – which is in the radius I’d set out – so I was happy enough with this. Also, there’s a massive delicious pineapple plantation not far – so we did pick up some fruit from this street side van.

I did have some disapointments though. Firstly – my ambition to boycott Coles and Woolworths for the week failed. This is still my ambition in life – however they were just too convenient. One of my two chickens went into moult – so we were down on the eggs – and as I’d started to make everything homemade – this left us with no eggs. I had visited several fruit shops in the week leading up to this ‘local eating week,’ in the hope of finding more locally produced vegetables or fruit. I was left completely aghast – as the small corner vegetable shops that claim to support local – had more international fruits than Woolworths did – Kiwifruit from Italy – Oranges from America etc etc. I found via a website some farms about two hours drive from where I live that grow oranges and according to their facebook site – tis the season! I could not source any of these oranges locally. I may contact the farms directly to see if they do stock locally – but I couldn’t find anything!! This was crazy! It made me angry that I bought an orange from America – when I knew they were being produced ‘not that far down the road.’

 

Well, this is just a short snippet from my week attempting to eat wholly/ mostly locally. It is only the beginning of my journey ­čÖé

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Name: Shelley Stokes
State: QLD
Size: Meal-sized

Shelley Stokes's Challenges

  • Don't use the supermarkets this week - shop at local independent grocers, butchers and delis
  • Shop at a farmers' market
  • Source local meat & cheeses
  • Cook with seasonal produce
  • Sip on local milk or juice
  • Go plastic-free packaging
  • Go meat free (vegetarian)
  • Make yoghurt
  • Compost your kitchen scraps
  • Find out about Urban bee-keeping
  • Read a relevant book