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My Experence With the Local Food Movement

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posted on May, 28 2009 @ 08:06 AM
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Hi all,

Since 2006 I have been experimenting with the Slow Food movement. I I live in a rural area, and had been looking with a way of changing my diet and lifestyle. I found Slow Food perfectly matched my area, with many vineyards, olive groves and farms.

Essentially Slow Food is food you have to get yourself. Want a chicken dinner? Stop by the local chicken farmer after work (give him/her a ring during the day for courtesy), pick up a freshly killed chicken, still warm. Maybe grab some eggs for breakfast as well. Veges? If you haven't got some ready in your garden, go to the potato farm and get some spuds, then pick up some pumpkin from their neighbours. Most slow food people grow pretty decent vege gardens for this reason.

Here's where I live:



South west Australia. Red dot is where my town is (Cowaramup).

Last year I was thinking about the changes I had made and reflecting of ways to improve it. I decided to try an experiment. For the next year I would only buy goods produced within 150km of me. I had heard about people doing this before. It's almost been a year now, and I thought I'd talk about my experience.

Having done the slow food thing before trying this was a very good thing to do. I was used to the slow pace and really enjoy meeting the people that produce my consumables. Some people find it frustrating not being able to rush thru shopping.

I made a list of food that I eat (which is basically everything) and mapped out where I could get them from my local area. Having done that, I set out one weekend to say hi to the people I would be buying food from and introduce myself. For anyone interested in doing something like this, talk to the people you buy from. I had a lot of interest in what I was doing and ended up with a list three times as long after the people I were buying from added their own contacts and friends that had stuff to sell.




posted on May, 28 2009 @ 08:07 AM
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Here's a small list of stuff I have in my 150km area:

Wine Grapes
Apples Citris Fruit (oranges, manderians, lemons, limes)
Mangoes Avacado
Garlic Yeast
Salt Sugar
Pepper Spices
Herbs (all of the major ones and most of the rest)
Truffles Potatoes
Kumara Onions
Broccilli Yams
Pumpkin Olives
Soap Chocolate
Lollies Oils (olive, sandalwood, eucalypti, tea tree, tingle tree + heaps more)
Toiletry products
Clothing Footwear
Wheat Barley
Sheep Cattle
Emu Deer
Kangaroo
(all of the above can be used in many different ways and are extensively farmed)
...And it goes on and on.

Half way thru my year, and everything was going fine. Nothing had really changed to much, apart from knowing my area really well and stopping going to the supermarket totally. It was too easy, so I changed the rules a bit:

Now EVERYTHING I would consume I would have to find within my area. Apart from petrol and electricity. (I simply couldn't afford to wire my house up to solar.)

Took a bit of planning, but my region really is blessed with some great places to visit. I found clothing, footwear, hats, toiletry's. Maybe I'd go to Olivo Bello (a local olive grove) and get a good discount on the soaps and other toiletry's, which works out cheaper then the supermarket.

I even found locally produced toilet paper!

The hardest thing about my diet is not being able to rush into a supermarket and grab things off the shelf. Planning is required, and one day a week I usually go off and grab all the ingredients I'll need for the next week. I have to plan my meals and prepare things from scratch. It takes time, but it's time I would usually be wasting away in front of the comp or tv, so it works out for me. Plus I get to maintain a awesome garden full of fruits, veges and nuts. I find it's a great way to unwind after work. Plus the food tastes better and has less sprays used to produce it.

At first I hated it, but now it's a part of my life that allows me go get out into my community to share and trade. It has helped strengthen my identity with the area, and you'll always have someone inviting you in for a beer. It's a sweet way to get your food, although I agree it's not for everyone.

I work full time and study part time. It really takes commitment to find the time sometimes but now it's a way for me to relax or meditate on the day and clear my head.

If anyone would like some more info about this u2u me or post up here. It's just a part of my life that I thought I'd share as a way to clear my head after reading WAY to many posts today and getting all conspiracyed out.


Thanks
Shane



posted on May, 28 2009 @ 09:02 AM
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Hi, Shane!

Thanks for your inspiring posts. I have long thought of doing something along the same lines, but it's really hard when you have three kids and they like their processed foods! I do enjoy buying locally-grown food as much as possible. I have my own vegetable and herb gardens, and fruit trees, blackberries, and grapes out back. Also, today we just got our mail order of baby chicks, so in 5-6 months we should start getting out own eggs. There is really nothing better than FRESH food. Those store bought strawberries taste like nothing next to a strawberry you grow yourself right off the plant. And it's awesome running out to the chicken coop for an egg still warm from the hen to do your baking with. When you can't grow or raise it yourself, farmer's markets are awesome. Outside of that though, how did you find some of these local producers?

Thanks again, Shane! Great posts. You really gave me some great ideas.



posted on May, 29 2009 @ 02:24 AM
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Hi Charis

Thanks for the encouraging words.

The most important thing I did was go down all the dirt roads in my area, and find the farmers that sell direct from their roadside stall. If there was a road I didn't know, then I would go down it and see what I could find.

One guy I knew would sit for an entire day in his stall, only to sell a couple of avocados. When I mentioned that business seems a bit slow, he just smiled and said that's the way he likes it! That inspired me, as rather then sell massive amount of avocados and not meet any people, he would rather sit and have a conversation with the people who did make the effort to buy from him.

Talking to people works really well.

I could imagine what I would have been like if my folks had stopped me eating fast foods!
It would had been war!

p.s I'm getting chicken's soon and can't wait!



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