Foodie Friday – Keeping it Local

7 Comments

I am sure it is still Friday somewhere – my apologies for the lateness of this post – it is Saturday morning here.

How do we feed ourselves?  Food prices keep increasing, labelling laws are ambiguous, processed foods contain unfamiliar additives and food allergies appear to be on the rise.  Add to this, a desire to eat organically-grown food which I believe is better for my health and the health of the planet and it starts to feel a bit overwhelming.  While we are at it, the wasteful packaging needs to be minimised as well as transport costs, both monetary and environmental.  Don’t forget ‘food security’ – the latest catch-cry.  This is the ability for us, as a nation, to feed ourselves in the event of natural disasters or major changes to the world order.

Have you thrown up your hands in despair?  Fear not.  You can begin to solve all of these issues with a single action – grow some of your own food.

The Duke and I have a somewhat neglected but productive garden which sometimes surprises us with its bounty.  We both work full-time and have minimal time to spend on tending a garden.  We try to grow some annual vegetables but the real secret is in growing trees and perennials.  We have an avocado, peach, fig and several citrus trees.  There are blueberry bushes as well as self sown cherry tomatoes and pumpkins.  The clump of parsley has been in one spot for so long that it has a stalk that looks like the trunk of a tree.

It may seem obvious but it is also important to eat (or preserve) what you grow.  Do not let the harvest go to waste.

Keep your eyes open for food producing plants in your neighbourhood that are not being harvested.  Don’t be afraid to ask if you may have some.  There are many reasons that people do not harvest – lack of time, knowledge or health are but a few.

The last few weeks we have had access to the following (either fresh or frozen) from our own property or nearby – corn, blueberries, avocadoes, mangoes, figs, lemons, beans, pumpkins, and pineapples.  At times I have felt overwhelmed by the excess on the kitchen bench but I have endeavoured to make sure it was used or stored for later use.

Last weekend I kept track of what we ate.

SATURDAY

Breakfast – buckwheat blueberry pancakes

Lunch – platter of cheese, cherry tomatoes, avocado, dried figs and mango chutney

Dinner – Salmon with mango salsa and vegetables – everything came from the garden except the salmon and onion which I used in the salsa.

Dinner
SUNDAY

Breakfast – mango and pineapple smoothie

Smoothie
Lunch – Pumpkin soup

Dinner – grilled chicken with cherry tomatoes and mango/avocado salad

We certainly will never be completely self-sufficient but being able to produce at least some of the food that we eat goes a long way to addressing the myriad of issues that I identified in the first paragraph.  Eating local food also gives you an appreciation for what is in season in your area.  I really look forward to the new crop of things such as figs which have a short season.  We eat them constantly while in season then it is but a distant memory until next year.

You do not need a huge amount of space and even though you could not grow some of the thing that we do in your climate, the reverse is also true.  What do you grow?

 

7 thoughts on “Foodie Friday – Keeping it Local

  1. Now we have reached our 70’s I am not sure if it is worth worrying too much but we can just do our best. I would love to eat all organic but can’t afford it. Living in a villa I grow all the herbs we need and we eat heaps of basil pesto. I also grow a lot of our lettuces and rocket. Next year we will do tiny tomatoes in pots. This is all done in a tiny bit of garden that is in shade most of the day. There is no room for a compost heap or bin but DH chews up scraps in the blender and pours them on the garden and he is sure he has improved the sandy soil and encouraged worms. To compensate for lack of organic produce we eat Super Greens (well drink it rather) and chia seeds and LSA and oats and keep our diet high in fruit and veges. Also take a multi vitamin. We try to only eat what is in season and do lots of freezing. I am not well enough to do lots of cooking but DH helps out and we do our best.Oh, I forgot, we have New Zealand Spinach which will grow in all sorts of spots and that supplements our greens. Just started it with a couple of bits I picked up on the beach. It is great in stir-fries.

    • Jenni, it sounds as though you are doing really well. I agree that we all have different circumstance, budgets etc. I love the scraps in the blender trick – I am sure it has made a difference. 🙂

  2. Oh Fairy , to be able to grow fruit trees again without the curse of fruit fly here in Sydney. In our younger years we lived in Adelaide and had amazing fruit trees which had been planted or we planted..grapes, apricot, apricot/nectarine half and half and so yum, golden peach -a huge peach, loquat , grapefruit, lemon, tomatoes, apple cucumbers to name a few. Those were the days and now with store bought produce there’s NO comparison as to taste! Now we make do with buying but also having a tiny plot for herbs, bit of salad in season, and tiny tomatoes which came up after throwing out some soggy little ones after making use of most of the bags bought really cheaply . Made semi dried tomatoes…divine”..so we all do little bits as we can and enjoy the fruits of our labour and the free “therapy” that comes by working in the soil. Similar sentiments that I also blog about….Thanks for your post.
    Regards from Alexa
    http://www.Alexa-asimplelife.com

  3. Alexa – we also lived in South Australia for a number of years and I remember the joy of not worrying about fruit fly – particularly with stone fruit. It is a problem here but I just keep doing battle. I must be mad!! 🙂

  4. I’m so impressed with the wide variety of fruits and vegetables that your garden produces! We’re just about to start growing season here. With our small patio we’ll probably grow carrots, scallions, herbs, cucumbers, and tomatoes this year. We have a lemon tree indoors and got six lemons this year, which was very exciting. Unfortunately the plant doesn’t seem to be doing well so we’ll have to see if it survives through the spring.

  5. We are totally blessed with our climate. Good luck with your container gardening – I think that is a real achievement. I am in awe of anyone who can grow carrots as I really struggle with them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s