Wednesday, 1 April 2015

200km Eat Local Challenge

30.03.15  Monday:  Mike and I have just recently signed up to the 200km Eat Local Challenge.  Eeek!  It runs for the month of April, which starts in 2 days time.  

Who we are: Mike Green and I (Gizelle) live in the Bay of Plenty on a 900m2 piece of land in the middle of Katikati, Bay of Plenty.  We grow about 80% of our food in the warmer months and about 50-60% in the cooler months.  We are passionate about living sustainably, and try to implement efficient waste management systems in and around our home.  Mike is an account manager for an organic food company (what else??  With the surname Green) and Gizelle is a kindergarten teacher, and qualified reflexologist.
Yours Truly, the Green Team, fooling around in the tuk tuk
 advertising The Second Best Marigold Hotel movie at Bay City Cinemas!

What the 200km Challenge means, is that we have to watch what we eat, making sure that most of the food we consume comes from within a 200km radius.  So from Katikati, we can eat all the way up to Auckland (167km), and all the way down to Taupo (176km).  Sweet!  There should be enough between these two points to keep us alive for a month!  We are vegetarians, so we should be able to get our daily dose of veggies without needing to go out of our 200km zone too often.  A quick look at the online map  shows us the radius we can consume from - oh bother, wonder if they grow chocolate in Te Puke?!

But hang on, what about bread, milk, rice, tea, coffee, salt, pepper, etc.?  Hmm, well, we are allowed to eat 5% spices, condiments etc from further afield, I think my two cups of organic coffee (addict) will have to come into that percentage of consumables.  We are also allowed to choose just one grain from further afield.  Since not much grain is grown in New Zealand (we made inquiries), we decided on rice, from India.  Lots of carbon miles there!

Remind me why we are doing this?
Right.  To see where we can reduce our carbon miles food footprint and rethink our buying patterns possibly, for the future!  And it sound like a bit of fun!  We can obviously eat foods from further afield, but have to record our food mileage which no doubt may actually amount to  massively-huge air-miles!  It certainly will be an interesting journey.

We have just had a very busy weekend, with 3 separate events at Kati KaiWay, so in between, I worked furiously to preserve some of our current end-of-season foods as we may not have them in 2 weeks time.  The trouble there is that we are heading to the sunny shores of Fiji at the end of the week for 2 weeks, and yes, we are taking our challenge there too!  So we will have to find local Fijian food.  We wanted to have a wider selection of food for when we get back, so  I made feijoa puree - not a problem there - scoop them out into a pot, boil them, blend them and bottle the puree.  Easy peasy.  No mileage going on there. No other added ingredients. 
Bottled Beetroot, Apple Syrup and Feijoa Puree
Not so easy when I decided to bottle our newly harvested beetroot - 5 tspn sugar (Not within zone), 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (from Rangiora - definitely further afield than our designated zone @ 960km) and salt.  But the salt is from the South Island - and we are allowed 5% condiments.  I made apple syrup too - but needed to add 1/2 cup sugar (again - more sweet miles than allowed).  I did however, manage to dehydrate apples for some sweet snacky treats.  Zero miles there.

Even though our apples have coddling moth, we still use them.  There is plenty good flesh if you work around the collywobbles!  This great little peeler/corer/slicer cost $5 at a garage sale!  Yay for pre-loved, discarded affordable goods!

Apple rings in the dehydrator, to be turned into yummy sweet snack foods.

We Love a Good Challenge - Bring it On!  We start on Wednesday.  I will be blogging the weekly challenge, for the next 4 weeks, as part of our record keeping.

Wednesday 1/ 04/15
Usual 2 cups of coffee for Giz, 2 cups of tea for Mike - 1 Liquorice, 1 sage tea.
(We are including these in our 5% rule)
Fruit Smoothie: 2 Monty's Surprise apples, 12 feijoas, 1 cucumber, juice of 1 lime and some frozen peaces - All from our own garden.
Huge amount fruit used due to having 2 house guests to share it with.

Nice, but won't do the cucumber again - it was a bit past it's Best Before date!!

Giz: Pre-made rice (our chosen grain) in the morning, when cooked, added 2Tbspn home-brewed Apple Cider Vinegar, 2Tbspn Grove Horopito Infused Avocado oil (from Te Puna, just down the road), with a chopped small tomato and cucumber from the garden, and 8 olives - home-picked and cured.  
Mike: feijoas and figs from garden

Sustaining, tasty - if hadn't been in a rush, could have added a few more veggies and herbs to my rice dish.

Afternoon snack
2 feijoas (garden)
Mike and Giz - 1 cup black tea with milk (Rotorua - organic, untreated) and honey (Opotiki - within zone)

Evening Meal:
As we have guests, I made a raw food spring roll meal - consisting of raw grated carrots from Hawkes Bay (28km out of radius), grated kohlrabi (from garden), shredded red cabbage (from Onion Place - local grower), a green sauce (whizzed in blender - parsley, basil, courgette, 2 silverbeet leaves and juice 1 lemon - all from garden), 1/4 cup Avocado Oil, salt (ours is Ceres salt - from New Zealand), mayonnaise (Tonzu tofu - Auckland, lemon juice, 1 tspn home made Dijon mustard, salt and 1/4 cup Avo oil), leftover rice from lunch, broccoli (from Onion Place - locally grown) and rice wraps (chosen grain).

Greens from the garden

Auckland tofu

Avo oil from Te Puna

Evening Meal - DIY Raw Food Rice Wrap Spring Rolls

Our challenges: I usually like a mid morning and late afternoon lolly - but not sure if they are kosher - even that they are Pascals.  We argued about the tofu - locally made in Auckland - but we are sure the beans would have been imported, so how far do we trace back? 
Q: If we go for a bite to eat at a restaurant, do we need to check every ingredient, even if it is local ingredients?  
We also realise we will use up a tonne of Avocado oil - and that's not cheap!  No more cheaper olive oil from Italy.  
We had a farewell shared lunch at work today - there was nothing I could eat!  That's a challenge!

Our highs:
I am a kindergarten teacher, it is nearly the end of the term, with lots of cleaning to do(1 day to go) and it was an exceptionally busy day, my 2 relieving teachers had to go home for sickness leave, so I had to organise relievers for relievers ...... yet I made it through the day - and not only that, we made it through our first day of the 200km Eat Local Challenge!  We go to Fiji in 2 days.  Yay!  Life is Good!

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