In which Weeks 2 and 3 collide and then bounce together into Week 4.
For Week 2 of the Tassievore Eat Local Challenge, the suggested challenge was to shop only at Tasmanian businesses. I started to write a post about this, and ended up talking about Two Metre Tall, which is one of my favourite local businesses.
So this post is a catch-up on how I went with Week 2 and then, as I continued that challenge into Week 3, I’m going to cover Week 3 as well. Week 3’s challenge was to buy only Tasmanian fruit and vegetables.
In our town we have one supermarket, which is old and due for replacement (which is supposed to be happening soon), and not exactly known for a huge range of produce. I try and avoid it as much as possible – and this month I’ve stepped this up (Operation: Avoid Multinational Duopoly) nicely.
There’s a smaller supermarket in the CBD, which sells some fruit and vegetables and the local rural produce outlet has also started to stock fresh local produce. There’s also a local butcher, which I always choose rather than going to the supermarket for meat.
We have a weekly growers market on Saturday mornings and, if you know where to look (or stumble upon them), there are local growers selling produce from roadside stalls around the area.
The Big River Growers Market started in late 2012, as an opportunity for local growers to have an outlet for their produce and for people to be able to get fresh, locally grown food. The market’s motto is “From back yard to bellies”, which I think sums it up beautifully.
We’ve been regular customers ever since it started and have had some wonderful dinners where everything on the plate has come from someone that we know. That’s a fantastic feeling, and the only thing that would be better would be if it was food we’d grown ourselves.
It’s a small market, and what you can get each week depends on which stall holders are there and what’s been growing well that week. Most weeks there’s a range of fresh seasonal vegetables that are heaps better than what we’d have got from the supermarket. It does pay to get there early!
An interesting stallholder is John, who grows a fantastic range of potatoes, including some varieties that he’s cultivated himself.
There’s also lots of pies, cakes, relishes and jams, as well as laksa, spring rolls and dumplings cooked on the spot – just perfect for a late Saturday morning breakfast.
I’m working in Hobart most weekdays, so I have several options for shopping at Tasmanian businesses and getting Tasmanian produce. We’re regular customers at Hill Street Grocer, (being able to order online and pick up the next day makes life so much easier, especially if I do this at the same time as I meal plan), Eumarrah Wholefoods, Salamanca Fresh and also West Hobart Gourmet Meats.
All of these stores label their produce as either Tasmanian grown or Australian grown, which made Week 3’s challenge of only buying Tasmanian produce a lot easier. Eumarrah is great, as their signs tell you where in Tasmania, or which state in Australia, the food has come from.
There are a couple of other places I’d like to try out, but getting to them in the limited amount of time I have after work on weekdays is a bit difficult at the moment, so I have them filed away for future reference.
I think Weeks 2 and 3 were a success, and I’ve started to think a bit more about organising my meals around local produce that is available seasonally. The need for this became apparent when I was planning my Week 4 challange.
Week 4 began on Saturday. The challenge was to host a Tassievore Feast, where everything was sourced from Tasmania. Ideally I would have planned my feast this week, and cooked it all this coming Saturday. But I have other plans on Saturday, so everything got shifted forward by a week.
But that’s a story for another post.