My family has been predominantly eating local and avoiding the Supermarket for some time now. Last year we joined Tricia and her family from Little Eco Footprints in a challenge called Skipping the Supermarket. This was a turning point for me as it altered the way that we eat, shop and think about food.
- Grow as much of our own produce as possible
- Purchase meat from a local farm
- Purchase very few items at the supermarket
- Shop local at markets or at the stores listed below
- Avoid food in packets and jars
- Make most food from scratch
- Cook based on available ingredients rather than from selection of a recipe
- Preserve as much from our garden as possible for use across the year
The opportunity to take part in this years Local Harvest Challenge was appealing to me as I thought it would be a good way to share some of the things that we have learnt to help you to find local produce in your area. I have also used the week to discover some new local goodies.
In my area we are blessed to have an abundance of quality producers. I would love to hear about those you have found in your area so that I can share more broadly.
I have found the (Australian) sites below to be very helpful:
Community and Forums:
- Local Harvest
- Kitchen Gardeners
- Sustainable Table
- The Locavore Edition
- Swap Shuffle Share
- Australian City Farms and Community Gardens Network
- Grow it Local
- Food Wise
- Drysdale Harvest Basket
Shopping/Location Based Sites:
- Australian Farmers Market Association
- Buy Bellarine
- Local Food Connect
- Melbourne Community Farmers Markets
- The Bellarine Taste Trail
- Regional Farmers Markets
- Sustain Food
- Victorian Farmers Markets Association
- Your Local Markets
Some of my favorite places with a local &/or sustainable focus :
Harvey’s focus on the supply of local fruit and vegetables as the first choice of supply, followed by produce from Victoria and then Australia. Interstate and overseas supply is only used when there is no alternative and the demand for the product exists. Local Geelong business are supported as a priority by this family run business. The produce turnover in the store is high and quality high and fresh. It is my go-to store for most grocery items we require. The staff are fabulous and knowledgeable about the wide product range. The range includes deli items and pre-made meals from local producers such the Hidden Secret, oils from Camilo Olives and so much more.
This artisan bakery is a class act. Not only do they make incredible sourdough bread but they are also run a sustainable and community focused business. La Madre Bakery is a certified Low CO2 bakehouse. Creators of an award winning Potato and Rosemary Sourdough that is impossible for me to walk past. I cannot see that bread and not buy it! It always ends up in my market basket. La Madre sell at many Farmers Markets in the area. Visit the bakery shop at 18 Milton Street, Bell Park, VIC 3215 or find stockist here
This farm gate is getting better and better (in terms of product range). It is now verging on a mini farmers market! It is open on a Saturday morning. Debbie and her family sell a wide assortment of spray-free produce grown on the farm, or sourced fresh weekly from local farmers. They also sell freshly baked home-made sour dough each Saturday morning. You will find a wide variety of home made preserves and sauces, honey from their own bees, eggs from their chooks and so much more! Fresh and seasonal. Debbie teaches a variety of classes that include cheese and bread making, passata and more. Follow on Facebook to hear what is available for sale this weekend and class times and information. Well worth a visit to Lovely Banks. Cash only.
- Bellarine Community Farmers Market
This Community Market continues to grow each month. I enjoy the array of products that are available to purchase at this market. I love that the market allows community groups a stand to use and also asks small gardeners to provide their excess produce to sell in the Community stall. A wonderful initiative by an enthusiastic and dedicated founder. Follow on Facebook for updates on new stall holders and market information.
This winery has the most glorious views to sit and enjoy a lazy lunch. As well as a lovely selection of wines the estate has a fabulous eatery called The Shed that showcases local produce. the chef is creative, the service excellent. We love to take visitors there.
Some new places I have discovered this week as part of my challenge to find more great suppliers and producers this week have included:
Located at: 156 Pakington Street Geelong West this little store/cafe is a treat, full of lots of local goodies
Open Mon-Sat 8.30am – 6 pm the fresh produce is all local – the meat, cheeses, milk, fruit, vegetables and eggs. I love that the owners spend a day picking the lemons they sell in the shop from a farm in Drysdale and are passionate about bringing great products and services to their customers.
The range is expanding to include new local products all the time. The coffee is locally roasted and served with Shultz Organic milk. Breakfast and lunch are available if you are after more than a coffee.
Also available is a range of in-house “Ready Meals” (many vegetarian) for the busy family to collect after work. Work is underway for an online ordering feature.
- Organic Mojo – Located at: 364b Pakington Street, Newtown Victoria
Local produce is sourced as a priority and is available to order as a fruit box. Coming soon to the web and Facebook for further information.
If you are taking part in The Local Harvest Challenge how are you progressing?
Can you add to this list? How do you find good food near you?
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