Saturday, August 28, 2010

Aisle One – Fresh Challenges: Fruit and vegetables

• Challenge One: Can you do without supermarkets?
• Challenge Two: The vegie box: getting to grips with the mystery greens
• Challenge Three: The organic moral maze and the land of local produce
• Challenge 5: Can you grow your own?

I am feeling smug already on this one! For the past two years or so, we have used a home delivery service called Aussie Farmers Direct and have a box of fruit and veg delivered to our door step every Friday afternoon. The produce is all in season and sourced in Australia – if it isn’t growing here, it isn’t in the box! This more than meets our needs and has forced us to look at ways to use stuff we used to overlook in the green grocer or market (our previous preferred source – supermarkets being last on the list of options)

Organic? Look, my heart is in it but it is just such a grey area. I cross my fingers and hope the farmers growing our food are aware enough to be doing what they can in this area. Could do better, I know, but if I start driving around sourcing organic alternatives, I am going to cancel out the points I get from having it delivered direct!

In spring each year, I plant out pots of herbs and faster growing vegetables (like tomatoes) on our deck. It is certainly worthwhile for the herb factor and the general feel-good factor. We have TWO lemon trees and sadly, more return to the soil than we could ever consume, but they are grown 100% organically! And we use grey water in the garden (not on the herb post though) with a tank diverting the laundry water, so extra points for that!!!! Growing a full-on vegetable garden is not viable on our block of land, as we share it with too many trees (doing our bit for CO2!) so the competition for sun and water is already won!

There are local Farmers Markets in our area and visiting them is on my must-try list. I also work right near the famous Dandenong Market, so have plenty more options available. But we find our box does the trick and I don’t have to think about it at all!

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