By Karen Retra
As discussed at our gathering, I’m going to take the Local Harvest Challenge. It’s a national initiative encouraging people to make mindful food choices for a week (localharvest.org.au).
I’m not usually into food challenges, nor am I doing it because I’ve got all the answers, but because it’s a great excuse to re-examine where my food comes from. And whether my purchasing decisions are supporting the sort of food system I want, that meets my needs but also my values. It’s also a chance to celebrate the local food I’m already accessing as well as dedicate some time to find out about and try new options – which can sometimes get lost in the busyness of life.
Sharing the challenge publicly is a bit confronting for me, but I hope it will help to further the conversations about local food – and maybe mean we can all share some local resources and tips.
One of the appeals of this challenge to me is that participants set their own goals and the intensity of the challenge. Which means it’s perfect whether you’ve never thought about local food before or whether you’ve been a local food seeker and eater for years. ‘Challengers’ nominate how many challenges they plan to undertake, and even define which ‘local’ they are looking to target – it can be under 25km; up to 165km (100 miles); within your state; or from Australia.
The challenge resources include lots of tools and information. There are many suggested actions you can try. Or you can create your own.
Depending on your preferences, the challenge could see you not only reduce your food miles, but also connect with local growers, food businesses and your members of parliament. You might seek ways to reduce packaging, turn your waste into a resource, or even make use of waste from others. You could visit local growers, food swaps or community gardens. Or at home: growing food, starting a worm farm, explore urban beekeeping or host a ‘pot luck dinner’, where you invite your friends and neighbours along to join the local food conversation.
I’m looking forward to practising what I’ve learnt and implemented so far on my own local food journey, as well as seeking new options.
As mentioned, we’ve registered a team in the challenge called ‘Seed Savers Albury-Wodonga’ that you’re welcome to join. You can also register as an individual, a family or your own team. Or just follow along – I’m sure you’ll find it interesting.
For news and resources about the challenge visit localharvest.org.au/take-the-challenge.
Or join the conversation by adding your tips, resources or comments here on the Seed Savers Albury-Wodonga website.