ends of the scale

It's not 'rocket surgery' to see that our current food production system exists only because of 'cheap' oil prices. You may pay only a few bucks for a kilo of veg, but the real price is carbon emissions and reliance on a finite resource. This system cannot last for ever. Our current broad acre farming practices rely on fossil fuels, but like a bottle of soft drink, when you get to the bottom of the bottle it's all over. What happens then?

I often get asked the question..."but what can I do?" I'm not an expert, but I always suggest to start by growing your own vegetables. Learn some techniques of veg growing by doing. Like me you probably won't have the capabilities to grow all of your veg all year round but trust me you can grow a great chunk of it! I know I'm at the extreme end of the scale in regards to producing my own food, so much so that I'm often referred to as a 'food warrior' a term a close friend coined and has now been picked up in the media. I guess I am fighting not only to be independent from supermarket food but I'm also fighting against the very system. We need change, we have to prioritise with environment first, then people, then money, not the other way around. And on a small scale we can think of our own small environment, our garden. It's dead easy, really. Seeds go in the soil, and the plant gets watered and fed. If you're unsure of the technical details read the instructions on the back of the seed packet. It's really that simple!

 

And my garden is proof of that simplicity. I'm not really keen on opening up my house on weekends for thousands of people to come through and see for themselves, so I take pictures and share on a blog. But it's there, a garden that feeds us so much food. The simplest of veg like the humble spinach can feed you for so long! Many months of fresh green and red spinach. It's getting cooked for breakfast lunch and dinner (not all on the same day)! I cook it with a few eggs, an onion, and a little bit of meat, like chorizo, bacon or pancetta. And this is where I fit in on the extreme scale of DIY food production. I'm making my own pancetta. Kate got payed in pig recently for a job that she did for a pig farmer. Score. So we've now got a pig in the freezer and with what I'm assuming to be pork belly, I'm curing pancetta.

So far it's turned out saltier that I'd like, but that's the reality of being on my L plates in regards to meat curing, and it's ok to use in my cooking because I normally use a tiny bit of meat just to give a little flavour and texture, it's rarely the main part of a meal. I will get pancetta making to my liking eventually, I just need to persevere, just like I have with the vegetable garden. And look what a bounty it's providing us with!