This week here in Tasmania, the month of ‘Tassievore’ kicks off.
Brought to us by Sustainable Living Tasmania, Urban Farming Tasmania and Produce to the People, the whole aim of the game is to create “a happy, healthy, sustainable and prosperous Tasmania” by encouraging people to eat, grow and buy local produce throughout March.
Through doing so, they’re hoping people will:
- Gain new knowledge and skills in sourcing, growing and preparing Tasmanian foods,
- Increase their consumption of local foods as a proportion of overall food consumption (i.e getting more Tasmanians to make the most of our fabulous produce),
- Support Tasmanian producers and businesses,
- Reduced their carbon footprint of food,
- Become more connected to our food system, and
- Learn about the gaps in food production which currently exist in Tasmania’s food supply.
For the first week of March people are encouraged to try a new local food item. The second week is all about consciously seeking out and supporting local producers and businesses. In the third week the idea is to eat mostly local fruit and vegetables. Finally, in the fourth week you get to have at least one (hopefully more) mega Tassie feast featuring as much local produce as possible.
Here at Good Life Permaculture we’re jumping on board in a major way for March (and beyond). Being harvest time, we can comfortably pledge to only eat vegetables from our own garden, milk and cheese from our favourite dairy, Elgaar Farm, grains from the food co-op down the road and fruits from our local farmers markets and neighbour’s trees (that’s another abundant relationship we’ve got going on). We also solemnly promise to only drink locally brewed alcohol, but as avid home brewers that’s not overly hard.
Our neighbours insisted we raid their plum tree this week – we hauled over 30kgs back into our kitchen for eating and preserving.
Don’t get us wrong – we’ve got lots of non-Tas food items in our cupboards (sweet chilli sauce, tamari, tahini, spices galore, chocolate, sugar, coffee, tea and a bunch of ‘stuff’ visitors leave in the backs of our shelves) which we’ll continue to eat because that’s how it is for us right now. Overall, we guest-a-mate that we’ll be eating 80% Tasmanian and 20% ‘random’ for March…. and beyond. Because while the Tassievore month is a great reminder to relocalise our diets, we’re deeply committed to doing this always. Because the bottom line is, when we eat, grow and buy local we’re creating a vibrant local food system.
In our own household we will generally choose local produce over imported organic food when confronted with a choice. It is much more important to us that we have local farmers than distant organic producers. When you look at it like this, eating conventionally farmed food can be more ‘sustainable’ than imported organic food which requires more energy overall, specifically in transportation. Again, don’t get us wrong – we are practitioners and advocates for chemical free farming on all scales, we’re just being real about the current situation.
To help people find local food, the Tassievore crew have put together this fabulous state-wide booklet full of local producers, outlets and tasty recipes helping you to eat incredibly well throughout March. Oh, and did I mention they have prizes for people who share their stories, photos and experiences as part the Tassievore challenge!
For more information about all things Tassievore visit their website and if you don’t live in Tasmania, visit it anyway, get inspired and start something similar in your own community.
All photos except for the plum shot are sourced from Tassievore
*Your blogger is Hannah Moloney: Co-director of Good Life Permaculture and lover of all things fun and garden-esk