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Local Harvest Challenge 2013 – Wrap Up (Finally)

June 22, 2013


It has been a long time coming but I have finally found a few minutes to sit down and finally have a think (and write a few words) about this years Local Harvest Challenge. Looking back now (two and a half months later…eeek) I don’t think we have eaten that well since. We have had some amazing local meals and local produce, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think we have had so many good meals in one week at home! That may have something to do with the crazy FOOD Week here in Orange, apple harvest and the addition of our ‘future farmer’ no.2 who arrived two weeks early, just in time to see the end of FOOD Week :).

A recap of what I signed us up for:

  • Don’t use the supermarkets this week – shop at local independent grocers, butchers and delis
  • Shop at a farmers’ market
  • Source farm-gate produce
  • Buy cruelty free eggs (laid by happy chooks!)
  • Source free-range or organic meats
  • Go foraging! – eat edible weeds
  • Harvest and eat food from your own garden
  • Eat (at least) 5 Servings of Local, Organic fruit & veggies per day
  • Dine at a cafe or restaurant with sustainable feature
  • Cook with seasonal produce
  • Cook with local oils or grains
  • Sip on local milk or juice
  • Enjoy local beer or wine
  • Swap sugar for local honey (or stevia)
  • Find out more about and try food preserving – bottling, drying, freezing

We managed to tick off all of the above. Fortunately for us we have access to a lot of this on a weekly and even daily basis. So it was not such a huge challenge. I decided as part of our Local Harvest Challenge, to relaunch our Local Fruit & Vegetable boxes.

And it happened.

Between the start of the Local Harvest Challenge and FOOD Week in Orange (approx. 2 weeks) we managed to put some box options together, find a few people interested (with the help of local business Canobolas Pure Health) and get the ball rolling. We did have a minor hiccup with our ‘future farmer’ no.2 arriving on the morning that our first box deliveries were meant to take place, so they were delayed by a week.

We are now 9 weeks in and our Local Fruit & Vegetable box deliveries have been met with even more excitement from locals and every week we are receiving more and more orders. All advertising, other than some social media, has been by word of mouth which is even better. We are so incredibly thankful for the support that has been shown by our locals.

With the help of Canobolas Pure Health we are now also including milk, cheese and eggs in our boxes. Milk straight from the farmer, Country Valley, cheese straight from the cheese maker, The Second Mouse Cheese Co. here in Orange and real free range eggs from Parkes locals The Happy Chook Co.

Although the Local Harvest Challenge always coincides with Easter, our apple harvest, and this year the Orange FOOD Week, this definitely did not deter us from getting involved again and it will not in the future. It is definitely something we would encourage everyone to do and maybe something people could do more often :).

We are looking forward to next years challenge and what challenges it may bring us.

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