Sunday, 21 December 2014

VanCity Living

I have reached the Mecca folks! This week Angela and I hopped a ride down to the city and while she is off with her family I am couch hopping my friends places and exploring the greater Vancouver area. I'll be honest I was a little worried about being amongst my old friends, fast food and shopping but the local vibe is truly alive and well in the city. Instead of hitting whatever restaurant I happen upon I am investigating the alternative world of local eateries and uncovering new treasures at the many thrift stores the city has to offer.
I feel as if all I want to do is eat and I hardly think there are enough meals in the day to get to every local eatery in the city. So far I have died and gone to heaven finding my new favourite spot in the world-Forage. Their motto is the same as mine "the more local the better", serving fresh locally sourced food and drink with delicious results. Their menu is also surprisingly quite affordable which I hope will allow as many people as possible to experience how tasty local truly is. Even though I wanted to try everything I settled for the spiced honey cheese pan bread, warm kale salad and squash perogies shared with my partner in crime for the evening Franco, can you say yum! Even my cocktail was local making the entire evening a dream come true.
Thrift shopping in Prince George is...somewhat limited and it takes real effort to unearth the goods at our few stores we have. Especially since we decided to deduct Value Village from our portfolio as it is a for-profit thrift chain but unfortunately also the best thrift store in PG. Coming to the city I have gone a little nuts, I had to get another suit case nuts and have shopped everywhere from White Rock to Ladner to Main St Vancouver. Also Consignment, have you ever heard of anything more wonderful! I took thrift shopping to a whole new level shopping designers, check out my new shoes!!! I never thought I would find something so beautiful and used too! 
I have 2 days left here in the city before heading up to Hope for Christmas, any suggestions? 

Happy holidays,


"The greatest luxury is being free" - Manolo Blanhik 

Thursday, 27 November 2014


No I haven't fallen off the edge of the earth....yet! The last week of class's are here for the fall semester and this means a lot of cramming and late nights. This week I have found myself ordering a lot of take out from the Thirsty Moose Pub and stocking up on baked good from the University Farmers Market and the tasty delights at Degree's Coffee supplied by Home Sweet Home (Maple Yumbar is amazing!) At least I have lovely local options to get me through this week, wish me luck!

XX Melanie 

"Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself." - John Dewey

Monday, 17 November 2014


I'd like to think I take care of my stuff. I've had my laptop going on 5 years, I still have cloths from high school and I've been wearing the same winter jacket since 2006. My motto has always been if it ain't broke don't fix it, so I am not frequently replacing things even when they have minor defects (like my iPod that doesn't have an on button anymore). My cell phone is a 6 year old iPhone 3g, for our 5th anniversary I bought it a new case even though it hasn't done the internet for the past 3 years so it hardly deserved it. It has definitely fallen before, survived 2 dips in the toilet (and subsequent rice baths), countless slip and falls and who knows how many times its been roughed up, but it still makes calls so I keep it around. So you can imagine I was quite upset when it fell out of my pocket last week while I was biking and the screen cracked! As if it wasn't enough of an issue reading the screen with lines all across it (I probably could have lived with that), the glass is now falling off in little pieces...I am thinking finally something has to be done. Hence the problem, if I replace the screen the parts can be purchased from a local business but will obviously be straight from China OR I can buy a used phone. I usually like to fix what I have instead of buying something new, but what is more local? HELP!!!!???

I've also been thinking about batteries lately, I will eventually need them, what do I do? What happens when Angela needs new bike parts? Some things you just can't get used... can you? This is where the limitations of a local lifestyle come into play, it's go big or go home in my house right now but I am not sure how long that will/can last!

XX Melanie

"To find better means of fixing the brain, we first need to achieve something more fundamental. We must understand how it works." -Sebastian Seung

Monday, 10 November 2014

What I ate for dinner this week

Just to prove I don't live off of Kale and carrots, this week I kept track of my dinners to show you all how delicious local really is. After all, eating local is not about eating less good food but about eating more good food.

Monday- Spaghetti Squash with tomato and peppers, here is the recipe
  • BC spaghetti squash that I got in my Good Food Box last week. 
  • Peppers I got from Marlin Spikes Organics at the PG Farmers Market a few weeks ago 
  • Tomatoes Sauce, a can that I reclaimed from the trash having been past the best before date (it tasted fine to me) 
  • I skipped on the cheese and used whatever spices I had in my cupboard 
Tuesday- A had a late night at school so I made a quick egg sandwich at 10pm when I got home. 
  • Egg- Purchased from PG PIRG who orders in free run farm fresh eggs weekly. 
  • Bread- from Brenda's Bread at the University Farmers Market
  • Goat Cheese- free from a friend who was away for a few weeks and had to get rid of food in his fridge 
  • Sweet Relish- from Tuppy's that was at the Studio Fair at UNBC (that I am obsessed with, I wish I bought more!)

Wednesday- Soup & Salad at the Thirsty Moose Pub
  • Tomato Basil soup made in house
  • Spring Salad- Lettuce sourced from the SGU Dome Greenhouse on campus (can hardly get more local then that!)
  • Garlic Toast
  • A hand full of those sweet potato fries from the top of the photo
  • PWB Canterbury Lager
Thursday- Eggs scramble and toast

  • Eggs with more peppers and green onions from the Good Food Box
  • Toast with bread from the University Farmers Market
  • Friday
  • Red Pepper Jelly from Bertha Miller at the University Farmers Market

Friday- Leftover spaghetti squash from Monday and Leftover mashed potatoes with Mushroom gravy from Sunday 
  • Potatoes come from Cariboo Growers in Prince George
  • I made mushroom gravy from an expired can of mushrooms I saved from the trash
  • Lot's and lot's of Cariboo beers at the SGU Electro-Swing Pub night at the Thirsty Moose 
Saturday- Veggie Burger and Salad at Nancy O's 
  • They make the best almond based veggie patty in house, any of the toppings are delicious but I had the truffle burger with brie cheese, died! 
  • Side salad uses greens from the local aquaponics 
Sunday- Rutabaga Fries (recipe here) & Veg-Potato Hash

  • Rutabaga from a friends garden
  • Potatoes from Cariboo Growers with onions, peppers, garlic and dried basil from my own garden. 
  • I also pre-cooked potatoes and lots of extra Rutabaga fries for the week so the cycle of leftovers can continue. 

As you will notice from this weeks menu things often repeat like the bread I used, it was the same loaf all week. As I only shop once a week at the University Farmers Market, I need to plan a little a head to ensure I will have enough to last the week. I don't always follow recipe's exactly and heavily substitute with local goodies, reclaimed and expired foods and things that were given to me. As you have seen eating local not only feels good but is good for your wallet and tastes delicious! So get out there and see what you can incorporate into your dinner this week. 

In good food,


"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are." - Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Monday, 3 November 2014

Trick or eat!

Mary Poppins & Bert
This Halloween was a little different than others for me, for a few reasons. Firstly, my Halloween costume was more DIY then it has ever been before. Because I have vowed to not shop commercially this year, buying pieces for my costume was not as simple as popping into Wal-Mart or Value Village. Instead, I used what I had at home and sifted through the variety of thrift stores in downtown Prince George to find tid-bits I could use. Not being able to find the perfect Mary Poppins hat, I crafted accessories out of buttons and elastic I found at St. Vincent De Paul's thrift store.  It may have taken a little more time than convenience shopping but I was thrilled with the end result, I also saved money and wasted less by using things I already had. Definitely keeping this up for next year!

#TrickOrEat 2014 
With my costume all set my next project was collecting food donations with my friends at Meal Exchange for Trick Or Eat. The concept is simple, go door to door like the kids do, but instead of collecting treats we collected food for our local food banks! This year we collected food for the UNBC Campus Food Bank as well as St. Vincent De Paul's in downtown Prince George. We have already collected over 1300 lbs of food in Prince George but it's not too late to help, if you would like to donate please visit my page HERE and help me reach my modest goal of $50.00 that will go towards foods banks locally.

David Suzuki at UNBC
What seemed like a great week already was made even better by what I am unofficially dubbing David Suzuki day (otherwise known as Saturday). The morning after Halloween a few of us dragged ourselves out of bed, wiped off the leftover costume makeup and made it up to the University to attend a lunch with David Suzuki as part of the Blue Dot Tour. As a volunteer I helped with the set up and took tickets in exchange for a sweet t-shirt and a photo-op with the man himself. We then got to listen to him talk about the movement he is starting to have the right to a healthy environment entrenched in the Canadian constitution and talk to community members about what we can do in Prince George. Later in the evening we saw him again at the main event at Vanier Hall with other guests like Roy Henry Vickers . It was a day full of inspiration and learning and it gave be butterflies to think of people working together towards the common goal of helping our planet. My favourite part of the evening was a poem 'Shoulders' by Shane Koyczan that you can see here, once you start it you will not be able to stop! (It gave me goosebumps).

Here's to a week of feeling inspired and giving back!


"My heart is a protest that I let rally against my ribs"- Shane Koyczan

Monday, 27 October 2014

The 5 times I failed at being a locavore

Though I constantly live in fear of letting myself and my followers down I still have not actually cheated on the locavore front. You may be able to say I have bended the rules to my benefit a few times though, and these would be the examples of such times:
Our last Granville Island's
  • Netflix- Thought I cancelled my Netflix subscription Aug 31st, a friend has recently given me her log in information so I can still enjoy the goodness of limitless streaming goodness. Why this is allowed is because I am not personally contributing financially to the company and instead piggy backing on someone else's devious purchasing. 
  • Granville Island- Angela and I were enjoying what we thought was a delicious pint of local Granville Island beer when someone mentioned that the company had been taken over by foreign mega company Molson in 2009...a quick google search later we decided we had had our last pint for the year. This happens to us sometimes but we often do a bit of research when we make purchases to ensure that we are still contributing local economy. With all the fact checking though, there is still room for error and this is one of the cases of learning through experience. 
  • Diva Cup- I needed to purchase a new Diva Cup (it's a lady product), which are unfortunately not made in BC. They are however made in Canada  unlike and other option available to me and I purchased mine from an independently owned pharmacy in town. This one was a tough decision for me but a necessary thing every woman must go though and I hope I have made the best available choice. 
  • Deep Fried Pickles- I have had deep fried pickles twice this year at the Thirsty Moose Pub because they are sooo good. I would have kept ordering them but have since found out they were not prepared on site but come pre battered which is a violation of the rules. 
  • Halloween decorations- As the co-chair for the University Farmers Market I was tasked with helping find decorations for our halloween themed market this week. As we strolled the aisle's of the dollar store in search of spooky delights, I felt like I was cheating but ultimately I was not making the purchase and it was through work. It is hard when it comes down to making our own decorations as supplies would still need to be purchased but I feel like with more planning and foresight we can work on using more recycled and hand made items for future events. 
Now I know I have listed these as failures, but I do not really think of them as that. Instead I realize that these are apart of the learning experience that this challenge is shaping up to be. I have learned more about what is local in my area and limitations to a locavore lifestyle in practice then I ever could have in theory, so all in all, I am succeeding. And through these times I hope that by sharing these efforts will encourage more people think about the choices they make each day...or so i'd like to think.

Heres to making mistakes!


"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing." -Henry Ford

Monday, 20 October 2014

Putting your money where your mouth is

Next on my list of changes was mentioned in a comment about banking. I have been with TD Canada since they were Canada Trust (20+ years) and had not even considered how my banking could effect my Locavore identity. But it really does matter where you put your money and the more I looked into the banking industry the more I realized how important it was to align your money with your values. Centralized banking institutions fund major industries that are environmentally harmful such as coal, nuclear, and logging which means your money could be going towards supporting them too. (There is a reason why bond villains and the bad guys on Despicable me are bankers.)  Keeping your money local via a Credit Union,  supports your local community and keeps your money where you are. I chose to switch to Integris which supports things like the SGU Dome Green House and students success in the north. The switch was easy once I knew how important it was and when I went in to the bank they were so friendly and welcoming, unlike any bank I have ever dealt with. Integris didn't even mind my mounting pile of student debt and embarrassingly large credit card balance. 

I still have a cell phone through Koodo, which is a subsidiary of Telus who is head quartered in Alberta....can I do better? Or should I even have a phone? 

Can you think of anything else I can switch to a more local option?

Have a lovely week,


"Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments." Bethenny Frankel

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Fowl Play

My personalized care package from Home Sweet Home
It occurred to me that Thanksgiving in Canada signifies the impending finish line we are approaching to the end of the harvest season. This harvest time has meant the most to be because of the significance of seasonal food in my diet and has built a heightened awareness to what is available in my region. Though I am celebrating locally, it was still nice to connect with friends and family across the country to remind me how wonderful life really is and to be truly thankful.

To celebrate thanksgiving my mother, who faithfully reads my blog, decided to follow one of the links I left to my local grocers and ordered me a feast! I was so surprised when I got there to find a giant bag full of the best of the best things that I could not even have dreamed of. I now have 4 flavours of miso gravy....4! Thanks again Mom!

My landlord decided to park a trailer on the site of my garden a few weeks ago, ruining the rest of my own vegetables for the year.  In response I'm looking for a new place to live. Hearing this a professor at school took it upon himself to restock my cupboards from his personal garden with so many fresh veggies! I got this giant cabbage you can see in the photo (soon to be sauerkraut), rutabaga, potatoes, carrots, onions and cucumbers and the site of them almost brought me to tears of joy. It never ceases to amaze me how wonderful people are and that so much good came out of a bad situation.

Cabbage and Rutabaga from a friends garden
For my thanksgiving I spent the evening with friends at a shotgun dinner where everyone brought a homemade dish. I brought mashed potatoes and an apple stuffed buttercup squash, all local and from right here in PG. Though my dish's were local, some of the other ingredients on my plate were somewhat questionable and I am pretty sure I ate cheese from the other side of the country. I realize that not everyone thinks about food to the same degree as I do but hopefully these pages can inspire at least some thought towards it. I am so thankful for friends and family and the amazing community I am apart of that has made living local mean so much more to me. I hope I can give back as much love and appreciation as I have felt in these last weeks and make every moment count.

In good food,


"The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest." -William Blake

Monday, 6 October 2014

1 month down, 11 to go!

Handmade Earrings from Clever Twist 
Our first month as locavores is complete and I can safely say it went great! So much love and support was sent our way that the transition was seamless. September was a great month to be a living local in Prince George with harvest time, fun events and farmers market goodness. Already our story has been shared on the internet, radio and on t.v much to my shock and amazement. People ask if I am missing out on anything but I feel as if I am in fact gaining a better appreciation of how wonderful eating local really is. Only confession I have is that last week I had a dream I went shopping at the mall and then realized I couldn't buy any of it so had to return everything... what a nightmare! In real life I get my retail therapy shopping at the farmers market like these gems I found at the University Farmers Market last Tuesday.

Looking forward, I still have some old non-perishables in the fridge from eons ago but am now starting to think about what to do when they run out. I wish I would have canned and froze more produce for the winter, but I am confident we can survive (and thrive). Over the summer we had a pickling party with friends and made home made dills and bread and butter pickles. Last week we got some mushrooms from the market and cooked and froze them. My roommate brought some beautiful apples up from her families house on Salt Spring Island (and goat cheese yum!) that we have been eating everyday and made some delicious apple sauce for canning. I also froze the 10 lbs of peaches I bought at Home Sweet Home for peachy goodness in the winter time. My roommates call me a squirrel because I have stashes of food everywhere but again one of the little tricks that will make living locally easier outside of the harvest months with just a little planning and foresight.

We were so inspired today by David Suzuki, J.B Mackinnon (author of 100 Mile Diet) and Utcha Sawayers (Food Share) during a virtual classroom on Hungry for Change as part of the Blue Dot Tour. (If you haven't already got your tickets the Blue Dot Tour is in PG Nov 1st) Talking about food security and the importance of organic, local food with students from across the country was so reaffirming that what we are doing is valid and important to share. Together we watched the film Island Green about organic farming in PEI, can you imagine an entire province going organic?

In good food,


"For me the most important thing is to think of the Earth as our mother, not the motherlode." -David Suzuki

Monday, 29 September 2014

I need new pants!

Can someone please help us make a decision so I can buy new pants!

Eating locally has had its benefits for me in so many ways and has now manifested into my shrinking waist line. Which leads me to my current internal back and forth about where I can go to buy new clothing. Typically I would have hit the mall, riffling through the sales rack's at the back of stores for something cheap and cheerful. That convenience has now been removed while I attempt to live as locally as possible and I must seek alternatives to find new cloths. Here in Prince George that means used clothing. I am left with good old clothing swaps, Kijiji and a plethora of thrift stores as my friendly alternative to purchasing new goods. But even when I look at thrift stores I find issue with them. My favourite (featured in the photo's) in town has been Value Village because their selection is like no other, but did you know that Value Village is a for profit thrift store and worth $1.5 billion a year? That doesn't fit in with our local model but where do we draw the line. Salvation Army is also a chain store but is a non-for-profit like St. Vincent de Paul and many other charity thrift stores, should those count as local if they are charitable even though they are chains?

Why I buy second hand:
Buying used is good for your wallet saving you tons on the retail value of most clothing. Like a gorgeous tweed Michael Kors jacket I bought at Value Village for $25 that normally retails for $300.  It is also good for the planet to purchase second hand as it not only reduces the waste of that garment but also means less cloths need to be produced because of it. Not to mention most thrift stores donate portions of sales towards charities like St. Vincent de Paul in Prince George. My last and guiltless reason would be that I don't feel guilty about having too many cloths when I know they cost me less and went towards a good cause, this means you can have a more diverse closet and a higher turn over of your wardrobe.

So now I put it out there, best thrift shop suggestions?

Happy hunting,


"I shop at thrift shops probably five times a week." -Macklemore 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Adventures in Beer!

Local Beers at the Thirsty Moose
I was going to talk about work mostly but it seems like this week has been focused on beer! Currently I am tasting local beers (everyday this week) at the Thirsty Moose Pub  and eating delicious Meatless Monday options! Get in here!

This week my food obsession was complemented by some amazing local events that I was lucky to be apart of. Wednesday, Angela and I attended a wine and cheese night at Home Sweet Home as part of Feast PG. I also helped out at Mead Dating at Nancy O's on Thursday and had a blast sampling local beers and meeting singles ;). This week at UNBC is Good Food Week! Which is an event I helped organize to showcase the great food options we have on campus and get people involved and interested in food. Check out UNBC- Campus Food Stategy Group for more information and to follow our week. It has really been a great week for drinking locally and I have felt amazing support by being included in of all these great events.

Wine & Cheese Night at Home Sweet Home
Now to talk about work: I personally feel that your work should be a reflection of your values, which is a big part of a lot of the work I do on campus at UNBC.  I work as the local foods coordinator with PGPIRG, working on local food initiatives on campus and putting together the monthly good food box that sources ingredients from as local as possible. Another job I have on campus is working with the Campus Food Systems Project, which is a national project headed by Meal Exchange and the Sierra Youth Coalition. We work on food procurement, supply chain issues and food security issues on campus including organizing Good Food Week. Part of that role and one of my passions is my work with the University Farmers Market which I am co-chair of this year. All of this work puts me in a place to not only work on local food initiatives but allows me to make connections and learn about the food system in Prince George. All around, I seem to be obsessed with food through my work and life.
Mead Dating at Nancy O's

Thanks to helpful comments and feedback from followers, parts of my life that I had not previously considered have now become more localized, including my work! My side gig as a barista at Second Cup, a Canadian coffee chain where I worked for about a year before I started this project, had to be sacrificed for its integrity. Working for a coffee company that I would not even feel comfortable purchasing from just made no sense to me. Though they do source coffee with the rain forest alliance certification Second Cup only has one fair trade coffee and no organic options. They also manufacture a lot of their goods from all over the world and do not represent the type of business practice I can support. Incidentally I found out that the campus coffee shop was hiring and they served locally roasted, fair trade and organic coffee and they compost, can you say upgrade?

Cheers to a week full of local beer and good food!


"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."  -Frank Sinatra

Monday, 15 September 2014

Temptation Alley

I didn't take a sip!
Being local on the weekends can definitely be easier then during the week at times. You have time to cook, be with friends and visit markets. However the weekend can also lead to many temptations and my first real test at how committed I would be to this personal challenge. Drinking appears to be my kryptonite,  a few weeks ago I was an avid vodka drinker and I am still fighting with urges to order it everywhere I go. The other day at a bar with friends I mentioned how much I missed my go to Blueberry vodka soda and before I knew it someone had bought me one. Now typically my rule has been I can accept gifts though I cannot make requests, I felt that by planting that thought I had indirectly asked for this I resisted it. That may seem incredibly trivial in the grand scheme of things but it was really hard for me to say no to that drink and a great personal feat. I sipped on my Growers Pear Cider from the Okanagan and carried on with my night, in the end I had a great time once I got over the slight adjustment to my drinking habits.

No ice cream for me!
Another time I was tested this weekend was when all of my friends decided to grab ice cream after a long hot day of volunteering at the compost site at UNBC. Now I realize this is a personal choice so do not pity me for choosing my own plight, but it was a little tough to say no to that too. The idea of self deprecation for this challenge is not the end goal. I am not trying to make my life miserable or deny myself from eating good food. I guess it just comes down to my definition of good food and what I want to eat will be evolving this year and focusing on all the wonderful things I can do and eat is becoming more important to me as I navigate the world of local living.

Fried green tomatoes, smashed potatoes,
maple roasted carrots and yellow beans. 
Dinner with friends

With the bounty from last weeks farmers' market I made a delicious meal (if I do say so myself) for my friends and get to eat its leftovers all week for lunch. Enjoying friends, and celebrating the positive choices we make every day towards local, sustainable living are more important than stressing about the things I am missing out on. Because at the end of the day, I am gaining far more then I am missing.

This week I am super stoked for Feast PG from my friends at Home Sweet Home, check out their Facebook page for more info and perhaps I shall see you at some events!!!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

To hummus or not to hummus?

Angela and I at the University Farmers Market
So I have finished my last expired can of chickpeas that I had in the cupboard and am now faced with a very serious hummus or not to hummus? As a vegetarian I love eating it and it adds an import piece of protein to my diet but chickpeas just aren't local are they. Which leads me to my conundrum, I can buy organic chick peas from my local grocers Home Sweet Home but just because I can buy chickpeas locally, should I? On the other hand with the rule that I can eat locally prepared goods I can purchase delicious home-made hummus from them or the farmers market, but neither the raw chickpeas nor the prepared are truly local. How much sense does it make to purchase hummus I could make myself for much cheaper, only because I am not supposed to have the raw ingredients. Does this mean I can't eat hummus this year?

(Side note: here is a recipe for Balsamic Hummus that I am obsessed with! )

These are the types of ethical conversations I have with myself and often talk out with Angela on a near daily basis. I can agree that eating local is a very important part of this local challenge but the other part was to also include local living. If we take that into consideration, supporting local business', restaurants and suppliers would be in direct conflict with local eating ideals. Can I eat sushi that is from a local business even though they do not source locally? Even if I am eating at the most local restaurant in town which to my thinking is Nancy O's, will everything I intake be local?  Most likely not, but definitely better than my other options and the option of cutting any dinning out at all. Therefore from hummus comes the larger questions of what I can eat. I can think it to death and never really find a comfortable position, so for now I am sticking with locally sourced, locally produced and locally made.

Even though I am surprised people know my name , we have still been getting attention this week. Yesterday CKPG News stopped by our University Farmers Market Kickoff event for a chat. And this morning we did a quick little interview with CBC Radio 1 for their harvest series,  check out our conversation here. Thank you again for all the love and support! 

Happy Wednesday, 


"What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action." - Meister Eckhard 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

What is Local?

Helping with the Dome Greenhouse at UNBC
This first week of our local challenge has been amazing. We have received so much love and support from our friends and the local community that we know this year will be our best year ever. Angela and I are both full time students at UNBC so our first week on the project also coincided with our first week back at school. This meant for some interesting choices like can we eat at the campus pub or from the free bbq? A lot of conversation has been happening about what is defined as local and what we in turn interpret that as for the scope of our project so here is where we are at so far.

Local means produced or prepared in BC. This means we can eat local produce, locally prepared goods, and locally made wares. That includes food grown in BC, personally I am only eating local organic cheese but staying true to my vegetarian roots, as this is difficult to locate in the north it means less dairy for me on a whole. Locally made jewellery, clothing and goods are up for grabs too, so everything at farmers market's feels like open season for us. Prepared foods has been the iffy category for us but we feel like if we are purchasing prepared foods made by local business's we are in turn supporting our local economy. If we ask where they source their food they may not be consistent with our personal goals, so does this mean by supporting local industry that support unsustainable food purchases, are we losing the plot?

Used, salvaged and recovered- This also means we can purchase anything second hand as we were not a part of the original buying power and the initial spend that went towards the producers. (I am still looking for a used Mat & Nat backpack if anyone see's one!) We can eat food that is free, leftovers and expired food needs to be saved from hitting the land fills. We can also recover food, dumpster diving and leftovers from conferences are so on our radar. We are still going through our cupboards for the next few months, eating what was purchased in the months (and sometimes years) before our switch to local, my favourite being the can of expired pears I've had in there for...awhile that I am saving for the winter months when I miss fruit.

Waste reduction- We will be attempting to reduce our waste throughout this process by eliminating as much plastic and wrapping as possible from our 'life diet'. You can do this easily yourselves by saying no to plastic cutlery and straws, bringing your own reusable bags and eating in instead of take out. When you shop more locally you actually end up using less packaging by default as local stores and business's often make there own containers and tend towards reusable containers.

Fresh Peaches

It has been a busy week but we feel we are off to a great start. We just got a 20lb case of peaches from our favourite local grocers Home Sweet Home and are cutting up and freezing them to enjoy throughout the winter. I am still cultivating from my wee backyard garden and look forward to enjoying some of my hard earned veggies very soon. Today I am going berry picking, I don't know if I will find anything at this point in the season but it is worth a try!

Happy hunting,


Monday, 1 September 2014

The Beginning

Our last meal at Denny's for a year
Today is the first day of my experiment to eat and live locally for one entire year. What seemed so straightforward before is now becoming incredibly complicated and full of questions I am not sure how to answer. The rules seemed simple, eat only locally sourced goods from local businesses, but in practice we are already in conflict on our fist day. The issue of banana bread seems to be a big one, does it make sense for us to buy banana bread from the farmers market if we know those bananas were imported? Home made Salsa in February? Coconut milk from the local grocers? The limits to our daily lives will be drastically altered if we attempt to live on only BC produced goods, but is that even possible? These are questions we are currently trying to tackle and would appreciate any insights people may have in our journey towards local, sustainable living.

As for day one, no major changes have become apparent to me yet, so far just another day. I brought back local organic cheese and Maple Syrup from Ontario and seeing as my local grocers is closed for the next few days I will be living off of cheese and crackers with syrup until Tuesday when I can go shopping again. A small sacrifice but a delicious one!

Here are the top 5 things I'm going to miss this year: 
  • Netflix (cancelled this morning)
  • Avocados
  • Blueberry Vodka Soda's with Lime
  • Shopping (designers)
  • Going to the Cinema
Think of all the money I'm going to save though!

Have a lovely day,


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Locavore: The Definition

Byward Market- Ottawa, On
As a self proclaimed Locavore, I have made efforts to buy local and support the local economy in which I inhabit. I mostly shopped at the farmers market, and mostly bought second hand but it always felt like I was missing the point on a lot of the issues. So an idea has hatched in my little noggin to practice what I preach when it comes to my eating and living practices. The plan is to explore a year without a grocery store, big box retailer or anything I couldn't get in from a local source. This means shopping from locally owned business's, farmer's markets and salvaging food. It may seem slightly daunting to many of you but in the beginning of this plan the subtle changes I would have to make to my lifestyle seemed non-invasive (talk to me in 6 months and see how I feel). Imagine a year where you didn't buy new cloths, ate in season and explored your natural environment more, seems simple right? 
The rules:

PGPIRG Sustainable Learning Garden
  • Shop Local- nothing from a chain or franchise
  • Eat Local- eat in season, organic, local
  • Live local- reduce waste, build food sovereignty and support local initiatives

I start September 1st, please leave comments, suggestions and tips to help me get started on my adventure. (Questions like, should I be allowed to shop at Value Village? Where do I buy batteries? What does it all mean?)

In good food,