Monday, 20 July 2015

3 Typical Locavore Dinners

You only eat local? Wow you must be starving, how can you find enough to eat! Well here is a taste of what I eat for dinner and where it comes from. Being local is more delicious than you can imagine!

Dinner 1: When it's too hot to cook

Homemade Vanilla Maple Sun Tea (Check my Recipe page!)
  • Green Tea, from the free shelf at UNBC
  • Vanilla, from the free shelf
  • Maple Syrup, I brought back from the ByWard Market in Ottawa last summer
Prince George version of Caprese salad with:
  • Basil, from my garden
  • Cherrie Tomatoes from HSH Grocery
  • Avalon Sharp Cheddar from Ave Maria's
  • Balsamic vinegar & Olive oil, found on the free shelf
  • Bread from the Farmers Market with Avalon Butter from Ave Maria's

Dinner 2: When friends are coming over

This meal was created by the ingredients from the Hope Farm CSA box.
  • Balsamic roast vegetables (made with Kale stems, beats & leaves, kohlrabi leaves), 
  • Pizza with carrot & radish top pesto (Recipe), Pizza crust from the farmers market. 
  • Potato salad
  • Radish & Kohlrabi carpaccio (Recipe
  • Fresh salad rolls with an Avocado left behind from more Couchsurfers
We used everything from root to tip! Thank you Hope Farm!

Dinner 3: When you harvest from your garden

This year I have a plot up at the PGPIRG Sustainable Learning garden at UNBC.  So sometimes dinner is what I bring home from the garden and make delicious! 
Garden Salad:
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Basil
  • Salted Sunflower seeds from Wilson Square Market 
  • Balsamic vinegar from the free shelf for dressing

Cheers to great dinners and even greater company!

XX Melanie 

"Nobody trusts the industrial food system to give them good food." - Joel Salatin 

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Beautiful Bernadette

I have a confession to make...I, Melanie Anderson, am in love! She is young, fit and takes me out whenever I want. She's good to me, carries my groceries for me and supports me in everything I do. She's a hot ticket, whenever we are out together I get compliments on my arm candy. We go to work together every morning, racing ourselves up the hill and challenging ourselves to always be better, faster, stronger.

Bernie (that's what I call her) and I go to the Farmers Market every weekend without fail. She is pretty dependable that way. She's a little heavy but I tell her not to sweat it, I like her just the way she is. We love being outside together and cruising around town whenever we can. When no one else is around, I can count on her to be my constant companion. She takes me places I've never been before. 

She's got a wide rear end, I joke with her that "baby got back', but she doesn't mind me saying so. For Bike to Work Week we biked 100 km together! She helps me get up the University hill every morning, always being very patient as I struggle along.

I wipe her down every weekend, making sure she is well lubed and looking spiffy....In case you haven't deciphered, Bernadette is my new bike!

Together we help reduce my impact on the environment by lowering carbon emissions. She also helps me get into shape, how can I resist riding such an attractive specimen? She has shown me the difference a quality bike makes and helps me be a better biker. One day I'd like to take her on longer trips, but we are working our way up to it.


Melanie & Bernie XX

"Love doesn't make the world go 'round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile." - Franklin P. Jones

Sunday, 5 July 2015

How I Paid Off my Credit Cards by Going Local

Today was a good day. Today I paid off the last dollar on my last credit card, a card that has carried a balance since I got it in 2008. I made a goal this year of paying off ½ of my credit card hoping the sacrifices I was making as a Locavore would pay off. And it did! In 10 months I have paid off my entire card!

I got my first credit card on my 18th Birthday to book plane tickets to Ireland. By the time I left on the trip I had maxed it out. The next year, I applied for a second credit card with another bank...and then a third, low interest card. These cards funded important causes like the Melanie goes to the Dominic Republic fund,  Melanie moves to Europe foundation and the all important Coach purse investments. That's when the eye opener hit me, I had accumulated over $10,000 in credit card debt. Any money I saved I used to travel thus the cycle of debt continued and my balance has remained quite high since. Until now.

Here are some of the ways going local has helped me reduce my debt and maybe how it can help you: 
  • Buy less
    • Reducing your overall consumption is the best possible way to go and that means keeping more $$$ for other things. Those impulse buys like Starbucks and Target are off the table when you only shop local. I still get treats from the market though ;) 
  • Buy better
    • Better quality purchases have cut down on my cost of replacing items over and over again. Spending a little more money on things that are hand made or from local business's pays off when it lasts 10x longer then the Wal-Mart equivalent. 
  • Make your passion work for you
    • I have been so lucky to find work doing the things I am interested and passionate about. Managing the University Farmers Markets means I get paid to be where I love which is also where I shop and get to know lovely people. 
  • Freegan it up
    • I have been pretty active in collecting food waste when I find it and over time this adds up to savings on my grocery bill. I would say nearly ½ of my diet has been food that would other wise have gone in the garbage. I have also foraged for wild foods ( Going Wild) and grown my own produce to help save. 
  • Credit Union
    • Switching banks has helped me save even more money (Putting your money where your mouth is), I switched to a local credit union and don't pay fee's for storing my money now. Integris has been helpful in my personal life as well as housing business accounts for my work and helping me save money as a student. 
  • Travel
    • Instead of buying flights I spent money exploring beautiful British Columbia this year. I saved again when I used Couchsurfing and AirBnB for my accommodation instead of booking into a corporate hotel. 
  • Biking
    • If you drive or take the bus to get around, biking will help save you money on transportation. This is year I've biked my legs off and see the benefits on my wallet and my waist line. 
  • Healthier
    • Eating better food and being more active has also made me healthier. I don't use any medications anymore including my asthma inhaler and even shy away from Tylenol for headaches choosing natural remedies and keeping my money away from grubby pharmaceutical companies and in savings. 

I have become a better spender now, and learnt that I want to live within my means and ultimately be debt free. In 3 years of University I will have a whole new set of debt to worry about and I am just grateful that now I can focus on debt from my education and be free from my big scary credit card, forever! 

Happy spending,

Melanie XX

"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy local, and that's kind of the same." -Unknown