Monday, 26 September 2016

Week 3 - Finding my feet

Last night my partner made bread so we didn't have to buy the bagged stuff from the supermarket. It was a quick and easy wholemeal loaf we sprinkled with seeds. It turned out pretty tasty!

I have found some lovely ladies at Farro who will paper bag fresh cut cheese for me.

We get fresh milk weekly from the farm.

Our chickens have laid 4 eggs that we know of. Two were stolen and possibly more. We think it was a neighbourhood cat (I refuse to believe it would be my own cat even though his weight says otherwise) because we never heard a commotion in the coop and the chickens are unharmed. I found the empty shells in the garden a few days later. We have since put bricks on the roof to stop anything pushing the doors open. Hopefully it works.

I shop at the local fruit and veg store and that's where the majority of our meals come from.

Things like rice and flour I buy from Bin Inn by filling up my own containers. Some cotton drawstring bags would be really handy.

On my partners birthday I wanted to cook something special and meaty so I went to the butchers and took home some brisket in my own container. In the end it wasn't ready for dinner because it hadn't been in the slow cooker long enough. We ate mashed potato and brussel sprouts with some of the sauce for his birthday dinner! But the brisket was delicious the next day.

Next is homemade washing powder and toothpaste!

Day 12 - Goodies from the farm

We went to visit my Nan in the weekend down at the farm. She has a small farm with goats a horse and chickens. I had talked to her earlier in the week and mentioned wanting chickens because I'm bringing home so many food scraps from work. I originally just intended to compost it all but there's so much I thought I better get chickens and as soon as she heard this she said come down and grab some chickens! 
We arrived just as it was getting dark and she already had the chickens in the coop and asked what ones we would like - more what colour we wanted. I loved them all but we chose a black and a brown one. Later that night we would sneak in and catch them while they were sleeping.
A few hours later, before bed we went back out to the chicken coop. We had torches and spotted out the ones we were taking with us. I probably should have tried to catch them myself but I was scared of the screeching and the scratching and the flapping, so was my partner. So in goes Nan. We had low torch light so she could see which ones to grab. She crept up being the brown hen and quickly snatched it. Sure enough it started screeching a sound I had never heard from a chicken. The others near it flapped, squawked and ran to the far end of the coop. Nan tried to hand me the chicken but it scratched me and I dropped it - some farm girl. Then Matt took hold of it firmly under his arm and it began to calm down. 

The next chicken was the same except I didn't try hold this one. We loaded them into the crate ready to take home! So excited!

The next morning they had pooped all through the crate and stank (they really, really stank) so we had to drive home with the windows down. On the way we picked up the coop we bought off Trade Me. Tied it to the roof and drove home at 70kph, even on the motorway. Luckily it was rush hour so we didn't hold anyone up too much. 

Day 9 - wondering how far to take this

It's hard to know how far to take the no plastic choice. A girl at the Boric food market up the road kindly offered to take the plastic off the wrapped parmesan for me so I could take it home without plastic. I declined, saying it would defeat the purpose. The next time I bought cheese at Farro she told me all the huge cheese blocks came in plastic and asked if I still wanted it. I took a slice wrapped in paper and she wrapped it back up and put it back in the fridge.

It would be almost impossible to avoid the bulk wrapping of items. I'm sure when they are shipped and transported it all comes in plastic at some point. It's actually crazy how unavoidable it is. But I'm not going to worry to much about that. Just avoiding anything I take home with plastic.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Day 8 - Happy chickens

I have noticed some forced healthy eating but at least it's coming into summer which means cheap and delicious summer fruit and veg. We made (my boyfriend made) an Asian summer salad with fresh veges and a delicious sesame soy and rice vinegar dressing. Had to pass on some of the fresh herbs until our plants grow. I am yet to find plastic-free fresh herbs.

Went to Mitre10 today and bought heaps of seeds. I have never grown seeds before so I hope I'm not just throwing away money. But how hard can it be! I couldn't buy any seed raising mix which I apparently need. I thought I was doing really well. All the seeds came in paper bags and it wasn't until I got home and opened the bags did I realise that there was a bag inside the bag!! I was tricked into buying plastic when I so sadly declined buying soil, secateurs and seedlings because they came in plastic 

I admit that I wanted to buy some seedlings (in plastic planter trays) so I could fast track some gardening but it was my partner that couldn't let us do it! It's so good to know I have his support and someone to keep me on track.

Also talked to my Nan today. She lives on a farm and said I can have some of her chickens! Now all the food scraps I bring home from work will go to happy chickens! Hopefully I can pick them up this weekend, just need to sort out a coop. 

Day 7 - First week done!

I went to another supermarket today - who knew there were so many supermarkets. Farro has fill-your-own egg trays and cheese to buy by 100g. Two great finds to make life easier!

Here are some of the benefits of buying locally (to make myself feel better about the lemon incident yesterday).

  • save on hidden travel costs and energy spent transporting and preserving the product - look at where some of the produce in the supermarket comes from
  • home grown hopefully means less pesticides and preservatives
  • a fresher product 
  • label free, free from hidden packaging (bulk wrapping, protective packaging)
  • money stays in the community rather than going into large corporations, the farmer is getting 100% of the profits 
  • helps promote local agricultural diversity
  • protects genetic diversity rather than having a particular variety chosen for its long shelf life, high production, has a long shelf life and hardiness. Local plants can be chosen for their own unique taste and may not be available year round. 

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Day 6 - Spot the plastic

You win some you lose some.

Sunday afternoon, doing some food shopping and getting organised for the week. Went out to a nearby farm that dispenses a litre of milk for $3.50 into your own jar. They have glass ones for sale. And they sell eggs in recycled cartons. Win! 

Stopped by the local brewery for a flagon of craft beer. Win!

Had to go to New World for my eco toilet paper. Mushroom and leek for pasta tonight but no parmesan. Going to have to find a way around this. 

On our travels my partner and I saw some lemons for sale on the side of the road for $2 a bag! Bargain! So we stopped, paid the honesty box $2 and continued our drive. Then he says, Oh no the lemons! Look at them. Look at them! And I have no idea what's happening. Im looking at the lemons saying What? What? What?! There doesn't appear to be anything wrong with our super cheap, roadside bag of lemons. Wait. Bag of lemons. F***! 

Friday, 9 September 2016

Day 5 - Thoughts and feelings

Thank goodness wine comes in a recyclable glass bottle. I want to go one better though and go to a place down the road that refills flagons with wine on tap. $18 for a litre! They also do heaps of great beers. Will have to keep some empty flagons in the car.

Thought from the other day at the supermarket:
We are literally blind to plastic. We don't see it. It is around E V E R Y T H I NG. But no one sees it. You see the fancy branding and the clever advertising and you see the food inside. It doesn't even enter your mind. And when you get home the food comes out and the plastic goes into the bin. It never has a chance to register. I know because I thought exactly the same way before I started this. I only saw the plastic once it became a barrier for me to get something. All this great food has become imprisoned and I can only peek at it through a little plastic window.

Now I'm mainly thinking shitty food. Chips, noodles, chocolate and the like but try doing your normal shop. Oh shit, that tray of eggs is covered in plastic! Fuck, my milk comes in a plastic bottle. Oh no, not the cheese! How about some rice? Nah uh. Only need half a cauliflower? Too bad you're going to be eating that whole cauli for weeks! Want to fancy that meal up with some herbs? Well you're shit outta luck!
At least they haven't got to the butter yet.


  • Toilet paper is going to run out soon and I am yet to find a brand that isn't wrapped in plastic. Leaves?
  • Tampon substitute in the near future. I never thought I would be one to purchase a moon cup. 

It's easier that I did't start this lifestyle change by immediately throwing out all the plastic in my home because each thing is going to be a challenge and the longer I can stall the next thing the better.

Cat food. It looks like I'm going to have the fanciest cat in town. He'll be dining on off cuts from the local butcher.

I wonder what supermarkets looked like before plastic.