When I was first approached by some friends a year ago about being a part of the Tassievore Challenge, I thought yeah why not? How hard can it be! I live in Tassie and have access to awesome seasonal produce, this is going to be a walk in the park! I didn’t however take into account the fact that I spend up to six months of the year overseas, working in weird and wonderful countries.
My six months in the Challenge I’ve worn the hat of Tassievore, Myanmarvore, Maldivivore, Lebanavore, Israelivore, Syrianvore, Jordanvore and my personal favourite Turkeyvore. It’s been a wild ride of interesting and mainly delicious foods, some very humourous conversations in broken English and charades asking about the provenance of the foods in the market, and some classic ‘lost in translation’ moments. Trying to explain to the national staff that I was a Turkeyvore had them in stitches of laughter and disbelief.
Throughout the Challenge I’ve been amazed at the resilience and resourcefulness of the food supply around the world, from growing tomatoes on floating islands in Myanmar, the small falafel stalls set up in the refugee camps I worked in in the Middle East; amazing markets full of fresh produce picked or caught that morning; and the vegie gardens growing on people’s yards and balconies throughout the cities.
Apart from some new recipes and now being able to speak fluent ‘food’ Arabic and Burmese, I’ve come to appreciate the food supply we have in Tasmania so much more. Since starting the Challenge we’ve reverted back to basics – fresh produce from the market; simple meals and the proud owners an enormous vegie garden which is expanding further into a growing wall, a greenhouse and plans for a walk in polytunnel.
With our new Preserver, I ignited my domestic goddess and our cupboards are now crammed with fruit from our backyard trees. We’ve met the neighbours by giving away excess fruit in supply for animal manure, and are on a first name basis with our locally owned nursery.
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing though. I think we were the only people in Tasmania to grow zucchinis and not get a single zucchini from our garden, while everyone was complaining of surplus! But overall what a fantastic six months of learning and new activities, and what a great Tassievore network to share ideas with. Post your success stories on the FB page, Twitter or Blogspot and let’s keep the conversation going 🙂
And next up for this Tassievore, standby for the Pakistanivore Challenge…