Congratulations Tassievores!

As we begin thinking about the 2014 Tassievore Eat Local Challenge (TELC), I thought it would be nice to reflect on the initial 6-month Challenge that took place from November 2012 and April 2013.

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The Tassievore Eat Local Challenge (TELC) was a 6-month adventure in eating locally. The Challenge was a state-wide behaviour change campaign promoting Tasmanian food producers, stimulating local business, reducing the carbon footprint of food, improving skills and knowledge, and increasing food security within Tasmania.

A team of volunteers from around the State contributed to the success of this program.  233 people officially registered as Tassievores, with a geographical spread of 65% in the South; 26% in the North and 9% in the North-west.

The TELC was launched at the Totally Tassie Picnic at SLF 2012 in November. Over the following 6 months, we kept a blog running with stories from the Tassievore Team, recipes and tips.  With funding from the Tasmanian Climate Change Office, through an Earn Your Stars Grant, we developed a Local Food Directory and ran a series of reskilling workshops and farm tours in each region.

Of the 233 people that participated in the Pre-Challenge Survey the majority of people joining the challenge were motivated to do so to support Tasmanian producer and businesses, reduce their carbon footprint, reconnect with our food supply and live more simply (Fig 1).

Figure 1: Motivation for joining challenge (%)

Why join

  • 97% of Tassievore members surveyed said that they had increased their knowledge about what Tasmanian products are available, and where to get them.
  • 100% of Tassievores said that they planned to continue choosing more local food in the future as a result of doing the Tassievore challenge. One member stated: ”I’m at a point now where I will always look for the local product first as opposed to the way I shopped before the challenge, which was mostly looking for the cheapest product.” 
  • 65% of Tassievores reported an increased connection with farmers and growers after taking the Challenge.

The TELC mark 1 was such a great community initiative and a wonderful reminder of what a privilege it is to be able to live on this beautiful island and indulge in it’s foods! As one Tassievore put it, “Eating Tasmanian is not a challenge – it is an absolute privilege to be able to live and work in this bountiful and beautiful part of the world. Tasmanian producers care about their environment and shopping at farmers markets is a treat.”

We are looking to run a shorter Challenge during March 2014.  Please let us know if you are keen to help out! Call or email Lissa @ Sustainable Living Tasmania – (03) 62819362.

A few more comments from participants about the benefits of taking the Tassievore Eat Local Challenge:

Reported Benefits of the Tassievore Eat Local Challenge:

Sustainability  

“We used a LOT less packaging, less food miles, making everything from scratch”.

A sense of supporting the community

“I knew I was supporting local growers and the local economy through my decisions to eat more local food”.

Health

“I was eating healthier than usual”.

Learning new skills

“I perfected my sourdough routine, and learned to make pasta”.

Saving Money

“I spent less on going out for dinner or getting takeaway”.

Overall impacts

“Some personal changes in how I approach life – In learning to put locally grown above cost and quality I feel like some other priorities in life changed where I now consider community outcomes above personal gain.”

“I feel more in-touch with the agriculture and food production industries in Tasmania and the hard work of entrepreneurs in the food industry!”

“I learned more about where our food comes from, and gained greater awareness of seasonal and fresh produce”

Special Offer – 12 for the price of 1!!!

Can you believe that our 6 month Tassievore Challenge is nearly coming to an end?!?  It seems to have flown by!  I don’t even feel like I am going to binge on tropical delights when the calendar ticks over.

For those of you who have been hanging out on the fringes and haven’t actually done the formal registration – https://taseatlocal.wordpress.com/join-the-challenge/ – now is your chance!  This challenge isn’t necessarily about eating only Tasmanian food!  It is about challenging yourself to EAT MORE Tasmanian food or to at least consider buying local when making your purchases.  It is about supporting our local businesses by shopping at Tasmanian-owned shops.  It is about connecting with the people growing our food and letting them know that we value them and we value having food that is grown near where we live and that we want farming to be a viable livelihood in Tasmania.

So, if you (or someone you know) is committed to this, but hasn’t registered (I promise it will take less than 10 minutes), please do it now!  Or if you have been thinking about how you’d like to do it but didn’t want to commit….now’s your chance to get in on the glory by doing it for the last 2 weeks!  It’s like getting 12 for the price of 1…now that’s a bargain!!

It may seem pointless, but this small step (registering online) allows us to gauge how many people have engaged with the Tassievore Eat Local Challenge and to show how many Tasmanians care about these issues.

Since the start of the year, we have run about 20 events! These have ranged from a tour of Two Metre Tall Brewery in the Derwent Valley to a gourmet 3-course Living Local Feast to a Preserving Workshop with Sally Wise.  The good news is, that we still have 3 more events as part of the Challenge!  The Tasmanian Climate Change Office awarded us an Earn Your Stars grant earlier in the year, which will fund our Tassievore Tips and Treats Workshops in Hobart, Launceston and Penguin in May.

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Top tips from our Tassievore team will be shared in these experiential workshops.  Learn how to make staples at home, including bread, yogurt, pasta and dips as well as some low energy methods of food preparations and ideas for reducing the environmental impacts of your food.  Eating, learning, sharing and enjoying together – the tastes of Tasmania.

We are in our final weeks of the formal challenge, but we will be continue to promote and support local food production in Tasmania.  We hope that you will too!

 

It’s harvest time!

Well, it is officially Autumn…not that it feels like it today at 33 degrees!  I love autumn…it is a time of reflection, grounding and harvesting lots from the garden!  Below is a sample of my pickings the other day: necterines, hazelnuts, zucchini, apples (4 varieties), bush beans, scarlet runner beans, chilies, cucumbers, kale (2 varieties), tomatoes (at least 3 varieties) and plums.

IMG_0086While I love the bounty in the garden, how can one household of 1.5 people get through it all?!?  By sharing the fresh produce (my bike basket was overflowing with zucchini’s for my work colleagues this morning); cooking feasts and inviting friends over to share it; and preserving (& fermenting) it!

IMG_0134I have gotten quite into homebrewing this year with Cherry Stout, Rhubarb Ginger Beer and Cherry Mead earlier in the season and yesterday, I racked some Blueberry Wine and Necterine Mead.  The only problem with the wines and meads is that they have to age for up to 2 years before I can drink them…the ultimate exercise of my patience….

The most recent Tassievore event was a flurry of preserving activity at the Sally Wise Cooking School in Molesworth. A half day workshop in which we made: raspberry jam; piccalilly; tomato relish; apricot and raspberry tea cake; hawthorn and mixed berry cordial; plum sauce; preserved plums; apple and rhubarb shortbread; spelt bread and labne.  It was amazing!  you can see lots of photos of the workshop on our facebook page, but here is a couple to whet your appetite

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I will share one of Sally’s recipe’s with you.  It is for Piccalilli, which is great, because basically you can make it with whatever you are feeling overwhelmed with from the garden 🙂

Ingredients:

1kg diced veggies (beans, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, etc)

2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 red capsicum, finely chopped
¼ cup salt
2 cups sugar
2 cups Tassie apple cider vinegar
2tsp mustard powder
2tsp turmeric
2tsp cornflour
2 tbls apple cider vinegar

Method:

  1. Place the vegetables, onions and capsicum in a bowl, add salt and mix well. Leave to stand for at least 1 hour. Drain well.
  2. Combine sugar, vinegar, mustard powder and turmeric in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add veggies adn bring back to boil and cook approximately 25 minutes.
  3. If the mixture is too thin, mix cornflour to a paste with extra vinegar and stir through. Cook two or three minutes more.
  4. Spoon into warm sterilised bottles and seal. Eat immediately or store for up to 1 year.

Sally also made a yummy dip by combining this with sour cream or cream cheese (the only Tassie cream cheese that I know of is from Red Cow Dairy in the NW, but there are several Tassie sour creams available) that we got to dip the warm spelt bread into…yum!

If you are feeling sad that you missed out on this fantastic workshop, don’t worry, there are still several more Tassievore events coming up, including the Tassievore cook-off this weekend in Moonah!  Learn how to use all sorts of Tassie ingredients and try 9 different Tassievore dishes made while you watch and ask questions.  It will be lots of fun and there are still tickets available, so please get your ticket now!

The Living Local Feast is also coming up (13 April).  A gourmet 3-course fundraising dinner for Sustainable Living Tasmania, featuring 100% Tasmanian ingredients.  Below are some photos from the last 2 years feasts.  It is pretty amazing and there are still tickets available, but they are going quick!  Don’t miss out!

57 42 Main course dessert

We are also planning workshops in the South, North and North West in May to share some of our tips and tricks for incorporating more Tassie goodness into your daily life.  These workshops have been made possible by an Earn Your Stars Grant that we recieved from the Tasmanian Climate Change Office. Details to be confirmed over the coming weeks.  We also got funding to collate a “where to get it” resource to help finding Tasmanian food easier for people.  Do you have a local shop or market that has a great range of Tassie goods? if so, please let us know about it by commenting below or email lissa@slt.org.au

I hope you are enjoying the challenge!

 

Tassievore on Tour – Part 2

Back in September I did part one of this post, which was about eating locally while on holiday in Far North Queensland. Happily, I can now do a similar post about camping and touring around Tassie eating locally.  It is actually quite miraculous how similar the two trip were given the vast distance and climactic differences!

In what is becoming a bit of a tradition, I took the few days between Christmas and New Years to go camping all by myself somewhere beautiful in Tasmania.  This year saw me driving up the East Coast, where I got to frolick on beautiful beaches, go bushwalking in Douglas Apsley Gorge and indulge in amazing fresh fruit and Tassie goodness!

Pyengana Farm VisitI found delicious peaches, apricots and cherries at farms around St. Helen’s and Bicheno. And drove a fair bit out of the way to call into Pyengana Dairy.  Pyengana offers cheese tasting and full cafe service in a picturesque setting on their North-East farm. I sampled their fresh scones with raspberry jam and cream and brought home my very own cloth covered cheese wheel of their Matured Cheddar.

Robyn TUDOOn my way back home, I had the pleasure of stopping at The Ugly Duck Out cafe in Swansea.  Robyn, who runs it, is passionate about sustainable food and serving fresh, Tasmanian produce.  She even has a flourishing veggie patch surrounding the cafe and carpark in the centre of Swansea where they harvest fresh produce to use in the cafe daily.

TUDO entryseasonal fruit, manuka honey and yogurt As this trip coincided with breakfast time, I got housemade yogurt with local manuka honey and seasonal fruit.  On a subsequent visit, I got to try out the dinner options and settled on a mushroom burger with quinoa tabbouleh.  Thanks TUDO!

Celebrating Tassievore Style

Wow, it’s been a busy few weeks!  With Christmas, New Years and my birthday all within 10 days, I have been pressed to develop a series of decadent and delicious Tassievore treats to celebrate the season.

Christmas Eve saw us tucking into an Adzuki and Mushroom Loaf, garden salad and Parsnip Bravas.  Amazing Kanel Bulla (Cinnamon Rolls) were baked for Christmas Morning Brunch at a friends house.  Oh my goodness…who needs sugar when you can make these so delicious with honey and hazelnuts!

veggie loaf

Adzuki and Mushroom Loaf – doesn’t look that pretty, but it was yummy and fit the vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, Tassievore requirements

kanel bulla

Oh my goodness, these were good! butter, flour, milk, cinnamon, hazelnuts, honey and yeast (basically).

A selection of truly decadent cheeses, apricot paste and two types of tassievore crackers were served up for grazing at my birthday party at Cascade Gardens.  Coupled with a homemade Tassie Cream – modelled on Bailey’s Irish Cream…it was pretty special!

Tassie cheddar, wheat thins, apricot and citrus paste and homemade Tassie Whiskey Cream.

Tassie cheddar, wheat thins, apricot and citrus paste and homemade Tassie Whiskey Cream.

Basically, I combined cocoa (judged a spice in this context :-)); honey; cream; cinnamon; cream and a raw egg with some of the Lark Distillery Whiskey Liqueur.  It was pretty delicious!

Now I must confess, I was planning to make my own Tassievore birthday cake, but then my friend offered to make one for me.  She asked, “do you want me to try to make it all Tasmanian?”  And guess, what I said!  “No, make it as decadent as possible, please.”  Bad Tassievore!  But wow, it was a pretty amazing rich, chocolatey extravaganza and I really enjoyed it, but realised that it didn’t take very much of it to satisfy me after 2 months now of having much less sugar and chocolate than my previous life involved.

I did get a chance to try out my idea for a Tassievore Birthday Cake though, when my colleagues persuaded me to bring a cake into work for my birthday.  I was a bit skeptical about the virtues of honey sweetened cake, but I must say that I definitely hit on a winner!  Margaret even said that it was the best cake that she has tried in years!  So below is my recipe for Birthday Bliss Cake.  Enjoy!

Birthday Bliss Cakebday bliss cake

  • 200g Butter
  • 200g honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 100ml cream
  • 200g Ground Hazelnuts (I used about ¼ roasted and ¾ raw)
  • 125g flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • Fresh apricots and cherries, pitted

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Butter cake tin. Arrange fruit on bottom of tin. Combine butter and honey, stir in eggs (1 at a time). Add cream and stir. Add hazelnut meal, baking powder and flour and mix to combine. Pour mixture over fruit. Bake for approximately 1 hour.  Cover with foil if top is getting to brown. Enjoy!

Farm Tours, Cook offs, Paddock Parties, oh my!

The Tassievore Eat Local Challenge is a 6 month adventure in eating locally, aimed at supporting our growers and local businesses. Join the Challenge today by increasing your consumption of Tassie food & drink. Whether it is eating 100% Tasmanian, devoting one day a week or all-Tassie fruit and veg, you decide your challenge. And to make it a bit easier and celebrate the journey, we’re offering a series of exciting events around the state for you.

Coordinated by Sustainable Living Tasmania, we have organised a selection of: re-skilling workshops (to help you maximise your Tassievore experience); farm visits (to meet the people growing our food and see how they do it); cooking demonstrations (to inspire you with Tassievore eating); and even a couple of parties!

To give you just a sample, below are our January events:

Wednesday 16th – Pizza Party @ Source Community Wholefoods Cooperative, Sandy Baypizza

Sustainable food from the Source. Source offers the whole seed to plate experience on a small plot of land in urban Sandy Bay!  Come check out the vibrant communal permaculture garden, do some late night shopping and get into the pizza making and wood-fired oven baking action!  $15 pre-registration for all-you-can-eat organic pizza or just turn up on the night and pay per slice. Ambience free. tassievorepizzaparty.eventbrite.com

Sunday 20th – Farm Tour to Stonecrest Cherry Orchard, SorellStonecrest Cherries

Mick & Jenny will take us on a tour of their 7 hectare cherry orchard and then let us loose to pick the remnants of the summer harvest.  We might even get to sample some unique cherry creations, cooked up to ensure that they can enjoy cherries all year round.  Cost: $5 per person/ or $20pp inc. transport from Hobart. tassievorecherrypicking.eventbrite.com

Tuesday, 22nd – Agrarian Kitchen Touragrarian kitchen garden

Join us on a guided tour of the Agrarian Kitchen Gardens and Farm Animals, led by chef, Rodney Dunn and Severine Demanet. The Agrarian Kitchen is a sustainable farm-based cooking school situated in a 19th century schoolhouse at Lachlan, incorporating an extensive vegetable garden, orchard, berry patch and herb garden, all grown using organic principles. Also in residence are Wessex saddleback pigs, Barnevelder chickens, two British Alpine goats and a flock of geese. Cost: $10 or $25 transport from Hobart. tassievoreagrariantour.eventbrite.com

For more info go to our events page   or download the full Tassievore Calendar

Totally Tasmanian Picnic

Wow, it has been 2 weeks already since we launched the Tassievore Eat Local Challenge at the Totally Tassie Picnic and I realised that we haven’t put any photos up yet…sorry!

Our amazing spread of Tassie goodness

For those of you who missed it, below are some photos of the wonderful spread of Tasmanian treats that we had on offer and some of our picnickers.

A huge thank you to all of the generous local producers and businesses who contributed to our  beautiful spread!  The Naked Carrot donated their fabulous sprouts; Kevin Vaughn supplied an amazing selection of salad greens from his garden; The Picnic Basket not only let us borrow their picnic baskets, but also filled them with fresh bread and dips! Companion Bakeryin Oatlands donated some delicious pides, Gondwanaland supplied walnuts and Celina Sargeant shared her home-pressed olive oil.

Lucky us…such amazing food we have in Tasmania!

Senator Christine Milne joined in the picnic

The Terry family brought their own picnic food including homemade sparkling rhubarb…yum!