A while, back there was a TV Programme called the 100 mile Challenge which aimed to eat only those foods grown within 100 miles of the contestant. I suspect we are starting to get close if you average out the food miles on the plate.Successes

  • Home made bread
  • Home made green pasta sauce including
  • Home grown
  • Zucchini (grated)
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Silverbeet
  • Home made pesto with home grown rocket and Basil
  • Home made pasta using home laid eggs
  • Home made sweet and sour cabbage using
  • Home grown red cabbage and
  • Sour apples scrumped from the neighbour.


  • Wheat flour, olive oil and yeast in the bread
  • Plain, wholemeal and semolina flour with olive oil in the pasta
  • Garlic (home grown is still drying) and onion (ditto) and butter in the green sauce
  • Parmesan on top
  • Sugar and oil in the sweet and sour cabbage
  • Northern beans mixed with the cabbage.
  • Cashews (in the pesto and on the top of the sauce)
  • Salt.

The thing that troubles me most is that the things we have to import are so fundamental to our diet and we have no way to substitute many of them locally.

We can possibly replace some sugar with honey and fruits such as figs and we can certainly do the garlic, onions and beans on the property - we are also plannig to grow macadamia nuts but growing enough for this kind of use might be a real challenge.

Capturing and using yeasts is probably not a big deal and NZ can produce good hard cheeses that could replace the parmesan without too much trouble.

Which leaves two critical items, flour and oil. We would need a massive increase in olive production to get enough NZ oil to make a difference, although as top class wine prices itself out of the diet there will be the basis for replacement with olives in quite a few cases, as long as we can keep the estates together as productive units.

Leaving wheat. Once again, if we can get to the end of the idiocy of dairy farming in Canterbury and Otago and return the optimum amount of land to grain production we could just about produce a significant portion of the soft wheats but durum is not going to be possible.

Meeting the 100 mile Challenge could be done, but we need leadership that comes to the nation with a plan for real food security, and while we are still wedded to the mindless free market rhetoric, that AIN'T gonna happen.

Meanwhile, I still get to turn stuff like, this into food. This afternoon it was sweet and sour for one of these and, with a green cabbage and some beetroot, another went into sauerkraut. And I got to work with something that is less like a vegetable and more like a jewel.

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