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Local produce on the plate

LOCAL BUY: A bag full of local manadamias.
LOCAL BUY: A bag full of local manadamias.

IT'S SURPRISING what you can find in your own backyard if you only take the time to look.

When Wooloweyah mum-of-two Erin Brady discovered the variety on of local produce available at the Yamba Farmers' Market, she decided to set herself a goal.

For one month Erin and her family will only eat food grown 'locally', that is food produced within a 100km radius.

So starting October 1, Erin cleared out the fridge and the pantry of all processed foods and began her quest to prove it is possible.

As a former journalist with The Daily Examiner, Erin also made a commitment to record the experience, and you can follow that via her Facebook page "There's no taste like home."

"The idea is quite simple," Erin said, although she admits it took a month of planning to get her "head around it."

"We have shopped at the Yamba Farmers' Markets for a while and I was quite surprised how much food we could get locally.

"Then I sat down and thought about it and decided I would take it further."

After an exhaustive search to uncover the ways and means, Erin taught herself how to make sourdough bread using locally grown spelt flour, churned butter from milk produced at Southgate, and even made salt fresh from the sea at Angourie.

In the process she has talked to dozens of local producers and in many cases visited them on site.

"I've found a network has formed around me, with so many people giving me tips and telling me where to go; the farmers' market has been a great starting point," she said.

"The more farmers I talk to the more you realise how much they struggle with crops that rely on the weather.

"We need to support them - this story isn't about me, it's about them."

While it's still early days, Erin says so far, so good.

"It takes a bit of planning and being organised but for now, we're sorted," she said.

"I think it will prove to people you have a choice you can make to buy local."

Topics:  clarence valley food



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