the toowoomba local food challenge

 

The Challenge

I ran a 10-day challenge to see if it was possible to source all my food from within a 150 kms radius – food had to be grown locally, not produced from non-local ingredients.  

The Result

I was successful, with the exception of tea and cooking oil. However, I discovered that no local grains or pulses are available for sale, despite the region being a key producer of wheat, oats, barley, sorghum, chickpeas and other lentils. I also had to make my own yoghurt and cheese because no local dairies provide it – the closest dairy was in Maleny. 

Publicity

I shared my research and recipes, profiled local producers, gained some valuable local farmer contacts, was interviewed on local TV, radio and social media, set up a Facebook group that gained 300 members and 1,500 visits during the challenge and was invited to present to national sustainability groups. The challenge generated many conversations and participants as well.