Living without money has had its challenges but eating a good variety of food has not been one of them. I was quite nervous about feeding myself before I started this ‘experiment’ in low impact, moneyless living and have found that it takes very little to feed one person. It would have been more difficult, perhaps, if I weren’t living on a farm with good soil and water and an already established, rather large, vegie garden.
I have eaten from the big garden here where we have focused on growing staple vegies, from my own little cottage-style garden next to my shack, at the homes of friends and family (I help out and try to supply home-grown goodies as contribution), shared waste food collected from bins, and have occasionally been taken out to dinner.
I have approached shops/cafes at closing time, received free old vegetables at organics shops in the city, been given loads of free bread from hot bread shops (which I have then donated on to others), accessed local honey, rice and oil from my friend, Joline (who runs a café and occasionally needs a hand – see pic below), been fed for free at Lentil As Anything in Sydney (and helped in the kitchen afterwards), scavenged ‘wild’ food (guavas are everywhere at the moment!), and just randomly found food lying around ……..
All-in-all moneyless, low-impact eating is a gastronomic adventure. I call myself an opportunistic eater!
Here are some moneyless eating-related journal entries:
23rd December 2014
Feeling better about the experiment and realise I can change the ‘rules’ as I see fit. I will just get going and find out what works for me and what doesn’t. Maybe I regularly go help people and get a good meal each day from/with them? Maybe I just eat with the family here more and negotiate a bigger level of responsibility for myself. But maybe, I will just quite happily eat lots of vegies that I grow in my garden and the orchard and make salads from the abundant wild stuff growing around the place – fat hen, pigweed, farmer’s friends, sorrel, dock, and nasturtium…….throw in an egg or two and Bob’s your uncle!!
11th January 2015
Garden is coming along nicely….I have cucumbers, 4 types of bean, 2 types of tomato, celery, parsley, basil, choko, carrots, okra, Egyptian lettuce, beetroot, spring onions, silverbeet, radish, zucchini, amaranth and flowers (zinnia, alyssum, calendula, alfalfa, asters, etc.) coming along in my garden – a bit late but will hopefully be in time to supplement the family when their summer glut is over. In the orchard garden we have carrots, capsicum, corn, peanuts, potatoes, watermelons, rockmelons, spring onions, leeks, garlic, and rosellas. I have barely had to touch my left over ex-household supplies yet as I have had people here with food quite a lot recently and I was farm sitting so have had to use the family’s glut vegies. All is good food wise so far although cooking will take some time getting used to. The rocket stove works well but there is some skill involved in using it and understanding wood.
12th January 2015
Having no money really doesn’t feel like a big deal while I’m on the farm. You don’t need money when you’re just pottering away at home – don’t notice any change. The noticeable difference comes when I go to town and find I can’t just go get something I feel like from the shops – food mostly. I must have spent a lot of time buying little bits of food in the past.
Cooking on the rocket stove is becoming easier. I am learning quickly and feel confident I can fry up vegies in a very short time if I need a quick meal. Am I going to get sick of eating the same stuff? I think there is enough variety in the things growing on the farm that I should soon learn to adapt and swap around ingredients to make for more interesting dining. Will try rice soon – must remember to soak it first to decease cooking time……
8th December 2015
I went to Amanda’s place in town last Friday night to have a debrief meeting with the Climate Change Rally organisers and was able to access a heap of free food to take with me (it was a ‘bring a plate to share’ deal). It felt so good to be able to contribute under my own steam. I got some rice paper rolls from the juice bar that they weren’t likely to be selling as it was closing time, some bread rolls from a bakery I was walking past, and some kiwi fruit out of a vegie shop bin – all places I was walking past on my way to Amanda’s and all fresh and perfectly fine! I also had a mango someone on the bus trip had given me and a bag of chips I got out of a convenience store bin the week before and had been keeping at Amy’s place. I was also able to take the rolls we didn’t eat at Amanda’s around the corner afterwards and give them to the in-laws. Such a great feeling!!